Word Mix Ups

Word Mix Ups

There are many confusing words in the English language.  We are one of the most verbose peoples in the world, and have multiple ways to say just about everything.  In addition, there are many words that sound the same and have completely different meanings to really help mix things up.  Here are some commonly mixed up words.

Accept vs. Except
Accept means to take or receive: I accept full responsibility for the outcome.  Except means not including: I will take everything except the potatoes.

Your vs. You’re
Your means belonging to whoever you are referring to: Your dress looks nice.  You’re is a contraction of the phrase “you are”: You’re going to have to hurry it up if you want to be on time.  Your is often incorrectly used instead of you’re.

Lose vs. Loose
Lose means to misplace something: Whatever you do, don’t lose my grandmother’s earrings!  Loose means not tight: Those jeans are way too loose for you.

Affect vs. Effect
To affect something means to have a change on it, which creates an effect. This one is particularly tricky for most people.  Affect, when used as a verb, is to act on or impress.  When used as a noun, affect is a feeling or emotion.  Effect, on the other hand, is a result and means something that is produced by an agency or cause.  Here is an example of the two: Taking antidepressants affected his mood; more energy was a side effect of the medication.

There are many similar pairings that can confuse even the most well-read individual.  You can always find a correct answer on dictionary.com or in a printed dictionary.