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Confusing English words


English can be confusing sometimes. Because there are similar words with different meanings, it is easy to make some mistakes.


Here is a list of common pairs of words that can be confused:




Already- By this time (ya)              "I have already done it"


All ready- Fully prepared (todo listo/preparado)  


 "Everything is all ready for the party"





All together means everything or everyone together


            “Come on, everybody!  All together, 1 . 2 . 3 ….”


Altogether means ‘completely’ or ‘everything considered’


           “I’m not altogether happy about letting him go to the  park on his own.”




Bad- Not good (adjetivo, describe las cosas o las personas)


           "This cheese tastes bad"      "I fell bad today"


Badly- Not well, in a bad manner (adverbio, describe los verbos o las




           "The printer works badly"       "I get on badly with him"




Beside -Close to/next to.  It is usually used for people and animals


           “The children slept beside me”      “I like to be beside the sea.”



Besides is a preposition and adverb meaning ‘in addition to’


             “Besides learning French and English, she learned Chinese too”


            “It’s too wet to eat out, and besides, we have plenty of food at home”


     Besides is also  used to mean ‘apart from’


             “The weather was horrible, there was nothing to do besides                        watching the TV.”





Bored can be a feeling, like hunger or thirst


             “Can we leave the party, I’m really bored.” 


               “We should play a game, I think the students are bored”


Boring is a quality:


             “That film was really boring”     “That man is so boring” 


     Bored and boring are also part of the verb to bore


             “Don’t bore me with all your holiday photographs!” 


             “He bored us by talking about politics all night” 


             “Sorry, am I boring you?”






Desert- Dry, sandy area (desierto)


                  "When I go to Morocco, I'll spend one night in the desert"


Dessert- Final sweet course in a meal (postre)


                    Would you like to see the dessert menu?




Dress up- When you put on special clothes for a wedding, performance or a fancy dress party


                   "I dressed up as a zombie for Halloween"


Get dressed- Is what we do every morning


                   "I'm going to miss the train, I have to get dressed in a hurry"




Quiet- Silent,calm


                  "During the performance people were very quite"


Quite- Very


                  "Trust me, I'm quite sure about that"




Sometimes is an adverb of frequency


          “I sometimes lose my keys.”       “He annoys me sometimes.”


Sometime is an unspecified time


          “Come and visit me sometime”


          “I need to go to the supermarket sometime today”


     Sometime implies one, unspecified time



Anytime implies one or more unspecified times, and emphasises that the hour or the day is not important:


        “Feel free to come and see me anytime”    









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