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Confusing Words

False Friends - similar sounds, different meanings

Average: 3.2 (18 votes)

False Friends

Sometimes words in English and other languages sound the same and have the same meaning, very useful!

Unfortunately sometimes they sound the same or similar and have completely different meanings! These tricksters are called 'false friends'.

You may find the questions below very easy, or you may struggle depending on what your first language is. For each question, choose the sentence that matches the meaning of the word. Good luck!

Spelling Practice

Average: 3.1 (17 votes)

Lots of you wrote back to me after the last spelling lesson, requesting another one. Here it is!

This one is a bit more difficult (I frequently make mistakes with the second one).

Look at the orange word in each sentence and see if you can spell it correctly.

Good luck!

Caroline Devane

I Me My

Average: 3.6 (30 votes)

Sometimes, it's the small and most used words in English that students make the most mistakes with, so it can be good to remind yourself of when to use them.

This lesson focuses on 'I, my and me'. In each sentence you need one of these words to complete the gap.

Please tell us how you get on? Also let me know if there are any other 'small' words that you sometimes get confused with.

Good luck!

Caroline

Phrasal Verbs: Take Make Put

Average: 3.6 (14 votes)

Take a look at the 3 phrasal verbs in these sentences. Do you know what they mean? You can write your guesses in the comments box below:

"The music was so loud that I couldn't make out what he was saying."
"The hotel takes on extra staff during the summer season."
"We've been putting away a little money every month to buy a laptop."

Articles: A, An, The

Average: 3.5 (20 votes)

How much do you remember about when to use the articles, 'the, an, a'?

Read this letter from me and try and decide which article you need in each gap.

Some of the gaps don't need an article at all; can you work out which ones these are?

Lesson by Caroline

My Many Jobs!

I've had lots of different jobs and careers in my life and I'd like to tell you about some of them.

I got my first job when I was thirteen, as _1_ dog walker.

Quantifiers: A bottle of wine

Average: 3.6 (13 votes)

Quantifiers are used to express quantity i.e. the amount of something; how many/much.

With countable nouns like apples, for example, we can ask and answer:

How many apples do you want?
I want four apples.

Notice we use many with countable nouns.

Quantifiers with non-countable nouns

Now let's take a look at a non-countable noun: wine.

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Average: 2.6 (427 votes)

Countable

Countable nouns have plurals and can be used with a/an.

Potato is a countable noun. You can have a potato and potatoes.

Uncountable

Uncountable nouns have no plurals, and cannot normally be used with a/an.

Sugar is an uncountable noun. You cannot have a sugar or sugars.

When to use Some and Any

Average: 4.2 (19 votes)

The use of some and any is easily confused.

Some means a certain (not large) number of something and is used in positive sentences, and questions when we expect the answer to be yes, such as in requests and offers.

Any is used instead of some in negative sentences, and most questions.

For example:

Commonly confused words

Average: 3.6 (11 votes)

This is a lesson that focuses on pairs of words that can often be confused.

Sometimes we confuse them because they sound the same, or sometimes we confuse them because they have similar meanings.

In each sentence try and choose which word is correct.

Say the sentences out loud as you read them, this may help you to choose the correct word.

Good luck!

Lesson by Caroline

Adjectives -ed or -ing

Average: 2.1 (188 votes)

Quick review of adjectives ending -ing and -ed.

Compare these two sentences:

"English grammar is confusing."
"I was confused by what I read."

-ing for descriptions

We use -ing adjectives to describe things. "It is boring."