Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website TranslationClip Art
 

Word Frequency Lists Translation Services Word Databases
Alphadictionary.com

250 Often Confused Words • J


Below are the words beginning on J, K, and L 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.


|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z|
• J •
WORDS DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES
jibe
gibe
gybe
See gibe, gybe, jibe.
jibe
jive
Jibe means "to make sense, to fit, match": The figures you gave me don't jibe; you need to add them up again.
Jive is a slang word that refers to a glib, deceptive, nonsensical way of speaking or cool jazz: May, stop talking that jive and put on some jive so we can dance.
jury-rig
jerry-build
Jury-rig means "to improvise a temporary repair or substitute": Malcolm jury-rigged a tentpole out of a broom. Avoid saying jerry-rig.
Jerry-build is a slang word meaning "to build poorly": Malcolm jerry-built a shelf that fell before we filled it with books.
just deserts
just desserts
Just deserts are what you deserve (desert = "that which is deserved").
Just desserts are a fair reward for eating all your dinner as well as a common misspelling of just deserts.
|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z|
• K •
WORDS DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES
kind of
sort of
Avoid these expressions in the sense of "somewhat", "rather" or "a little" (especially avoid reducing them to kinda and sorta): The pace of the baseball game was rather [not kind of] slow.
knew
new
Knew is the past tense of know: She knew what she wanted to say but couldn't say it.
New means "never used": I ordered a new custom car from the factory today.
|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z|
• L •
WORDS DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES
latent
patent
Latent means "present but not visible or active": Just because I'm not in bed doesn't mean that I don't have a latent virus.
Patent means "visible, active, or obvious": The claim that I pinched Marilyn's tush is a patent lie!
later
latter
Later means "afterward": Come later than seven o'clock.
Latter means "the last of two things mentioned": If I have to choose between brains or beauty, I'll take the latter.
lay
lie
Lay is a transitive verb, which means it takes an object. It means "to set or put down flat": Gwendolyn laid child in the crib, or Lay a book on the table, please. Its forms are lay, lays, laid, has laid, and is laying.
Lie is an intransitive verb, so it does not take an object. It means "to rest supine or remain in a certain place": I have to lie down because I'm not feeling well, or I like to lie in the grass for hours. Its forms are lie, lies, lay, has lain, and is lying.
lead
led
Lead can be a verb meaning "to guide, be in charge of": Greg will lead a group this afternoon. It can also be a noun meaning "a type of metallic element": Use a lead pencil to fill in your answer sheet.
Led is the past tense of lead: Greg led the group this afternoon.
lend
loan
borrow
Lend is a verb that mean "to temporarily give something to someone": Lucy will lend or loan Chuck her books any day.
A loan is a noun meaning something borrowed: Most people get a bank loan to buy a house. Loan is also used in American English as a verb meaning "to lend".
Borrow is to receive something from someone temporarily: Can I borrow the book if I promise to return it tomorrow?
less
few
See few, less.
lessen
lesson
Lessen means "to decrease or make less": She lessened the headache pain with aspirin.
A lesson is something you learn: A teacher might say, "Today's lesson is about ancient Egypt."
liable
libel
Liable means "legally responsible for or subject to": Tom is liable to pay for the damage if he doesn't prove his innocence.
Libel is a noun that means "a slanderous statement that damages another person's reputation": Bertrand was sued for libel for what he printed about Phil Anders.
lightening
lightning
Lightening is a verb that means "to reduce the weight of": My course load needs lightening if I am to complete this course successfully.
Lightning refers to the electrical discharge in the sky: Fred captured the image of a bolt of lightning on film.
like
as
See as, like.
literally
figuratively
See figuratively, literally.
lithe
blithe
See blithe, lithe.
loathe
loath
Loathe is a verb meaning "to detest or dislike greatly": Janice loathes animal cruelty.
Loath is an adjective meaning "reluctant, unwilling": Lance was loath to ask for an extension on his term paper that semester.
loose
lose
Loose is not tight: A loose-fitting jacket was more suitable than a shawl.
Lose is to misplace and not be able to find: I often lose my bearings when entering a new city. Thank goodness I don't lose my keys though!
|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z|
Now test your knowledge of these words here.