Commonly confused words

Online Writing Training has launched a new program: 100 Commonly Confused Words.

Here’s just a few of them.

accept and except

Accept means to admit and agree to, and receive.

He accepted her apology.
She accepted the prize.

Except means but, and with the exception of.

Everyone was invited except me.

adverse and averse

Adverse means bad or opposed to.

We had adverse weather conditions.

Averse means having strong feelings of repugnance.

I am averse to smoking.

advice and advise

Advice is a noun and means opinion.

She gave good advice.

Advise is a verb and means to give an opinion or recommendation.

He advised her to own up.

Other pairs that have c for the noun and s for the verb include practice/practise, licence/license.

advisor or adviser

Either spelling is correct, just be consistent. Advisor is often used with official titles, e.g. financial advisor.

affect and effect

Affect is usually a verb and means to influence.

The weather affected the outcome of the Grand Prix.

Effect is usually a noun and means the result.

The effect was dramatic.

Effect can occasionally be a verb (to effect a change) and affect can occasionally be a noun when describing emotion (sad affect).

 
 

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