Eurospeak Language School

6 Confusing English words you need to know

One of the most significant obstacles for English learners is understanding the many words that sound the same when spoken but have entirely different meanings.

Here you can find a list of some of the most common words that are confused, plus explanations and examples to help you understand how to use them. 

  1. Historic: significant moment in history.

“Today is a historic day for our country.”

 Historical: related to history.

“Archaologists have found some historical bones.”

2. Classic: typical or characteristic of its kind.

“Hamlet is a classic example of a tragedy.”

 Classical: belonging to the classical period, relating to Greek and Roman antiquity.

 “I listen to classical music when I have a bath.”

3. Economic: related to the economy

“This year there has been very little economic growth.”

Economical: economic, which consumes little.

“It would be more economical to buy a new boiler than to get it repaired.”

4. Compliment:

 – “You look younger each year darling.”

– “Thanks for the compliment!”

Complement: complement / complement.

“That handbag complements your outfit perfectly.”

In the case of the noun, it is usually used with food, for example:

 “This wine is the perfect complement for this fish dish.”.

 If you want to talk about a clothing complement, you would use ‘accessory’ 👒.

5. Plate: ceramic plate.

“Do not put so much food on my plate, please. I’m on a diet. “

Dish: refers to both ceramic plate and food.

“This wine is the perfect complement for this dish.”

6. Lie: lie down. It also means lying.

“Lie down on the bed if you feel dizzy.”

Lay: put, place.

“Lay your head on my shoulder if you’re tired.”