Friday, October 16, 2015

Confusing words

English is a fun language and yet it can be confusing at times especially similar looking words. They might look almost the same, sound the same, but be careful, they have totally different meaning.

Here are a list of homophones that you need to know how to differentiate.

1. Penchant VS Pension
- Penchant : (n) Tendency to do something. 偏爱. She has a ~ for champagne.
- Pension  :  (n) Payment during a person's retirement. 养老金.
                         My parents receive their ~ every month.

2. Prosecute VS Persecute
- Prosecute : (v) To press criminal charges against someone in a court. 控告. 
                           The murderer will be ~ next week.
- Persecute : (v) To treat someone unfairly because of their religion/race/political views. 迫害.                                                                                  People are being ~ by their skin colour.

3. Different VS Indifferent
- Different    : (adj) Not the same. 不一样. The twins look ~.
- Indifferent  : (adj) Unconcerned, uninterested. 漠不关心. They seemed ~ about the case.

4. Comment VS Commend
- Comment  : (v) Give remarks. 评论. They ~ my picture.
- Commend : (v) Praise. 称赞. The policemen were ~ for their bravery.

5. Wonder VS Wander
- Wonder : (v) Curious to know something. 想要知道. I ~ if we can time travel.
- Wander : (v) Walk leisurely, stroll. 漫步. Mary ~ around the town.

6. Pinup VS Prenup
- Pinup   : (n) A poster of a sexy/famous person. (性感女郎/名人)的海报. ~ was banned in the house.
- Prenup : (n) A written contract created by a couple before they get married. 婚前协议
                      They sign the ~ to ensure they both benefit in case of a divorce. 

7. Compliment VS Complement
- Compliment : (v) Praise. 赞扬. David ~ his girlfriend on her dress.
- Complement : (v) To add something to make enough or perfect. 补充. They complement each other.

8. Exterminate VS Terminate
- Exterminate : (v) To destroy completely. 毁灭. The soldiers were told to ~ the entire population.  
- Terminate    : (v) To end. 使终止. The worker ~ his contract with his company.

9. Uninterested VS Disinterested
- Uninterested  : (adj) Not interested in. 不感兴趣. Ruth is ~ in rock music.
- Disinterested : (adj) Not bias/prejudice. 公正无私. A judge should be ~ when making decisions.

10. Possible VS Plausible (This is a tricky one.)
- Possible  : (adj) Has the potential to be done within the power or capacity of someone or something.
                            有可能.
- Plausible : (adj) (A statement) that seems reasonable/true. 合理的. 

Here's an example I found on the internet that might help clear your mind.

It's possible that you are correct = I don't know if you are correct, but you might be.
It's plausible that you are correct = It's reasonable to think that you are correct, so you probably are.

Hope now you won't get mixed up. 
Be sure to know when to comment and commend =)

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