Confusing Word Pairs

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training business writers since 1997

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Select the correct word or phrase for each of the following questions to test your knowledge of the most commonly confused words.




1. We could not _________ the explanation.

a) except
b) accept
c) Don't Know



2. We were not ________ to the idea.

a) adverse
b) averse
c) Don't Know



3. We found everything _________ the right document.

a) except
b) accept
c) Don't Know



4. The chemical had _______ effects on her system.

a) averse
b) adverse
c) Don't Know



5. The cost will _______ the final contract.

a) effect
b) affect
c) Don't Know



6. We know that the _____ of the merger will create problems.

a) effect
b) affect
c) Don't Know



7. The plaintiff found herself _______ several hostile women.

a) between
b) among
c) Don't Know



8. The agreement was made ________ two employees of the business.

a) between
b) among
c) Don't Know



9. The owners _______ the building in the fall.

a) apprised
b) appraised
c) Don't Know



10. John agreed to keep Linda ______ of all changes in the agreement.

a) appraised
b) apprised
c) Don't Know



11. The defendant did his best to _______ the plaintiff that the damage was minimal.

a) assure
b) ensure
c) Don't Know



12. The owners added a scaffold to ______ that workers were safe.

a) ensure
b) assure
c) Don't Know



13. The __________ meeting occurs every other month.

a) bimonthly
b) semimonthly
c) Don't Know



14. A ________report is produced twice a year.

a) biannual
b) semiannual
c) Don't Know



15. The committee read the document and _________ objectionable parts.

a) censured
b) censored
c) Don't Know



16. The result of his misconduct was a vote to ________ the alderman.

a) censor
b) censure
c) Don't Know



17. The firm agreed that increasing client satisfaction was our _______ goal.

a) common
b) mutual
c) Don't Know



18. It was in the parties' _________ interest to reach an agreement quickly.

a) common
b) mutual
c) Don't Know



19. Using the invention was the highest ________ someone could pay the inventor.

a) compliment
b) complement
c) Don't Know



20. The new subsidiary ________ the focus of the larger company.

a) complimented
b) complemented
c) Don't Know



21. The legal team is _________ of staff members from three firms.

a) comprised
b) composed
c) Don't Know



22. The legal team _______ the top defense lawyers in the country.

a) composes
b) comprises
c) Don't Know



23. The incidents occurred for three _______ months: June, July, and August.

a) consecutive
b) successive
c) Don't Know



24. The defendant's behavior continued over three ______ months: December, March, and July.

a) consecutive
b) successive
c) Don't Know



25. Mark's ______ absence resulted in his termination.

a) continuous
b) continual
c) Don't Know



26. Once started, the motor will run _______ until it runs out of gas.

a) continuously
b) continually
c) Don't Know



27. Both tried to be ______ about their romance, but were unable to keep it secret.

a) discreet
b) discrete
c) Don't Know



28. The incidents occurred in three _______ periods.

a) discreet
b) discrete
c) Don't Know



29. The residents smelled the ______ odor of marijuana.

a) distinct
b) distinctive
c) Don't Know



30. The defendant's recording was easy to assign to him because of his _________ voice.

a) distinct
b) distinctive
c) Don't Know



31. Dr. Rogers was an _________ scientist.

a) imminent
b) eminent
c) Don't Know



32. As the crowd grew unruly, it was apparent that violence was ___________.

a) eminent
b) imminent
c) Don't Know



33. The two defendants were ______ happy with the verdict of innocence.

a) exceedingly
b) excessively
c) Don't Know



34. The two talked __________ in the interview.

a) excessively
b) exceedingly
c) Don't Know



35. There were _______ hours logged than the company expected.

a) less
b) fewer
c) Don't Know



36. The amount of gasoline was ________ than we had budgeted for.

a) less
b) fewer
c) Don't Know



37. We decided to go ________ with the project.

a) forward
b) foreword
c) Don't Know



38. Most of the really valuable information was in the book's _________.

a) forward
b) foreword
c) Don't Know



39. The fires were ___________ to the firm's growth, but not long-term problems.

a) obstacles
b) impediments
c) Don't Know



40. The city's zoning ordinance became an _________ the builders could not overcome.

a) obstacle
b) impediment
c) Don't Know



41. The minister's statement ______ that he knew who had stolen the books.

a) inferred
b) implied
c) Don't Know



42. We _______ from his statements that he was not happy with the results.

a) implied
b) inferred
c) Don't Know



43. We learned that to find something quickly, we needed to look in the books' __________.

a) indices
b) indexes
c) Don't Know



44. The report listed the cost-of-living ________ that affected the economy during those years.

a) indices
b) indexes
c) Don't Know



45. We knew that the keynote speaker ________ the speaker we wanted to hear.

a) preceded
b) proceeded
c) Don't Know



46. After the city approved the plans, the company ______ with digging the foundation.

a) preceded
b) proceeded
c) Don't Know



47. The ____________ reason we did not pursue it was the cost.

a) principle
b) principal
c) Don't Know



48. We did not want to continue the case, mostly because of _______.

a) principle
b) principal
c) Don't Know



49. The dining room was not easily ___________.

a) assessable
b) accessible
c) Don't Know



50. The impact on our firm will not be _________ for at least three months.

a) accessible
b) assessable
c) Don't Know




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