What's the difference?

As the book (and the section in this website) has a unit on the most common mistakes with confusing words, this section looks at examples where mistakes have not been made - yet - but where learners (and even natives) are often not sure which is the best word to use when writing (or speaking). So here we have some common examples of confusing words. Like everything else in this website, this is likely to be added to.

 

The examples listed include examples that have been moved from Ask Doctor Dot Fullstop, and also some confusing words featured in the book (with their page numbers).

 

So we shall begin. Click on the examples below for explanations.

Barbecue/barbeque/grill

Been/gone

Bus/coach   

Complement/compliment

Cyclist/biker

Disinterested/uninterested

Eating lunch/having lunch (or even eat food and have food)

End/finish

Envious/jealous

Error/mistake

Fall off/fall from

Fish/fishes

Fruit/fruits

Get on/get in

Germ/bacteria/organism/virus

Hurt, ache & pain

Into, in to, onto and on to

Lay, lie & laid

Made of/made from/made out of/made with

Make/do

May/might

Ophthalmologist/optician

Pool/snooker/billiards

Practice/practise

Refuge/refugee

Resilience/resistance

Room/space

Series/serial

Shall/will

Stairs/steps

Target/aim/goal 

Teacher/tutor (and many many more!)

Whole/entire