Commonly Confused Words

Do words like effect and affect sound similar to you? Many vocabulary words look and sound similar but have different meanings. They might create confusion while writing or framing sentences for meaningful conversations. Kids need to get familiar with these commonly confused words to develop their vocabulary and language skills. These words for kids help them easily understand the information you convey. Kids must learn the difference between the commonly confused words for effective learning experiences. 


To enhance your child’s English language skills, you must teach kids to identify commonly confused words and use them appropriately while communicating with others. Teaching vocabulary words for kids help children to avoid miscommunication or misunderstanding of information. Besides this, kids need to learn and understand the definitions of each commonly confused word for better learning outcomes. The list of commonly confused words helps kids to upgrade their vocabulary knowledge. 

List of Commonly Confused Words 

Here is a commonly confused words list for kids to enhance their vocabulary skills. 

  • Access/Excess: Access means the ability to enter or acquire, whereas excess is something extra or more. 
  • Whether/Weather: Whether is a conjunction meaning if, whereas weather is the state of atmospheric conditions. 
  • Desert/Dessert: Desert means a dry region, whereas dessert means a sweet dish.
  • Advice/Advise: Advice is an opinion or recommendation offered, whereas advise is to recommend. 
  • Plain/Plane: Plain means simple, whereas plane is a flat surface. 
  • Weak/Week: Weak means something that has less strength, whereas a week is seven consecutive days. 
  • Principle/Principal: A principle is a rule, whereas the principal is the head of the school/college, or most important. 
  • Prey/Pray: Prey is an object or thing of an attack, whereas pray means to appeal to god. 
  • Breath/Breathe: Breath means the cycle of breathing, whereas breathe is the act of inhaling and exhaling air.
  • Their/There: Their used for someone, whereas there means at that place. 
  • Capital/Capitol: Capital is money, whereas capitol is a building. 
  • Inquiry/Enquiry: Inquiry is asking questions in American English, whereas enquiry is in British English.
  • Lying/Laying: Lying is giving the wrong narrative, whereas laying is keeping something on a flat surface or at rest. 
  • Currant/Current: Currant is a raisin-like fruit, whereas the current is a flow of electricity. 
  • Complement/Compliment: Complement means to complete by contributing something extra, whereas compliment means the act of praise or admiration for something or someone. 
  • Quiet/Quite: Quiet means silence, whereas quite means to a certain extent. 
  • Precede/Proceed: Precede means to come before something and is related to time, whereas proceed means starting or beginning with things and related to action. 
  • Site/Sight: Site means an area or a place, whereas sight means vision. 
  • Then/Than: Then means referring to the next point in time, whereas than means to compare two things. 
  • Stationary/Stationery: Stationary means something that is not moving, whereas stationery means things used for writing purposes, such as pencils, erasers, sharpeners, etc. 
  • Waist/Waste: Waist means part of a body, whereas waste means unwanted.
  • Wander/Wonder: Wander means walking without aim, whereas wonder means thinking about something or feeling of great surprise. 
  • Lose/Loose: Lose means to misplace something, whereas loose means something that is not tight. 

Best Activities to Learn Commonly Confused Words for Kids

The engaging activities for teaching kids commonly confused words are mentioned below:

  • Play pictionary: This is a fun activity for kids to learn vocabulary words. All you have to do is assign a word to kids and ask them to draw an image representing the word. The team members must guess the word represented on the board. If they guess the word successfully, you can reward them with points and exciting gifts. Drawing pictionary words for kids helps them learn new words and their meanings effectively. In this way, they learn about commonly confused words. 
  • Solve word puzzles: In this activity, kids need to solve the puzzles on the given printable. To decode the correct word on the grids, they need to read the clues given at the bottom of the word search printable. Kids can search the words diagonally, horizontally and vertically on the word search printable. These word search puzzles for kids are a great way to enhance their critical thinking abilities to identify the commonly confused words. 
  • Fill in the blanks: In this activity, kids need to fill in the blanks with appropriate commonly confused words on the worksheet. They must read and understand the meaning of sentences to identify the correct words that make meaningful communication. 

Benefits of Learning Commonly Confused Words for Kids 

The benefits of commonly confused words for kids are mentioned below:

  • It develops vocabulary and language skills in children. 
  • It helps children to understand the difference between commonly confused words. 
  • It helps children recognize and understand the meaning of commonly confused words. 
  • It develops reading and writing skills in children. 
  • It increases the learning experience of children for better academic performance.
  • It helps children to phrase meaningful sentences using appropriate commonly confused words. 
  • It improves children’s academic performance with great scores. 
  • It boosts the confidence of children to communicate with others without hesitation. 

We hope this article on commonly confused words was useful to you. To learn more about activities, worksheets and games, explore worksheets for kids, math for kidspuzzles for kids, kids learning sections at Osmo.

Frequently Asked Questions on Commonly Confused Words

What are some of the commonly confused words?

Some of the commonly confused words are access/excess, addition/edition, desert/dessert, plain/plane, effect/affect, principle/principal, prey/pray, etc.

What are the benefits of learning commonly confused words?

The benefits of learning commonly confused words are that it helps children develop vocabulary and language skills. They learn to identify and differentiate between commonly confused words.