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English expressions, which are confusing, we laugh Americans

Has it ever happened that you are talking to a foreigner and you don’t seem to have confused anything, but his eyes are rounded and he clearly does not understand you?

Фото: Depositphotos

It is easy to get into an awkward situation when you speak not in your native language and do not know all the subtleties of the use of certain words. Especially often this happens with homophonic words, which sound the same or almost the same, but mean different things or concepts (and sometimes they are completely opposite). I learned all the subtleties of the use of English words that are easily confused.

To be alone - To be lonely

To be alone means to be alone. This phrase does not carry any negativity, it is about the fact that a person is comfortable alone.

To be lonely (remember the song “Lonely, I'm Mr. Lo-o-onely”) means exactly “to feel lonely and suffer because of it”.

Effective - Efficient

It is especially easy to get confused here, since in the Russian language there are no such nuances of using the word “effective”. In English, effective means effective precisely to achieve the desired result. (For example, This is a very effective diet, I've lost weight really fast. - This is a very effective diet, I lost weight quickly.) We use the word effective when we want to emphasize the achievement of results.

Efficient - used in the meaning of "optimal, productive, not spending a lot of time, energy, effort." (She is a very efficient office worker. She does everything very quickly. - She is a very efficient employee, she does everything very quickly.) We use efficient when we want to emphasize reasonable resource consumption.

Defuse - Diffuse a situation

Defuse (de-fuse) - literally "remove the detonator from the explosive device." It is this word that is used in the combination defuse a situation - “to cool the situation, relieve tension”. Not to be confused with the word diffuse, which, as you might guess, means diffusion and diffusion.

On time - In time

In time - "in time" - is used when it comes to the right, that very moment. (The doctor arrived just in time to aid her. - The doctor arrived just in time to help her.)

On time is used when it comes to pre-scheduled events, the schedule. This expression applies if you want to emphasize accuracy and punctuality. (The plane took off on time... - The plane took off on time.)

To wake up - To get up

A couple of expressions that beginners often get confused about. In fact, everything is simple: to wake up - "wake up", to get up - "get out of bed." If you turn off the alarm and continue to sleep, then wake up may never go to get up.

Storey - Story

Storey means “tier” or “floor”, and “story” and “story” are story.

We added a storey to our house. - We added a floor to our house.
I'll finish telling the story tomorrow. - I will finish telling this story tomorrow.

Emigrate - Immigrate

It is necessary to distinguish, as in Russian, emigration (leaving the country) from immigration (entering the country). For his “old” country, a person who has left will be an emigrant, and for a new one - an immigrant. To simplify the task, remember right away with prepositions: immigrate TO (entry), emigrate FROM (exit).

Her grandfather emigrated from India 70 years ago. - Her grandfather emigrated from India 70 years ago.
My friend immigrated to the USA after she got married. - My friend immigrated to the USA after she got married.

The word migrate means constant, repetitive movement. For example: Robins migrated south every winter. - Thrushes fly south every winter.

Lay - Lie

Lay - "to put", and lie - "lie" ("be located") or "lie".
Lay has the form of a simple past tense - laid.
Lie is also lied.

But in the meaning of “to lie / be located”, lie is an irregular verb. It is because of this that the confusion arises (to lie - lay - lain). Compare:

He lied to me about his sister. “He lied to me about his sister.
The island groin in the south. The island lay in the south but now it seems to be gone. - The island is located in the south. The island was located in the south, but has now disappeared.
Do not lay the book there. - Don't put the book there.

Than - Then

Two words with a minimal difference in pronunciation, which many begin to confuse back in school. Then c “e” - “then”. Typically used to link two sentences or parts. (Take off all your clothes first. Then get in the shower. - Take off your clothes first. Then take a shower.)

Than is used within a comparative phrase to mean "what". (My right hand is bigger than my left hand. - My right hand is larger than my left.)

Aloud - Allowed

Another pair of homophones that are not audible. Aloud is “loud, loud, out loud”, and allowed is “allowed, allowed”.

Aisle - Isle

Isle is a rarely used (mainly in geographical names) variant of the word island - “island”. At the beginning, the sound [ai] is pronounced.

Aisle is pronounced the same way, but it denotes a passage between the rows in a church, a theater, or a mall in a supermarket.

Higher - Hire

Hire - "to hire". Higher - as you might guess, the comparative degree from high is “higher, higher”.

Bad - Badly

Bad (adjective) is used most often in the sense of “rancid, spoiled, bad smelling”, etc. (His feet smell bad... - His feet smell bad.)
It can also mean that a thing of poor quality, broken, uncomfortable. (She had a headache from sleeping in a bad bed. - She had a headache from sleeping in an uncomfortable bed.)

Badly (adverb) is used to describe the way in which something is done.
He plays piano very badly. - He plays the piano very badly.
The people involved in the accident were badly hurt. - The people who had the accident were badly injured.

