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  • Writer's pictureElena

Confusing words

These are some of the most confusing words that people usually get wrong. Let’s have a look at what they mean and how they can be used in a sentence correctly.

1. Affect/ effect

Affect is the verb and effect is the noun

Affect= to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause a change in someone or something (Cambridge dictionary)

Effect= the result of a particular influence (Cambridge dictionary

2. Specially (adverb)

in particular or extremely (Cambridge dictionary)

This room has been decorated specially for Valentine’s Day.

Especially (adverb)

very much; more than usual or more than other people or things:

She's not especially interested in sport (Cambridge dictionary)

Even though both words have similar meanings, ‘especially’ describes something that is better than something else. ‘Specially’ on the other hand means for a special purpose.

3. Farther/ Further

Farther is usually for physical distance and further for figurative distance

4. Into/ In to

“into” is a preposition that expresses movement of something toward or into something else

I jumped into the water.

“In to,” is the adverb “in” followed by the preposition “to.” They happen to fall next to each other based on sentence construction.

I only just dropped in to say hello

5. Me/ I

These are two words that even native speakers use them incorrectly. In a nutshell, both words mean the same, but ‘I’ is used as a subject and ‘me’ as an object. For example:

My sister and I went to the movies last night.

My mom hugged me and my brother.

6. Who’s/ Whose

Who's is a contraction. The full form is who + is, or who + has.

For example: who's here? who’s this?

Whose is a possessive pronoun, meaning to whom something belongs.


Quiet means making very little or no noise at all

Quite means to a certain or absolute degree. For example: I don’t quite understand this maths question, or this question is quite absurd

8. Coarse/ Course

Coarse is used for something rough and harsh in texture. It can also be used metaphorically for somebody’s character and personality.

Course refers to a dish or a set of dishes. It can also be used in education, for example educational access courses to prepare you for entering university. When you get to university, you will also be on a course (your subject area and degree).


Week means a period of 7 days.

Weak refers to not enough physical and mental power/ strength.

10. Among/ Amongst

Among is more common, particularly in American English. Amongst is a newer version and it means exactly the same as among so it is a matter of preference which one you use.

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