One of the most common types of questions I get every week is about the difference between two words that sound similar and/or have similar meanings. I’m asked about words such as rely vs. depend, affect vs. effect, capable vs. able, will vs. be going to, recent vs. current, among others. This week I had to consult a dictionary to clear up my own confusion about uninterested vs. disinterested.
If your students have similar doubts about easily confused words, namely lie/lay and rise/raise, check out these quick handouts that can help set things straight. I’ve found that fill-in-the-blanks and multiple choice quizzes help, but the more challenging tasks of error correction and short answers are more telling.
Lie vs. Lay: Easily confused words_lie vs lay
Rise vs. Raise: Easily confused words_rise vs raise
Words that Confuse Students (and Teachers!)
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