Their bare bear is over there! (A Guide to Commonly Confused Words)

GoblinAghast

Oh. Oh no.
Original poster
DONATING MEMBER
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Evenings, mostly.
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Low/High Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Victorian-Era, Grimdark, Gothic-Horror, Supernatural (not the show), Limited Fandoms, Magic, Adventure.
Welcome to yet another installation of my grammar and punctuation guides! This time around I'm delving into the wonderful world of words!

It's no secret that many people struggle with forms of words or, to be more technical, homophones, homographs, and capitonyms. (Heterographs seem to be the most confusing, and the following list consists mostly of such words.)

What are these strange things you speak of?!

Before you worry, I bet many of you recall these terms from primary or secondary school. You may just need to refresh your memory.

If you are unconcerned with technical terms, feel free to skip straight to the list.

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same as other words but have different and unrelated meanings.

There are two specific types of homophones:
  1. Homonyms: spelled and pronounced the same way (e.g. duck)
  2. Heterographs: spelled differently but pronounced the same way (e.g. you, ewe)
Homographs are words that are spelled the sames as other words but have different meanings.

There is one specific type of homograph:
  1. Heteronym: spelled the same way but pronounced differently (e.g. lead/lead)

Capitonyms are words that have different meanings when the word begins with a capital letter.

An example of this would be Polish (from Poland) and polish (to shine something).


Commonly Confused Words:
accept - to receive something
except - with exclusion

affect - to influence or impact
effect - result or outcome

aisle - space between rows
isle - an island

air - invisible, gaseous substance; quality of; unconfined space above the surface of the earth; tune or melody; to expose
heir - a person inheriting and/or continuing a legacy (often familial)

allowed - permitted
aloud - out loud

allude - to make indirect reference
elude - to evade

altar - sacred platform or table
alter - to change

a lot - large quantity
allot - to divvy out

are - plural present of "be"
our - belonging to the speaker and one or more other people

bare - naked or unadorned; to expose
bear - animal; to carry; to tolerate

boar - wild pig
bore - to hollow out; an uninteresting person or task; to make weary by being dull or uninteresting
boor - unrefined or ill-mannered person

board - a piece of wood
bored - uninterested; hollowed out

brake - to stop; an interlude
break - to destroy or damage; to wound

buy - purchase
by - beside; through agency of
bye - short for "goodbye"; advancement in a competition through absence of opponent

cease - to bring to or come to an end
seize - to take forcible possession of; to become stuck or jammed; to have bodily convulsions (seizures)

cite - to quote or mention
site - an area or location of; (web)site; to build in a particular place
sight - ability to see; something seen or glimpsed; someone's view or consideration; to take aim down a gun

compliment - expression of praise or congratulations; to present as a mark of courtesy
complement - to complete or improve

definitely - without doubt
defiantly - boldly resistant or challenging

elicit - to draw out
illicit - illegal

everyday - routine, commonplace
every day - each day, successive order

fair - just, honest; lightly pigmented or complected; festival
fare - fee for travel; food

hear - to perceive sound
here - in this place

hole - an opening
whole - entire or complete

hollow - empty; without significance or meaning
hallow - to make holy; revered as something holy; greatly revered or respected

lose - to be deprived of; cease to retain; to misplace; opposite of win
loose - neither firmly nor tightly fixed or fitted; to free or release

manner - decorum or behaviour
manor - a large estate

metal - a hard, natural ore
medal - an award
mettle - spirit, energy

passed - past tense of "pass"
past - previously in time

peace - freedom from disturbance
piece - a part of; selection of music

peak - point, pinnacle, or maximum
peek - to peer or look; to protrude slightly
pique - to excite; to affect with irritation

pedal - foot lever of bicycle or car
petal - part of a flower
peddle - to sell

plain - simple, bland; open, treeless expanse
plane - aircraft; level of existence or thought; flat or level surface

queue - a line or sequence awaiting in turn
cue - a signal for action; hint or indication; a prompt; stick used for billiards or pool

rain - weather condition; to fall like rain
reign - to rule
rein - to guide or control; part of a bridal to control an animal

raise - to lift up
raze - to destroy

right - correct; opposite of left
rite - ritual or ceremony
write - to compose

scene - location of an incident; a place or position; a division of an act in a play or opera
seen - past participle of "see"

see - to view
sea - large body of salt water; a vast expanse

than - in comparison
then - at that time; next

their - possessive form of "they"
there - in that place
they're - they are

through - into and out of; finished
threw - past tense of "throw"
thorough - performed with care and detail

to - used to indicate; toward
too - as well, also; used to show emphasis
two - the number following one

waist - midsection of the body
waste - rubbish; to squander

weak - opposite of strong
week - seven consecutive days

weather - climatic condition
whether - if

wear - to put on; to become damaged over time; to withstand; to pass time slowly or tediously
where - at what location
ware - something offered for sale
were (prefix) - e.g. werewolf, werebear

were - second person singular past, plural past, and past subjunctive of "be"
we're - we are
whir - low, continuous sound

which - one of
witch - practitioner of witchcraft

your - possessive of "you"
you're - you are
yore - time long past


Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or think are are other commonly confused words you think I should add, please let me know!

