Words with similar pronunciation and spelling but different meaning
Hi there! Welcome back to another episode of the art of business English, well this week I do have a quick episode for you and it’s on a common problem that people often have with knowing the difference between certain pronunciation and certain spelling of words that sound the same but in fact they have different meanings.
So, what will be looking at in this episode is basically, in the first part I’ll cover words that have very similar spelling, OK? But they have a different meaning. And then in part two I’ll be looking at words that have very similar pronunciation but they have a different meaning, okay?
So a quick episode for you today just to help clarify these words that have similar meaning or similar pronunciation, similar spelling with different meaning okay? so let’s have a look at the first list what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna turn out to my computer and have a look.
Altogether vs. All together
So, the first word is altogether which means completely, altogether, so it is spelt A-L-T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R, so altogether and it means completely, whereas if you spell all together separately so A-L-L T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R it means a group of things or people in one place.
Effect vs. Affect
The next word is E-F-F-E-C-T so effect now bring about or make which as a verb is to bring about or make something happen or result as a noun that’s important because it’s very similar to the word affect which is spelt A-F-F-E-C-T so these two words are commonly, commonly confused and even by native people you will see them confused and even by native people you’ll see them confused in writing so affect which is spelt AFF ECT this means to have an effect on something okay so effect is bring about or make happen and affect is to have an effect on something.
Lose vs. Loose
The next word is lose so if you LOSE something that’s a verb to lose is perder, so foul to have or find, however it is very close in spelling to loose which is L00SE and loose means that it is not tight so, suelto o no muy ajustado. They very closely spell to lose is LOSE and LOOSE.
Specially vs. Especially
Okay let’s look then at the next word which is also commonly confused and that is specially so specially is SPECIALLY is for a special purpose okay so specially for a special purpose whereas ESPECIALLY this is something in particular so especially something in particular though very similar and often commonly confused
Stationary vs. Stationery
Next one is a noun which is STATIONARY okay stationary we hear that a lot stationary is STATIONERY okay and that is actually referring to paper or envelopes or Post-it notes or you know all of that stuff at lovely stuff that we buy for the office okay and whereas the verb sorry the adjective stationary which is STATIONARY, stationary means it’s not moving okay and is used formally for vehicles so the car was stationary at the front of the police station for example
Principle vs. Principal
So, what you’ll also notice with the next one is also commonly confused principle so that is PRINCIPLE so principle and principle well it mostly means it’s the general truth or a standard okay so are the general principle of this argument is whereas the principle of the school is PRINCIPAL so principal is your headmaster or the head of the college okay and that’s a very common word used to describe the headmaster at school in Australia as well so those are some words which are varies have very similar spelling but actually mean different things and you know you really need to have clear those because they are commonly confused.
Allowed vs. Aloud
As I said in the introduction in the second part of the episode going to be looking at words which have the same or very similar pronunciation but different spelling and meaning okay so let’s start with these words at the first one is allowed and allowed okay so you might be confusing aloud which is ALLOWED that means you know you are permitted you have permission to I am allowed to eat at this chocolate cake today whereas aloud which is spelt ALOUD it means you know it en voz alta, something that is said out loud or aloud okay so very different meaning from allowed which is to permitted again so that that’s a very common confusing sound okay because those two sound exactly the same.
Are you looking to expand your knowledge of English vocabulary and expressions?
Grab your copy of my eBook "500 Business English Collocations for Everyday Use". Includes free download audio of pronunciation
Improve your English
Change your life
Get the language skills for success with personalised one-to-one English classes
Get started today
Courses to get you started with
Let us help you on the journey to learn English, feeling satisfied with yourself and being confident in situations where in the past you felt uncomfortable.