Category Archives: Commonly Confused Words

A business meeting, four people sitting down, one man standing, shaking the hand of a woman, everyone is smiling

Commonly confused words: complement and compliment (and complementary and complimentary)

It can be hard remember which of these two pairs of words means what. A compliment is an appreciative remark; something nice that you say about someone else without any need to do so.  A complement is something that pairs with something else to make it whole or complete. While both of these nouns can

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A elephant calf facing its mother, touching trunks

Commonly confused words: dependant and dependent (and a note on ‘is dependent on’)

The difference between these two words is simple to remember: dependant is a noun and dependent is an adjective. The dependent calf relies on its mother for food and protection. Official forms often ask how many dependants you have. One way to remember the difference is to be confident that (like confident, silent, diligent and

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Commonly confused words: disinterested or uninterested (and disinterred or uninterred)?

Disinterested or uninterested? There was a furore late in 2022 when an ABC journalist used uninterested when she meant disinterested. While many people use the words interchangeably, they do mean quite different things. Disinterested means impartial, even-handed, being fair to all involved. A disinterested person – like a judge or a sports umpire – may

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Commonly confused words: practice and practise (and licence and license and even more)

English spelling is tricky: that is something most people agree on. There are a couple of pairs of words that a particularly troublesome for a lot of people: practice and practise, and licence and license. Prophecy and prophesy follow the same rules, but as prophesy in particular isn’t commonly used (prophesise seems to have taken

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