Commonly Confused Words Quiz

Scrabble tiles spelling out words including "dilemma"
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The English language has many confusables—words that are commonly mixed up because they look and sound alike. In the glossary, you'll also find links to definitions, examples, and practice exercises that should help you keep these words straight.

To test your familiarity with 20 of these often puzzling word pairs, set aside a few minutes to take this quiz. Select the word that completes the sentence accurately and appropriately. (If you're not sure of the correct answer, follow the links for explanations and examples.)

1. "Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will __________ us." (Stephen R. Covey)

2. "The single biggest problem in communication is the __________ that it has taken place." (George Bernard Shaw)

3. While visual learners prefer to learn information through charts and graphs, __________ learners prefer to hear information.

4. Bismarck is the __________ of North Dakota and the state’s second largest city.

5. The governor touched a responsive __________ with voters of both parties, especially with her promise to veto any budget plan that included an increase in taxes.

6. The prosecutor closed the case, admitting that he was unable to find witnesses to __________ the allegations made against Mr. Soprano.

7. The driver teased the poor child who had forgotten her bus __________.

8. I'm happy to say that the first __________ of our operation has met with considerable success.

9. The bright spot in the sky was an unusually large solar __________, a stupendous explosion that belched radiation and billions of tons of matter far into space.

10. "The Wright brothers __________ right through the smoke screen of impossibility." (Charles F. Kettering)

11. "Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework __________ eaten by the dog." (Doug Larson)

12. "A reformer is one who sets __________ cheerfully toward sure defeat." (Lydia M. Child)

13. "__________ laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors." (Norman Cousins)

14. Last year scientists re-engineered E Coli bacteria so that instead of swimming toward food they __________ in on substances released by dangerous pathogens.

15. "You are feeding off the violence and the despair of the drug trade. You are a parasite who __________ off the culture of drugs." (Maury Levy in The Wire)

16. "Yes, gentlemen, I have here just about the handiest, dandiest little bookful of gastronomical surprises that ever tempted the jaded __________ of a fastidious f-f-food fancier." (Daffy Duck)

17. "I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher __________ than any politician." (Charlie Chaplin)

18. The Canadian government added the Somali al-Shabaab group to its list of __________ terror groups.

19. "Never go to a doctor __________ office plants have died." (Erma Bombeck)

20. "The Viper, to me, is the quintessential American muscle car--brute power, great looks and about as much __________ as a grunge band crashing a cotillion." (Bill Griffith, The Boston Globe)

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

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Commonly Confused Words Quiz

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Commonly Confused Words Quiz

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Commonly Confused Words Quiz

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