Words Differentiation (#2) 1

There are many  words in English which have close meanings to each other and its always hard (specially for non-native English learners) to recognize and choose when to use them. Here are some definitions & differences about some mysterious words that are so similar ! (Chapter 2 )

‘lie’ or ‘lay’

  • lie : to rest; to recline

If I lie down in the afternoon, I soon fall asleep.

Example: There were many other people who were lying in the park.

Example: When I came in she was lying on the sofa fast asleep.

  • lay : to place; to put in a certain position

Example: If you lay the table, I shall make the tea.

Example: She laid her book on the bedside table and went to sleep.

‘lose’ or ‘loose’

lose: to fail to keep or find; to be deprived of

Example: If you lose your book you must get a new one.

Example: If we lose another match we will not qualify for the finals.

loose: free; untied; not fastened; not controlled

Example: They dared not go in because the dog was loose.

Example: When the birds were let loose they flew immediately to the nearest tree.

Example: She has a very loose tongue. She told everyone my secret.

‘mature’ or ‘matured’

mature fully grown and developed; ripe

Example: At sixteen he is not mature enough to live alone.

Example: University students are usually mature enough to manage their own lives.

Example: The picked the mature fruit from the tree and took it home.

matured: of wine, vinegar, etc; undergone the maturing process.

Example:The wine was matured in casks for six years.

Example: Before it is ready to drink the wine is matured in large barrels for several years.

‘misused’ or ‘disused’

misused: treated badly or in an incorrect manner

Example: The calculator broke because it had been misused
Example: The photocopying machine had been misused for so long that it finally broke down.

disused: no longer used

Example: After a search of two hours, they came across the disused tin-mine.

Example: The lost child was finally found in a disused warehouse near the river.

Example: Many learner drivers had their first lessons at a disused airport five minutes out of town.

‘moral’ or ‘morale’

moral: concerning what is right and wrong, ethical, virtuous

Example: The moral lessons taught at school, guide our pupils in their life.

Example: From a moral point of view it is difficult to defend his actions.

Example: Our moral education begins from the day we are born.

morale:  state of mind, spirit, attitude

Example:The victory over Manchester United boosted the morale of Chelsea team.

Example: The morale of the invading army was very high after a number of successful battles.

‘persecuted’ or ‘prosecuted’

persecuted: treated cruelly especially because of religious, political beliefs

Example:The Jews were persecuted by Hitler.

Example:Throughout history, religious minorities have been persecuted and bullied.

prosecuted: have legal proceedings against one, be taken to court

Example: He was prosecuted for speeding.

Example: What a week ! After the shock of the accident and the cost of repairs he was then prosecuted for dangerous driving.

Example:Though the police were aware of the gang leader’s activities, it was a long time before he was prosecuted fro drug smuggling.

‘personal’ or ‘personnel’

personal: private, individual

Example: Apart from problems at work she has many personal difficulties too.

Example: He does not like people asking about his personal affairs.

personnel:  staff, persons in a company or the armed forces

Example: If you want the job, apply direct to the personnel officer.

Example: All company personnel are asked to assemble in the conference room at five in the evening.

‘precede’ or ‘proceed’

precede: to come or go before in time or order

Example: There is often a period of calm which precedes a storm.

Example: On Monday mornings English always precedes Psychology.

proceed: to go forward, to go on

Example: When they reached the jungle, they had to proceed on foot.

Example: They are not willing to proceed with the purchase of the house until they have seen the documents.

Example: I will proceed with my work only if you are willing to help me.

‘price’ or ‘prize’

price: cost, amount needed to buy something; loss or suffering to attain something

Example: The price of quality goods is high.

Example: What is the price of the pair of shoes in the window ?

Example: There is a price to pay when one is a famous film star.

prize: an award given for winning a competition, lottery, etc.

Example: She won the third prize in the essay competition.

Example: He spent all the prize money he won in the lottery on a new car.

‘principal’ or ‘principle’

principal: chief, main; a head of college or organization; a sum of money

Example:My principal aim is to become a lawyer.

Example:After teaching for twenty years he became the principal of a private college.

Example:If you leave a principal of $50,000 on fixed deposit you will earn a good interest every month.

principle: a basic truth, a law of nature; a rule of behavior

Example: He based his life on a few simple principles.

Example: The underlying principle of his management style is compassion.

Example: This machine works on the same principle as the motor car engine.

‘stationary’ or ‘stationery’

stationary:  not moving

Example: He hit a motor-cyclist then collided with a stationary bus.

Example: When learning to shoot we begin with a stationary target before we try to hit a moving target.

stationery: writing materials

Example: I buy all my stationery from the bookstore next door.

Example: The manager was angry because his staff took office stationery for their personal use.

Example: If you need pens and pencils, you will find them in the stationery department.




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