 
Last edited:

Moogle-Girl

Morality Kitchen Sinker
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week
Online Availability
I work full time, so I'm usually not on until after 6PM EST on weekdays. (Weekends are free game though.)
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Futanari, , No Preferences
Genres
Urban/modern fantasy, psychological horror, fandom using OCs (no canon characters except in mentions!)
bare - naked or unadorned
bear - animal; to carry
I see these mixed up WAY too often so I want to stress: if you say you can't "bare" someone any longer, it sounds like you're stripping off their clothes... When it comes to handling problems or burdens, you can bear them.
 

Malkuthe Highwind

Kayyan'Haien
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Prestige, Douche
Preferred Character Gender
Male
Genres
High Fantasy, Modern Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Yaoi, Political Intrigue, Supernatural, Post-Apocalyptic
One might want to include lose and loose in that list. :P.
 

Miki

Miss Once Upon A Time Ago
Invitation Status
, ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Any time under the sun and/or moon.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Female
Genres
-Fantasy.
--Fantasy-Apocalyptic.
-Mother fuckin' Yuri.
-Romance.
-Magical.
-High school mixed with something interesting!
-Sci-Fi.
-A mixture of anything listed here.
-Almost anything that I do not have a gut-wrenching hatred for. GIVE ME YOUR IDEAS!
One might want to include lose and loose in that list. :P.
Lose is a verb that means to suffer the loss of, to miss. "You lose the game!" "Did you lose your keys?"
Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained. "Your shoes are loose!" "There is a dog running loose!"


BWAHAH! I contributed!
I'm TOTALLY not helpful!
 

GoblinAghast

Oh. Oh no.
Original poster
DONATING MEMBER
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Evenings, mostly.
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Low/High Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Victorian-Era, Grimdark, Gothic-Horror, Supernatural (not the show), Limited Fandoms, Magic, Adventure.
Updated. c:
 

Rook

stumbling into the unknown
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Nonbinary, No Preferences
Genres
fantasy (high, low, historical, dark, heroic, gaslamp), adventure, horror (gory, cosmic, psychological, monster, body, paranormal), sci-fi, historical (ancient rome, medieval, victorian, 1920s, +more), supernatural, mystery, apocalyptic, au
You could also include seize and cease.
 

Moogle-Girl

Morality Kitchen Sinker
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week
Online Availability
I work full time, so I'm usually not on until after 6PM EST on weekdays. (Weekends are free game though.)
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Futanari, , No Preferences
Genres
Urban/modern fantasy, psychological horror, fandom using OCs (no canon characters except in mentions!)
Oh, how about compliment and complement? Tricky one there.
 

luelle

light giver
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week
Writing Levels
Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Fantasy, Horror, Scifi, Magical
If I ever make an error like that, it's always 'waist' and 'waste' that I mix up for some reason.. I'm good other than that. I think 'might' and 'mite' could be helpful to add. I've seen that mistake.
 

Karakui

The Slightly Villainous One
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept
Preferred Character Gender
Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern Fantasy
I think it's a bit pointless to just add every homophone. They need to be ones that it's actually possible to get mixed up. Most of the time, they get mistyped in the run of the moment, more as a typo than not actually knowing which word to use (except in the case of very unusual words that are rarely taught anyway - cue and queue for example). Plus, it usually doesn't even matter. Most of the time, it's still obvious what people mean. The problems come when people misuse tenses or leave words out completely, or overuse pronouns, so it's impossible to tell whom someone is actually referring to; for example, when fighting 2 female warriors and someone just types "Joe attacked her".
 

Kagayours

a ghost
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
I think it's a bit pointless to just add every homophone. They need to be ones that it's actually possible to get mixed up. Most of the time, they get mistyped in the run of the moment, more as a typo than not actually knowing which word to use (except in the case of very unusual words that are rarely taught anyway - cue and queue for example). Plus, it usually doesn't even matter. Most of the time, it's still obvious what people mean. The problems come when people misuse tenses or leave words out completely, or overuse pronouns, so it's impossible to tell whom someone is actually referring to; for example, when fighting 2 female warriors and someone just types "Joe attacked her".
How can you define which ones are "possible to get mixed up"? Lots of these can get misused. Any of them can be misused. And how do you know that people are always just getting it wrong in the moment? Lots of people actually consistently get a lot of these words mixed up.

