The Top 10 Most Commonly Confused Words

Since today is the 10th of June, I thought it would be a nice chance to take a break from all of the grammar muck that we’ve been working through with the top ten most commonly confused words.

1. Allusion and Illusion

Now I say this as number one for a funny reason. Growing up in a garage, I have seen a lot of funny names for car clubs. The one name that tops it is the club that was called The Allusive Dreams car club. Now I will not say who I knew that was the President of the Club, but I will say that he was in High School at the time and he wasn’t very good in English class. Now here is why.

Allusion – From the word allude meaning to refer to something directly.

Illusion –  Meaning misdirection.

What made it funny, they had pretty much the same cars as another car club that would come to our garage.

2. Assent and Ascent

Assent – To agree

Ascent – The act of moving upwards.

Mainly this is from misspellings

3. Bare and Bear

Bare – To uncover. Naked.

Bear – To carry or endure. Also the big fluffy things that can eat you.

This is one of those words that all sound the same but they are very different meanings. Much like some of the other words I’m going to go over next it’s about how it sounds to the ear.

4. Blond and Blonde

Blond – A lightness of color. Commonly seen in descriptions of wood.

Blonde –  A description of a color of hair.

This common confusion is because this not only sounds similar but spellings and meanings are the similar as well. Just remember that one is hair and one is actual color. One you can buy in a box in a store.

5. Discreet and Discrete

Discreet – Observing in silence.

Discrete – Unique or distinct.

It is really easy to mix these two up since the only big difference is the switching of two letters.

6. Eminent and Imminent

Eminent – Prominent or distinguished from others

Imminent – Ready to happen, or something held over someone’s head (like blackmail)

These two have very different spellings and meanings but only sound the same.

7. Who’s and Whose

This is where I start going into the pet peeves of all Grammar aficionados, and English teachers. Although, this is one of the things that ends up tweaking with people interested in “proper” ettiquete as well.

Who’s is the possessive form of this noun and whose is an adjective showing relation.

8. Your and You’re

Your is another posessive form of the pronoun you.

You’re is a contraction of you and are.

We have probably all gotten mad over that one at least once.

9. Accept and Except

This mistake is something that we all do in the heat of the moment when writing and not realize we have done this until later.

Accept –  To agree

Except – To leave out

10. To, Too, and Two

Sometimes we go on Facebook and realize why our teeth hurt. It’s because we grate them when we see the misuse of to, too, and two on our friend’s status. I see this all the time. You see it all the time. And we all have to toe the fine line that is correcting our friends of their grammatical error.

To – Is a direction

Too – Means as well.

Two – The number 2.


So when we all look at our own works remember. Writers are human. We make mistakes like this all the time, and so do others. Just look at Facebook statuses.

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