Why Are These 40 Words the Most Confusing?

confusing words I have seen list after list of words that are commonly misspelled. I thought I would compile a list of 40 of the most confusing words. The words people routinely confuse with there counterparts.

accept - to take or receive (something offered); receive with approval
except - with the exclusion of; excluding;

access - the ability; right, or permission to approach
excess - more than or above what is necessary, going beyond what is regarded as customary

adapt - to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly
adept - very skilled; proficient; expert

envelop - to wrap up in or as in covering; to surround entirely
envelope - a flat paper container, as for a letter or thin package, usually having a gummy flat

advice - an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action
advise - to give counsel to; offer an opinion or suggestion as worth following

expand - to increase in extent, size, volume, scope; to spread or stretch out
expend - to use up; to pay out; disburse; spend

affect - to act on; to impress the mind or move the feelings of
effect - something that is produced by an agency or cause; power to produce results; meaning or sense

farther - To, from, or at considerable distance
further - more distant in degree, time, or space

alley - a passage, a narrow back street; a long, narrow, wooden lane or floor along which a ball is rolled
ally - to unite formally, as by treaty, league, marriage, or the like; to associate or connect

foreword - a short introductory statement in published work, as a book
forward - toward or at a place, point, or time in advance; onward; ahead; toward the front

all ready/already
all ready - ready in every particular; wholly equipped or prepared
already - now; by this or that time; previously; prior to or at some specified or implied time

formally - in a formal manner; as regards form; in form
formerly - in time past; in an earlier period or age; previously

all together/altogether
all together - all at the same time;
altogether - wholly; entirely; completely; with all or everything included

later - subsequently; afterward; at or toward an end or late period or stage of development
latter - being the second mentioned of two; more advanced in time

lay - to put or place in a horizontal position or position of rest; to set, place, or apply
lie - a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an inaccurate or false statement

lend - to grant to use of; to give (money) on condition that it is returned
loan - the act of lending; a grant of the temporary use of something; to make a loan of; lend

any way/anyway
any way - in any fashion;
anyway - in any case; nonetheless; regardless

loose - free or released from fastening or attachment; not bound together; to unfasten; undo; or untie
lose - to come to be without; to give up; forfeit; to be defeated in

bazaar - a marketplace or shopping quarter; a store in which many kinds of goods are offered for sale
bizarre - marked unusual in appearance, style, or general character; strange; odd

massage - the act or art of treating the body by rubbing, kneading, patting, or the like
message - a communication containing some information, news, advice, request, or the like

beside - by or at the side of; compared with; apart from; not connected with
besides - moreover; furthermore; over and above; in addition to; other than; except

moral - capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct; conforming to the rules of right conduct
morale - emotional or mental condition with respect to cheerfulness, confidence, zeal

breath - the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration; life; vitality
breathe - to take air, oxygen; to pause, as for breath; to move gently or blow lightly, as air

perfect - conforming absolutely to description of definition of an idea type; accurate, exact
prefect - a person appointed to any of various positions of command, authority, or superintendence

command - to direct with authority; give orders to; to have control or authority over; rule
commend - to represent as worthy, qualified, or desirable; recommend; to express approval of

personal - of or relating to a particular person; done, made, or performed in person
personnel - the body of persons employed by or active in an organization, business, or service

confidant - a close friend or associate to whom secrets are confided
confident - marked by assurance, as of success; very bold; presumptuous

picture - a visual representation or image painted, drawn, photographed on a flat surface
pitcher - a container, usually with a handle and spout or lip, for holding and pouring liquids

conscience - a source of moral or ethical judgment or pronouncement; sense of what is right or wrong
conscious - aware of one's own existence, sensations, thought, surroundings; aware of oneself

precede - to come, exist, or occur before time; to come before in order or rank; surpass or outrank
proceed - to move or go forward or onward; to go on to do something; to be carried on

cooperation - the act or practice of cooperating; the association of persons or business for common
corporation - a group of people combined into or acting as one body

preposition - to position in advance or beforehand
proposition - a plan suggested for acceptance; a proposal; an offer of a private bargain

costume - a style of dress, including garments, accessories, and hairstyle; an outfit or disguise
custom - a practice followed by people of a particular group or region; habitual patronage, as of a store

quiet - freedom from noise, unwanted sound; peace; peaceful condition of affairs
quite - completely, wholly, or entirely; actually, really, or truly

decent - respectable; worthy; adequate; fair; passable; kind; obliging; generous; suitable; appropriate
descent - a downward inclination or slope; a passage or stairway leading down

recent - of, belonging to, or occurring at a time immediately before the present
resent - to feel indignantly aggrieved at; to send back; to send again

desert - to leave (a person, place etc.) without intending to return; to fail (someone) at a time of need
dessert - a usually sweet course or dish, as of fruit, ice cream, or pastry, served at the end of a meal

than - except; other than; when
then - at that time; immediately or soon afterward; next in order of time; in addition

device - a plan or scheme for effecting a purpose; a decorative design, figure, or pattern
devise - to contrive, plan, or elaborate; the act of disposing of property

thorough - exhaustively complete; painstakingly accurate or careful; absolute; utter
through - in one side and out the opposite; from the beginning to the end of; up to and including

For more complete definition please consult your favorite dictionary.

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