250 Often Confused Words • T

Below are the words beginning on T 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.

• T •
Taut is a literary word that means "tight": Hold the string taut while I mark the line.
Taught is the past tense of teach: Kenneth taught etiquette and good manners for several years.
A tenant is someone who rents property: A new tenant moved into the vacant apartment last week.
A tenet is a principle: The major tenets of all religions are similar.
Than is used to compare: Philippa Byrd thinks she is smarter than any of us.
Then is a word to describe a time that is not now: I prefer Friday; it would be better to meet then because then I will be ready.
Their is possessive of they: The twins left their books at home.
There refers to a place that is not here: We will be there in two hours.
They're is a contraction for they are: They're going to a concert tonight.
Only themselves is correct as a reflexive or emphatic pronoun: They gave themselves all the credit for the rescue.
Although these two words are pronounced the same, threw is the past tense of the verb throw, meaning "tossed, hurled in the air": Morty threw the keys to the car to McKinley.
Through is a preposition meaning "entering the inside of something and coming out the other side": Chuck accidentaly threw a rock through Miss Conception's living room window.
Throes are severe pains or difficult times: Wade Rivers found it difficult to listen to his iPod in the throes of battle.
Throws is the plural or present tense of throw: Several throws later, Bud Light managed to put a wad of paper in the trash can from his desk.
Til is a contraction of the preposition until: I won't see you til tomorrow. Only one L.
Till is a verb meaning "to cultivate": My Uncle Emmet tills about half the land on his farm and herds cattle on the rest.
Titivate is a verb meaning "to spruce up, tidy up": June McBride had no time to titivate herself before stepping out with Phil Anders.
Titillate is a verb meaning "to subtlely excite": The garden club women were titillated by the ex-con's talk, though they all clutched their pearls.
To is a preposition meaning "toward": We go to the lake every summer. It also serves as the infinitive particle for verbs: I want to stop confusing words.
Too means "also": I'd love to go with you, too.
Two is the number between one and three: We have two options: hire a divorce lawyer or a mortician.
Torpid means "unresponsive, lacking alertness": Prunella tried to elicit answers from the torpid students in front of her.
Turgid means "very ornate and decorative": The author's turgid writing style lost my interest quickly. It can also mean "swollen and bulging": Turgid veins covered her legs.
Tortuous means "winding, crooked, with many twists and turns": Wiley Driver was very adept at driving the tortuous mountain roads of western North Carolina.
Torturous means "very painful, like torture": Mick Stupp found doing math homework torturous.
A tocsin is an alarm, or a bell or siren used as an alarm: Our town has a hurricane tocsin that is tested every day at noon.
A toxin is a poison, requiring an antitoxin for survival: The toxin of mushroom made Rita Book cross-eyed and left-handed.
Now test your knowledge of these words here.