No More Confusion – CAT Verbal Essentials

Below is a list of words that speakers and writers of English often get confused with. They are called false cognates because they sound or are written so similarly that they are often confused with. Go through the list to avoid any mistake from now on.


1) Alternately: – means “taking turns”

Usage: – We paddled alternately so neither of us would get too tired.

Alternatively: – means “as an option”

Usage: – Instead of going by train, we could have gone alternatively by car.


2) Advice: – a noun meaning “an opinion given with the intention of helping”


Usage: – My mother still gives me advice even though I’m 40 years old.


Advise: – a verb meaning “to give counsel or advice”

Usage: – The meteorologist advised listeners to stay indoors because of the extremely cold temperatures.


3) Ascent: -an upward movement

Usage: -Leo’s ascent to the presidency of the company came slowly.

Assent: – means “to agree to”

Usage: -Greta could not begin the project unless management assented.


4) Ascribe: -means “to attribute to”

Usage: – She ascribed her feelings of jealousy to insecurity.

Describe: – means “to show what something is by drawing a picture with words”

Usage: –Describe in detail what the man looked like.


5) Beside: – means “next to”

Usage: -Place the dishes beside the sink.

Besides: – is an adverb or preposition that means “also, additionally”

Usage: -I would enjoy going on a vacation besides.


6) Conscience: -the feeling or knowledge of right and wrong:

Usage: -My conscience wouldn’t allow me to compete with someone so much weaker than me.

Conscious: -to being awake and aware

Usage: – Molly Coddle was still conscious after banging her head on the headboard.


7) Deduction: -drawing a general principle from particular facts or instances

Usage: -I’ve seen hundreds of robins and they all have red breasts. (General principle-all robins have red breasts.)

Induction: – is the explanation of particular facts or instances from a general principle

Usage: -That bird must be a robin because it has a red breast. (General principle-all robins have red breasts.)


8) Explicit: -means “clear and direct”

Usage: -Please give me explicit directions.

Implicit: -means “indirectly, with some parts understood”

Usage: -They implicitly agreed to never talk on the subject again.


9) Gibe: -“to taunt, jeer, make fun of”

Usage: -His classmates gibed Billy Earl for wearing funny clothes.

Gybe: – “to swing a fore-and-aft sail from one side of a sailboat to the other to change course”

Usage: -When the wind shifted, Felix gybed when he should have tacked.

Jibe: -being in agreement

Usage: -Our views on everything from baseball to Socrates seem to jibe.


10) Hoard: -“to collect and keep for oneself”

Usage: -Squirrels hoard acorns during the winter.

Horde: -a large group

Usage: –Hordes of people go Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

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