Intrepid English

Lida’s Commonly Confused English Words – Part 4

Then or than? Altogether or all together? Desert or dessert? Emigrate or immigrate? Job or work?

English, just like any other language, has plenty of words that can confuse native and non-native speakers. There are words that are similar or the same in pronunciation. Others can be similar in spelling but mean different things. And finally, there are words that seem like they are interchangeable, but actually, have distinctly different meanings.

This is the fourth instalment of the Commonly Confused English Words series which looks at the differences between pairs of often-confused words in English.

 

  1. Then/ Than

Then is an adverb, it is used to indicate a sequence or a consequence. It can also be used to indicate a specific time in the past or in the future. Than is a conjunction used for comparisons.

 

  1. Emigrate/ Immigrate/ Migrate

All of these words are used when we talk about the movement of people, with some distinctions. Movement of people between countries or between the countryside and cities is called migration. Anyone who moves to a different place to live and work there is a migrant. The word immigrate means come or move into a new country. Emigrate on the other hand means the opposite, to leave or move away. When someone leaves their country, they could be called an emigrant, but this word is not used very often. Immigrant is much more common.

 

  1. Desert/ Dessert

A desert is a place, usually very hot where there is very little or no water. A dessert is something sweet that you eat at the end of a meal.

 

  1. Altogether/ All together

Altogether is an adverb meaning completely, in total or entirely.

All together are two separate words, used to describe items in a group. This phrase is similar in meaning to together.

 

Job/ Work

The words job and work are easily confused. At first, they seem interchangeable, but there are a few distinctions to help you.

Job is a noun. Usually, it refers to an occupation. It can also be used for a specific task or a routine. It’s usually paid.

Work, on the other hand, can be both an uncountable noun and a verb. When used as a noun, it refers to the effort or energy used to achieve a goal or a task. It’s the opposite of play. You go to work to earn money, but you also have other types of work outside of your job.

 

Exercise: Now it’s your turn. Fill in the gaps in the sentences below with words from this blog post.

1 – Are you done with all your __________ for today?

2 – (Speaking to a group of people waiting for a table at a restaurant) Are you __________?

3 – We went for a nice dinner and __________ walked along the river.

4 – She _________ from Russia. But she wants to go back, she hates being an  __________.

5 – I’m trying to lose weight, I think I won’t have any __________ tonight.

 

There are many more confusing words in English. Do you have one that you struggle with? What do you struggle with more, when the spellings or meanings are similar?

Post your answers in the comments section below or email us at Intrepid English. If you enjoyed this, you can check out our other posts about commonly confused English words.

To find out more about Lida, you can visit her Intrepid English Teacher Profile. Alternatively, feel free to send her an email at lida.rocman@intrepidenglish.co.uk

 

Book a free trial lesson with Lida

Book a free trial lesson today and talk about your learning goals with an experienced and qualified English teacher. Say goodbye to boring English lessons; discuss incredible TED Talks, study market-leading textbooks, learn all about Britain, prepare for globally recognised exams, explore your favourite English books or improve your conversational English by talking about any topic that you find interesting. If you’re not sure what you want to learn, let your teacher choose from the huge range of English courses that have been designed to help our students to achieve their goals. Get up to 10% discount on lesson bundles, and even win a free English lesson when you refer your friends to Intrepid English.

 

This blog was written by Intrepid English Teacher, Lida

If you have any questions, or you would like to request a topic for a future blog, you can contact us here or email us at Intrepid English.

Book a free trial lesson today and talk about your learning goals with an experienced native English teacher. Say goodbye to boring English lessons! If you’re not sure what you want to learn, let your teacher choose from the range of English courses that have been designed to help our students to achieve their goals.

The Intrepid English Academy

Your personal path to success in English

Subscribe

Enter your name and email address below to receive news, English tips and offers.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!