Vocabulary: Some confusing words

There are some extremely confusing words in English because they appear almost similar to each other in terms of their spelling or their pronunciation. Students usually get confused when they actually use these words. They use them in place of one another.

1. Lie Vs Lay

Lie or Lay

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Lay: put something/somebody down

Lay all your books down on the table.

Lie: to be in a horizontal position

He was lying on the floor with his head facing the earth.


The problem with these words is that their present tense form spells exactly same. So, people become confused while using normal form of the verb.

2. Learn Vs Teach

Students learning English languages will develop their communication skill and personality.

First set of confusing words is learn and teach.

Students learn.

Teachers teach.

3. Lend or Borrow

Another group of confusing words is lend and borrow

When you give something to someone, it means you lend them something

If you take something from someone, that means you borrow from them.

Can I lend your book for the weekend?

Can I borrow your book for the weekend?

4. Fewer Vs Less

Fewer Vs Less

Image from Falibo


5. Personnel and personal

Personnel: the people who are employed in a company OR department of the company that deals with its employees when they first join

You should contact the personnel department for any queries regarding your on-going recruitments.

Personal: private

It’s my personal matter. You don’t need to interfere in this.

So, there you have it. Five confusing words that may make a mess of your writing. Be careful with them!

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