And even if I can tell what they mean, is that really any reason to not improve? Seeing someone use "you're" when they obviously meant "your" doesn't hinder comprehension too much, but it's still jarring and annoying to read.

Also, some of these mistakes might not be so bad if the rest of the sentence that they're in is flawless -- but it's when multiple grammar mistakes are stacked on top of each other that the meaning of a sentence can become muddled. Best to help people out wherever they might need it, eh?

If someone's building a guide that's meant to help people with words that can easily get mixed up then, well, there's no reason why it can't be as complete as possible.

And as for the "Joe attacked her" example -- well, yeah, I understand that that can be a problem, but it's a problem that's completely unrelated from commonly confused words. Why don't you write a guide about this subject instead, if you feel it's important? It's not like OwlFeather's guide makes your point invalid; both guides can exist.
 

Karakui

The Slightly Villainous One
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept
Preferred Character Gender
Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern Fantasy
Precisely - if the person's writing quality is sufficiently poor that choosing the wrong word actually matters, it's going to be improved by learning the grammar, not the words. "Red eating seize fox" makes just as little sense as "Red eating cease fox". And while it's a very minor annoyance to have to read "you're ball" instead of "your ball" imagine how much more frustrating it will be if every time you post something (or even just click through a forum) someone points out your mistakes - when it's clear they understood what you meant in the first place!
 

mango

2020, here we go
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige, Douche, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fandom, Apapocalyptic, Futuristic, Paranormal, Supernatural, Fantasy. Prefer modern day.
I don't know if this would be the proper place to add this, but I see it everywhere - sometimes from writers I have respect for.

Definitely and defiantly aren't the same, at all. Can that be added here? Isn't necessarily a homophone, but apparently quite a few people believe so and it's driving me mad. xD

"I defiantly know where you're coming from"

Like, what? You're defying your knowledge of my circumstances??

I love the list btw. Most people actually do need this.
 

Moogle-Girl

Morality Kitchen Sinker
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week
Online Availability
I work full time, so I'm usually not on until after 6PM EST on weekdays. (Weekends are free game though.)
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Futanari, , No Preferences
Genres
Urban/modern fantasy, psychological horror, fandom using OCs (no canon characters except in mentions!)
imagine how much more frustrating it will be if every time you post something (or even just click through a forum) someone points out your mistakes - when it's clear they understood what you meant in the first place!
Isn't the whole point of this list so people can fix mistakes they're making without having other people bother them about it?
 

Kagayours

a ghost
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Precisely - if the person's writing quality is sufficiently poor that choosing the wrong word actually matters, it's going to be improved by learning the grammar, not the words. "Red eating seize fox" makes just as little sense as "Red eating cease fox". And while it's a very minor annoyance to have to read "you're ball" instead of "your ball" imagine how much more frustrating it will be if every time you post something (or even just click through a forum) someone points out your mistakes - when it's clear they understood what you meant in the first place!
And... I did say that the point of this thread isn't to turn anyone into grammar police. It's simply to allow people a resource so that they can learn these differences and improve their writing if they so wish.

And, again, if there are other grammar mistakes that you feel are more important, then go make a guide about that. No one's stopping you. But just saying "this guide shouldn't exist because it's not the most important grammar issue" isn't helpful. At all.

Additionally, no one said that just learning how to not get these words confused is the end-all-be-all of being a good writer. Yes, there are other things to learn to improve one's grammar. Some could argue that other things are more important than getting these words right. That doesn't mean that no one can benefit from learning these at all. People can still improve from learning them, especially if they aren't struggling in other areas and this is really the only thing they struggle with. :P Also, if people are struggling with grammar in other areas, then getting homophones wrong actually can confuse the meaning of a sentence. o.o Like I said, replacing "you're" with "your" doesn't matter a ton if the rest of the sentence is written flawlessly, so that you know what they meant. But if one's grammar is shit to begin with? Then using the wrong homophone can take an already not-so-great sentence and make it even more difficult to decipher.

But, even if you disagree with me on all of this, you can still go make your own grammar guide if you feel there are more important lessons to teach... There's really no point in debating which is "more important" in a place like this since there isn't exactly a cap on how many guides can be created. Anyone can make a guide on any grammar mistake, no matter how trivial.
 

GoblinAghast

Oh. Oh no.
Original poster
DONATING MEMBER
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
Evenings, mostly.
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Low/High Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Victorian-Era, Grimdark, Gothic-Horror, Supernatural (not the show), Limited Fandoms, Magic, Adventure.
Updated.

This list isn't to make people feel bad about their mistakes, it's to promote education.

If a person doesn't know they are making a mistake, they will continue to do so. There is never, ever anything wrong with learning.
 
  • Thank
Reactions: Rook and Tempest