Grammar for Fiction Writers: Busy Writer's Guides Book (2014)

APPENDIX B. 200 Commonly Confused Words

This list is by no means comprehensive. The English language is full of words that sound alike or look alike, but this is a list of the 200 sets that we’ve most commonly seen confused. It gives you a place to start in building your own personal list.

ail, ale

air, heir

aisle, I’ll, isle

allowed, aloud

altar, alter

arc, ark

ate, eight

oar, or, ore

axel, axle

bail, bale

ball, bawl

bare, bear

baron, barren

bazaar, bizarre

beach, beech

bean, been

beat, beet

beau, bow

beer, bier

berth, birth

blew, blue

boarder, border

born, borne

bough, bow

boy, buoy

brake, break

bread, bred

bridal, bridle

broach, brooch

buy, by, bye

cede, seed

ceiling, sealing

cell, sell

cent, scent, sent

cereal, serial

cite, sight, site

coal, kohl

coarse, course

colonel, kernel

complement, compliment

council, counsel

creak, creek

cue, queue

currant, current

cymbol, symbol

dear, deer

descent, dissent

desert, dessert

dew, due

die, dye

discreet, discrete

doe, dough

dose, doze

dual, duel

earn, urn

ewe, yew, you

faint, feint

fair, fare

faun, fawn

faze, phase

feat, feet

fir, fur

flair, flare

flea, flee

flew, flu, flue

flour, flower

for, fore, four

foreword, forward

forth, fourth

foul, fowl

gait, gate

genes, jeans

gild, guild

gilt, guilt

gorilla, guerilla

grate, great

greave, grieve

grisly, grizzly

groan, grown

hail, hale

hair, hare

hall, haul

hangar, hanger

hart, heart

heal, heel, he’ll

hear, here

heard, herd

hew, hue

higher, hire

hoard, horde

hoarse, horse

holey, holy, wholly

hour, our

idle, idol

knead, need

knew, new

knight, night

knit, nit

knock, nock

knot, not

know, no

lain, lane

lam, lamb

laps, lapse

leach, leech

leak, leek

lie, lye

loan, lone

lose, loose

mail, male

main, mane

maize, maze

mantel, mantle

marshal, martial

meat, meet

medal, meddle

moor, more

moose, mousse

morning, mourning

muscle, mussel

naval, navel

none, nun

one, won

or, ore, oar

pail, pale

pain, pane

pair, pare, pear

pause, paws

pea, pee

peace, piece

peak, peek, pique

peal, peel

pedal, peddle

peer, pier

plain, plane

plum, plumb

praise, prays, preys

principal, principle

rain, reign, rein

read, reed

real, reel

reek, wreak

rest, wrest

retch, wretch

right, rite, write

ring, wring

road, rode

role, roll

root, route

rose, rows

rung, wrung

rye, wry

spade, spayed

sale, sail

scene, seen

seam, seem

seas, sees, seize

sew, so, sow

shear, sheer

sink, synch

slay, sleigh

sole, soul

some, sum

son, sun

stair, stare

stake, steak

stationary, stationery

steal, steel

straight, strait

sweet, suite

tale, tail

team, teem

tear, tier

there, their, they’re

throne, thrown

thyme, time

tic, tick

tide, tied

to, too, two

toad, toed, towed

vain, vane, vein

vial, vile

wail, whale

waist, waste

wait, weight

waive, wave

ware, wear, where

way, weigh, whey

weak, week

weather, whether

wet, whet

which, witch

while, wile

whine, wine

whirl, whorl

whit, wit

woe, whoa

wood, would

your, you’re

yoke, yolk