POST TIME: 13 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM


There are a lot of words in English that look or sound alike but have very different meanings. It’s easy to get them confused and most electronic spellcheckers won’t be much help in this type of situation: they can tell you if a word has been spelled wrongly but they can’t generally flag up the misuse of a correctly spelled word.

Here are pairs of words that regularly cause people problems:


Allude or Elude

Although when spoken these two words sound somewhat similar, their meanings are quite different.

Allude is to suggest or indirectly call attention to something, for example: She had a way of alluding to Jean but never saying her name.

Whereas elude means to escape from or avoid someone or something: The thief eluded the authorities for months.

Or the failure to achieve or attain something: After three years, the cup still eluded them.
 Alternate or Alternative

In both British and American English the adjective alternate means ‘every other or every second’, as in: They meet on alternate Sundays.

Or ‘(of two things) each following and succeeded by the other in a regular pattern’, as in: Alternate layers of potato and sauce.

Alternative means ‘available as another possibility or choice’, as in: Some European countries follow an alternative approach.

In American usage, however, alternate can also be used to mean ‘available as another choice’, for example: An alternate (alternative) plan called for construction to begin immediately. n

Source: en.oxforddictionaries.com