Badly can also mean “extremely, very” without a negative connotation: to want something badly - want something very much.

Elicit - Illicit

Elicit - "call, pull, achieve". For example: The teacher elicited answers from the students. - The teacher sought answers from the students.

Illicit is the adjective “illegal, forbidden”. (The teacher found illicit things in a student's desk. - The teacher found forbidden things at the student's desk.)

Imitated - Intimated

Imitated - past tense from to imitate - "to imitate, imitate, to depict". Intimated - from to intimate - “hint, imply”. Compare:

The toddler imitated the dog by crawling on hands and knees and barking. - The kid imitated the dog, standing on all fours and barking.

The pirate intimated that he knew where the treasure was buried. - The pirate hinted that he knows where the treasure is buried.

Comprise - Compose

Comprise means to include, to be composed of something. For example: the United States consists of 50 states. - The USA included 50 states (or The USA is composeded of 50 states).

Compose - “to compose, to form something by yourself”.
50 states form the USA. - 50 states compose the USA.

In a Sense - In Essence

In a sense - “in a way, on the one hand”. It can also be used in some sense. (In a sense, computers have been a boon to society. `` On the one hand, computers are good for society.)

In essence or essentially - "originally, by nature, essentially". (The cat is, in essence, quiet. - By their nature, cats are quiet animals.)

To lend - To borrow

Such a common mistake that it has almost become the norm in oral speech. However, if you want to be flawlessly literate, you should use this pair of words correctly: “lend” - lend, “borrow” - borrow. Accordingly, if you want to borrow a book from someone, it is correct to ask: Will you lend me the book?

Фото: Depositphotos

Precede - Proceed

Again, changing just one letter gives the word the opposite meaning. Precede is “to precede, to precede something” (in time, place, order or significance). Proceed is “continue, resume” (especially after a pause and break).

The election of a new president precedes his inauguration. - Presidential elections precede the inauguration.

After your first task has been completed and approved, you may proceed to the second one. - After the first task is completed and accepted, you can proceed to the second.

Principal - Principle

Principal - “director” (usually a school). Principle - “principle, law”.

His parents had a meeting with the principal... - His parents had a meeting with the director.

His parents thought that they had instilled stronger moral principles in their son. “His parents thought they had instilled in their son strict moral principles.

More / most importantly - More / most important

More / most importantly mistakenly used as an adverb with -ly to emphasize a particular degree of importance. However, it is quite enough to say more / most important.

Most important, you need to be polite to one another. - The most important thing is to be polite to each other.

Loose - Lose

Loose is pronounced with the sound [s] and means “free, not restricting movement”. It is also a verb that means “untie, let loose, free”. Lose is pronounced with the sound [z] and means “to lose” or “lose”.

You can lose your phone. - You could lose your phone.
I don't want my football team to lose the game. - I don't want my football team to lose.
This loose sweater feels very comfortable. - This oversized sweater is very comfortable.

Resign - Re-sign

Resign without a hyphen (pronounced “s” as [z], stress on the second syllable) means “quit your job”. (My boss didn't want to increase my salary so I decided to resign... - My boss didn't want to raise my salary, so I decided to quit.)

Re-sign (pronounced [s]) means, on the contrary, “renew the contract, sign again”. (I love my current job, so I happily re-signed for another year. - I love my current job, so I happily renewed my contract for the next year.)

Important: resign can be used in the second meaning without a hyphen, which means that words can be distinguished only by context.

Disinterested - Uninterested

Even native speakers often use both words to mean boring, uninteresting. But, to be precise, only the word uninterested has this meaning. Disinterested means something completely different: “impartial, objective” (for example, a judge in court).

The children wanted to play in the garden uninterested in doing any studying. - The children wanted to play in the garden and were not interested in learning.

Sometimes a stranger can make a disinterested and fair decision more easily than a family member. - Sometimes an outsider can form a more objective opinion about you than a family member.

Bear - Bare

Bear as a noun is "bear." But it can be a verb and means "to support a heavy object" or "to endure life's difficulties."

Don't stand on that old chair bear your weight. “Don’t stand on this chair, it cannot bear your weight.

I cant bear to see my child in pain. - I cannot see how my child suffers.

Bare means naked, uncovered.

Must see optional arms. - Visitors are not allowed to enter the temple with bare hands.

Further - Farther

Further is used figuratively when we propose to continue something non-literally, abstractly, such as a story. (You can now go further in telling the story.)

Cannot be used in this farther value. Father is used when talking about physical, tangible space.

She ran farther and faster than him. - She runs faster and farther than he.

If we drive any farther tonight we'll be too tired. “If we keep going further, we will get too tired.

If the sentence can allow both physical and abstract meaning, then both words will do.

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