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Alphadictionary.com

250 Often Confused Words • G


Below are the words beginning on G, H, and I of a list of more than 250 words that speakers and writers of English often confuse. They are called false cognates because they sound or are written so similarly that they are often confused. Even if you are an excellent writer, you should read through this list; otherwise, how will you know if you are confusing any words? We will soon have a quiz that will help you check your knowledge of the most common false English cognates.


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• G •
WORDS DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES
gibe
gybe
jibe
Gibe means "to taunt, jeer, make fun of": His classmates gibed Billy Earl for wearing his underwear over his clothes.
Gybe means "to swing a fore-and-aft sail from one side of a sailboat to the other to change course": When the wind shifted, Felix gybed when he should have tacked.
Jibe refers to being in agreement: Our views on everything from baseball to Socrates seem to jibe.
gorilla
guerrilla
A gorilla is a large ape: Gorillas live in the African tropical forest.
A guerrilla is a member of irregular military that uses surprise attacks on its enemy: Guerrilla warfare uses tactics such as espionage, sabotage, and ambush.
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• H •
WORDS DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES
hail
hale
Hail means "to greet or to come from": She hails from California. Hail also means "balls of ice": Hail damaged the crops.
Hale means "sound or healthy": Minnie Miles is hale and hearty enough to run five miles daily.
hanged
hung
Hanged is past tense of hang in the sense of executing someone by using a rope around the neck: Outlaws in the Old West were hanged when they could be caught.
Hung is the past tense of hang, but is used for things: Lyda Cain's son never hung up his clothes. Just remember hanged is used for people (Yuck!), and hung is used for other things.
hardly This is a word used in a negative sense meaning "barely": Lyle could hardly keep his eyes open at the lecture by Rhoda Book.
herd
heard
A herd is a group of animals: Nonnie saw a herd of cows in the pasture.
Heard is the past tense of hear: Zelda heard the bells ringing for the glorious leader who had recently died.
here
hear
Here refers to the place where you are: You should come here more often.
Hear is to listen with the ears: Am I speaking loud enough for you to hear me?
heroin
heroine
Heroin is an illicit drug: Heroin is a very addicting substance.
A heroine is a female hero in real life or in a story: Marge was treated like a heroine when she delivered the baby in a cab.
historic
historical
Historic refers to something in history that was important: The summit was a historic meeting between the countries.
Historical refers to anything in general history: The whole class had to dress in historical costumes for the play.
hoard
horde
Hoard means "to collect and keep for oneself": Squirrels hoard acorns during the winter.
A horde is a large group: Hordes of people go Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving.
hole
whole
A hole is a gap or space: A moth made a hole in my sweater.
Whole means "complete": Stu Beef ate the whole pizza himself!
home
hone
Home in is the correct phrase here is when referring to getting closer to a goal or target: The missile homed in electronically on the target.
Hone means "to sharpen": Denise made a resolution to hone her piano playing skills.
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• I •
WORDS DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES
i. e.
e. g.
See e. g. , i. e.
illicit
elicit
See elicit, illicit.
illusion
allusion
See allusion, illusion.
immemorial
immortal
immoral
Immemorial refers to that which is beyond time, ancient: These artifacts have been here since time immemorial.
Immortal describes things that live forever: The way Randolph drives, he must think that he is immortal.
Immoral means "not nice, unethical, bad": Stealing is immoral.
immoral
amoral
See amoral, immoral.
immigrant
emigrant
See emigrant, immigrant.
immigrate
emigrate
See emigrate, immigrate.
imminent
eminent, emanant
See eminent.
implicate, imply Implicate means "to closely link or connect": The blood on his hands implicated him in the murder.
Imply means "to point to, or suggest indirectly": The victim's friend implied he thought he knew who the murderer was.
implicit
explicit
See explicit, implicit.
imply
infer
Imply means "to suggest indirectly": Her hesitation implied that her answer was no.
Infer means "to draw a conclusion from known facts": He inferred that the answer was no from her hesitation.
in regard to
as regards
Both of these mean "referring to", but use one or the other: In regard to your proposal I have an idea, or: As regards your proposal, I have an idea. NOT in regards to!
inchoate
incoherent
Inchoate describes something in an early stage of development, and that is incomplete: Lucy's plan remained inchoate and was developed no further.
Incoherent describes something that is lacking connection or order: Some even thought that Lucy's plan was just a few incoherent thoughts that didn't hang together.
incredible
incredulous
Incredible means "astonishing or difficult to grasp": The incredible power of a tornado attracts storm chasers.
Incredulous means "skeptical and disbelieving": She was incredulous about Fred's interpretation of the event.
induction
deduction
See deduction, induction.
insure
ensure
See assure/ensure/insure.
innervate
enervate
See enervate, innervate.
insure
ensure
assure
See assure, ensure, insure.
intolerable
intolerant
Intolerable refers to something unbearable: The heat during the summer of 2005 was intolerable.
Intolerant refers to a person who is unable to accept differences in opinion, habit, or belief: Maybelle is intolerant of anyone who chews with their mouth open.
irregardless
regardless
Regardless is the correct word to use, meaning "without regard": The young man left regardless of the warnings.
Irregardless is a double negative that should be avoided.
its
it's
Its is the possessive form of it, like hers, his, and theirs: The dog licked its foot after stepping in maple syrup.
It's is short for 'it is', a contraction of those two words: "Well, I guess it's [it is] time to wash the dog again."
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Now test your knowledge of these words here.