10 Confusing Words You Should be Mindful Of

The English language is complex and often poses difficulty in mastering with loads of confusing words, leaving you wondering why a letter will make the difference between two words.

In this post, I share 10 confusing words in the language, proffering their right usage:


  1. All right v Alright: Few dictionaries may have “alright” but when it comes to standard usage of the language, “all right” is the right word.



  1. It is not all right to use alright.


  1. Anyone v Any one: The first (anyone) one means any person for and on the other hand, any one is a reference to a member of any group.



  1. Did anyone read last week’s post here?
  2. Any one of my readers is free to share this post.


  1. Biennial v Biannual: A biennial event holds once in two years while it holds twice in a year when it is



  1. The AFCON is Africa’s biennial football competition.
  2. He paints his house biannually.


  1. Cannon v Canon: When it is a weapon, you call it However, you say it is a canon when it is a law.



  1. The Germans made cannons for the 11 World War.
  2. The books of the Holy Bible are called the


  1. Stationary v Stationery:  You can call your writing paper, a stationery but     whatever stays stand still, is referred to as stationary.


  1. I’m v  am: One of the most confused words, largely due to typing in short hand.

I’m is the short form of I am while am is an auxiliary or helping verb.



  1. I’m launching my first book, soon.
  2. I am not a dancer.


  1. Compliment v Complement: You compliment someone or something when you admire or praise it while to complement means to complete or aid a process or someone.


  1. John loves complimenting his girlfriend.
  2. Beans and bread complement each other.


  1. Dietitian v Dietician: When someone is trained in nutrition planning, you call him a dietitian.


  1. Cite v Site: You can cite a thing when you are making reference to something or acknowledging it. On the other hand, site refers to location, or if a verb, to place.


  1. John Maxwell cited Barack Obama in his book.
  2. This is the site for the project; the building will be sited near the road.


  1. It’s v Its: For identification or possession, its is the right word while you use it’s  as a shortened version of it is.


  1. It’s good to be good.
  2. The cow slumped on the road but its owner revived it.

As a rule of thumb, whenever you come across these confusing words, it’s best for you to look up your dictionary to be sure of the right word.

Which other words do you find confusing?

Emmanuel Egobiambu

Emmanuel Egobiambu is a creative writer, blogger and media personnel. I love sharing information about education here. I have been published in several media outlets like Goal.com, Guardian, Ynaija.com, Premium Times, among others. Presently, I'm working with Concise News, a fledgling digital media outlet in Nigeria's Lagos commercial capital.

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