Confusing Words 2

In the English language, there are many words that look similar and can be confusing, especially to ESL learners.

 Ingenious / Ingenuous

 Ingenious is clever; ingenuous is natural, free from deceit.

e.g. I must say that was an ingenious way to steal the money.

e.g. His response was sincere and ingenuous.

Bulk / Hulk

 Bulk: in large quantities; the greater part of.

e.g. His business was selling brown rice in bulk.

e.g. The billionaire gave the bulk of his estate to charity.

Hulk: a big, clumsy person.

e.g. If you do nothing to your obesity, you will soon become a hulk.

 Genteel / Gentle

Genteel: well-bred, polite; imitating the lifestyle of the rich.

e.g. Your friend is genteel. Is he very rich?

e.g. All along he has been living in genteel poverty. He is not practical.

Gentle: being nice and showing care

e.g. Be gentle with the baby.

Bulk / Hulk

Bulk: in large quantities; the greater part of..

e.g. His business was selling wheat in bulk.

e.g. The billionaire gave the bulk of his estate to charity.

Hulk: a big, clumsy person.

e.g. If you do nothing to your obesity, you will soon become a hulk.

Hail / Hale

Hail means to greet or salute; hale means healthy and strong.

e.g. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”

e.g. A man is hale when his complexion is rosy.

e.g. This dress is too loose for you (not tight enough).

Some time / Sometime / Sometimes

Some time means a period of time.

Sometime, as an adverb, means approximately; as an adjective, means former or occasional.

Sometimes, as an adverb, means now and then.

e.g. We have been for the train for some time.

e.g. Why don’t you visit me sometime?

e.g. She was my sometime girlfriend.

e.g. Sometimes I like her, and sometimes I don’t — that’s our relationship.

Lose Loose

Lose means being unable to find; loose means to set free or to become less tight.

e.g. Here is your ticket to the game; don’t lose it.

e.g. Don’t lose your temper (become angry).

e.g. You are too loose with your children (you have little or no control over them).

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

 

 

 

Author: Stephen Lau

Born in Hong Kong, Stephen Lau received his education from the University of Hong Kong, SEAMEO in Singapore, and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He has published books on learning English as well as on health and wisdom in living. He now resides in the United States.

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