Confusable words | Sunday Observer

Confusable words

28 November, 2021

Some English words appear to be similar but they have different meanings. Here are some of them:

Nauceous / nauseated
‘Nauceous’ means ‘feeling that you are going to vomit.’
The taste of the food made me nauceous.
‘Nauceate’ means ‘to make someone feel that they are going to vomit.’
The thought of food nauceated me.
Naval /navel
‘Naval’ means ‘relating to the navy or used by the navy.’
Susi’s uncle is a naval officer.
‘Navel’ is the small hollow or raised place in the middle of your stomach. It is also called the belly button or tummy button.
Nautical / naval
‘Nautical’ refers to anything concerning ships, shipping, seamen and navigation.
‘Naval’ relates only to a country’s navy, its ships, personnel and activities.
Near / nearby
‘Near’ means ‘only a short distance from a person or thing.’
I am sure Rama is living somewhere near here.
‘Nearby’ means ‘not far away’
Do you live nearby?
Necessities / necessaries
‘Necessities’ are things you need to live.
A lot of people cannot even afford to buy the basic necessities of life.
Necessaries are things such as food or clothes that you need in order to live.
Negligent / negligible
‘Negligent’ means ‘not taking enough care over something that you are responsible for, with the result that serious mistake are made.’
Smith was found guilty of negligent driving.
‘Negligible’ means ‘too slight or unimportant to have any effect.’
The damage done to my car is negligible.
Neither … nor / either … or
‘Neither … nor’ is used when mentioning two things that are not true or possible.
Neither Olga’s mother nor her father spoke French.
‘Either … or’ is used to begin a list of two or more possibilities.
Thelma is the kind of girl you either love or hate.
Nevertheless / nonetheless
‘Nevertheless’ means ‘in spite of a fact that you have just mentioned’
What you said was true. It was, nevertheless, a little unkind.
‘Nonetheless’ means ‘in spite of the fact that has just been mentioned.’
Picasso’s paintings are complex, but they have plenty of appeal, nonetheless. ‘Nevertheless’ and ‘nonetheless’ are synonyms.
Nicety / niceness
‘Nicety’ (plural niceties) is a small detail or point of difference, especially one that is usually considered to be part of the correct way of doing something.
‘Niceness’ is the quality of being pleasant, attractive or enjoyable.’
The first thing you will notice about Amanda is her niceness.
Noisy / noisome
Someone or something that is noisy makes a lot of noise.
The children have been really noisy today.
‘Noisome’ means ‘very unpleasant.’
If you do not clean your bathroom regularly, it will give some noisome smell.
Notable / noted
‘Notable’ means ‘important, interesting, excellent or unusual enough to be noticed or mentioned.’
Anuradhapura is notable for its ancient Buddhist shrines.
‘Noted’ means ‘well known or famous, especially because of some special quality or ability.’
The city is noted for its 18th century architecture.
Notorious / famous
‘Notorious’ means ‘well known for something bad.’
Idi Amin was a notorious ruler.
‘Famous’ means ‘known to many people’
Charlie Chaplin was a famous actor.
Nought / naught
‘Nought’ means the number ‘0’.
A billion is 1 with 9 noughts after it.
‘Naught’ means ‘nothing.’
All their plans came to naught.