10 Easily Confused Sets of Words and Phrases Explained

easily confused words and phrasesA few weeks ago I wrote an article about the differences between the words plain and plane; it’s one of many articles I have on this site exploring confusing, or easily misunderstood, words and phrases. With so much content on this site, I thought it was time I created a quick, simple list of such articles so you can quickly learn the differences. I’ve placed example sentences beneath each heading so you can get an idea of what you’ll learn. 

10 Easily Confused Words and Phrases Explained

What’s the difference between “plane” and “plain”?

  • A higher plane of existence.
  • The plains of America.

What’s the difference between “few” and “a few”?

  • He has few friends.
  • She has a few good ideas.

What’s the difference between “in case” and “if”?

  • Break the glass in case of emergency.
  • Break the glass if you must.

What’s the difference between “in general” and “generally”?

  • I like cheese in general.
  • I generally like cheese.

What’s the difference between “on display” and “in a display”?

  • The crown was on display.
  • The necklace was in a display.

What’s the difference between “smile at” and “smile to”?

  • The man smiled at the picture.
  • The woman smiled to her friend.

What’s the difference between “ready”, “willing” and “able”?

  • We’re ready, willing and able to do this task!

What’s the difference between “solve” and “resolve”?

  • She solved the puzzle.
  • She resolved the argument.

What’s the difference between “answer” and “answer to”?

  • I answered the question.
  • He answered to his manager.

What’s the difference between “from”, “out of” and “among”?

  • From my friends, out of my friends and among my friends…

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