Can You Pick the Correct Choice Between These Commonly Mixed-Up Words?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Think you are an English language expert? The English language has one of the largest vocabularies of any modern spoken language. It is generally believed to be the language with the largest vocabulary, as there are more than a million words in it. However, as spoken languages grow and change constantly, with new words being created and older ones becoming obsolete all the time, it is impossible to know definitively how many words are in the English language. Some world languages function in very different ways, which also makes comparison difficult. 

So, what makes English so big? English is a unique combination of Germanic and Romance languages with some Greek thrown in. It is also a highly plastic language, meaning that it adapts and takes on words foreign to it all the time.  The English language has traveled the whole world, taking on new terms and ideas as it spread. From the past to the present, English has been a mutt of a language, which gives it a vocabulary larger than any of its individual parts.  

If you are an English language expert who can take on its trickiest words, put your word savvy to the test with this quiz! 

This sweater is __________.

Something that fits loosely is not tightly fixed in place. To lose is to be deprived of or unable to find something.

Cacti grow in _________.

Deserts are known for their extreme temperatures. Desserts are known for their pleasant sweetness.

Hilary doesn't like to read _________ in class.

Aloud means out loud. To be allowed to do something means to be permitted to do it.

Don't ________ my heart.

A brake is a device for stopping a vehicle. To break something is to separate it into pieces.

Janelle wears the most ________ styles.

A currant is a dried grape. Something that's current is happening or relevant right now.

Krish loved to press flower _________.

Petals are a part of flowers. Pedals are foot-operated levers and to peddle is to sell goods.

Jett can only play 4 guitar ________s.

A chord is a group of musical notes. A cord is a length of string.

Grant's __________ was very touching.

A storey is a level of a building. A story is an account or tale.

The priest ________ the demon.

Exercise is physical activity. To exorcise someone means to use magic or prayer to remove evil spirits from them.

Danielle lost her ______ as a child.

A site is a location. Sight is the ability to see.

Vanjessica waited in the _______ for 45 minutes.

A cue is a signal for action. A queue is a line of people or vehicles.

Lydee's ______ were clogged.

To pour is to flow or cause a liquid to flow. Pores are tiny openings, like the ones in human skin.

We all went to the store _______ Beth.

Except is the correct answer. It means "not including" while accept means "to agree, receive, or do."

I need to have this dress _______.

An altar is a a sacred table or installation used as a part of religious worship. To alter something is to change it.

His art is quite _______.

If something is bizarre it is strange. A bazaar is a middle eastern market.

I challenge you to a __________.

Dual refers to a thing that has two parts. A Duel is a fight or contest between two parties.

If you are going to mail this you will need an ___________.

To envelop something is to cover or surround it. An envelope is a paper container for letters and more.

Anna did not read the ________.

A foreword is an introduction to a book. Forward, on the other hand, means onward or ahead.

John got sent to the _________'s office.

A principal is the head of a school. A principle is a fundamental belief or rule.

The weather is quite ________.

Balmy means pleasantly warm and is often used to describe the weather. Barmy means foolish or crazy.

The _______ was born on the farm yesterday.

A fawn is a young deer. A faun is a mythical creature that is part man and part goat.

Run ________, kids.

Along refers to moving on. A long describes something of a great length.

Harlan ________ Kelly.

If someone is loath to do something it means they are reluctant or unwilling to do it. If someone loathes someone, however, it means they hate them.

Lee bombed the _______ section of his French test.

Aural refers to the ears or hearing. Oral refers to the mouth or spoken word.

There are _________s in the woods.

Bare means naked or to uncover. A bear is an animal, but it can also mean to carry.

The actors took their final _______.

A bough is a branch of a tree. To bow is to bend in the shape of a bow.

Matthew's stubble was _________.

Coarse means rough. A course is a direction, part of a meal, or school subject.

Kiefur had ______ for breakfast.

Cereal is a breakfast food made from grains. Serial describes something that happens in a series.

The first _______s of novels look very different from their end results.

A draft is a preliminary version of a piece of writing. A draught is a current of air or refers to a beer or other drink served in a barrel.

She was ______ to avocados.

While a person can be "averse" to something, meaning they dislike it, a person cannot be "adverse" to something. Adverse describes circumstances which are harmful or unfavorable.

Elle ________ to Jason that their friends were a couple.

To infer means to draw a conclusion from evidence. To imply means to indirectly suggest something.

Kenneth always gives good ________.

"Advice" is recommendations about a course of action to take. To advise someone is to offer advice.

Katerina walked into a ________ and fell over.

A pole is a long slender upright piece of wood or metal. A poll is where you go to vote, or the collection of votes on any topic.

Kim ate soup that was too hot and burned her ______________.

Someone's palate is the roof of their mouth. A palette is a board that artists use to mix colors.

Agatha wore an emerald ________.

To broach is to raise a subject for discussion. A brooch is a piece of decorative jewelry.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes