Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words often confused

Ascent: climbing a way sloping up
Assent: agreement, to agree

  • The ascent of Mt. Everest was an arduous affair.
  • Finally the parliament has given assent to the bill.

Alternate: one of every two, follow one after the other
Alternative: choice between two or more things.

  • Gowri visits the library on alternate Sundays.
  • Because of the taxi drivers strike, we had to find an alternative transport.

Beside: at the side of, close to
Besides: in addition to

  • Sundar sits beside me in the class.
  • Besides playing cricket, he also excels in chess.

Complement (v): to add new or contrasting features to improve something
Compliment: express praise or approval

  • Murugan's communication skills complement his excellent academic record.
  • Ravi complimented Ashok on his excellent presentation.

Continuous: going on without stopping
Continual: occurring repeatedly

  • Education is a continuous process.
  • There was continual rain last week.

Childish: behaving like a child, not mature
Childlike: like or typical of a child

  • Many grown-ups still possess a childish attitude.
  • His childlike innocence endears him to all.

Disinterested: not influenced by personal feelings or interest
Uninterested: having no interest or feelings

  • Scientists approach problems with disinterested curiosity.
  • James is completely uninterested in sports.

Historic: important in history or likely to be considered important at some time in the future
Historical: based on history

  • Man’s landing on the moon was an historic occasion.
  • We must place these events in their historical perspective.

Insidious: sly, cunning
Invidious: a job or task that is unpleasant to do, because it is likely to make you unpleasant

  • Her writings are an insidious form of propaganda.
  • The role of the critic is an invidious one.

Personal: pertaining to a person
Personnel: body of employees, staff

  • We must not interfere in the personal matters of others.
  • My father works as a personnel officer.

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