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
Example: 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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