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Don’t Get Fooled Again – Commonly Confused Words

Hello everyone! Today we are going to look at some commonly confused words: words everyone struggles to spell or use properly. These words often appear on the SAT and ACT, but they also pop up in classrooms and business meetings around the world. 

We will look at 5 pairs of commonly confused words, break down their meaning, and then give you an easy example and a mnemonic device or trick to remember them easily!

CONFUSING WORDWhat it MeansExampleHow to Remember It
Affect (Verb)
Effect (Noun)
Affect = to change something / to have an impact

Effect = the change itself, the impact
“The film affected each of us differently.”

“It had effects I didn’t expect.”
Affect with an Ais the Action / verb
Effect with an Eis the object / noun




Lose (V.)
Loose (Adjective)
To Lose = opposite of ‘to win’
Loose = opposite of tight
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
I tightened it because it was loose.
Loss only has one O, and same for Lose.





Compliment
Complement
Compliment = a nice thing you say / praise
Complement = goes well with something / is added to something
“He complimented my great spelling.”
“The hotel’s complementary breakfast was free.”
The one with I is a nice thing you say. 
The one withE is freeoranextra




Then
Than
Then = after a time / later
Than = to compare or evaluate 2 or more things
“Breakfast, lunch, then dinner.”
“It’s easier than you’d think.”
Then with an E for time.
Than with an A to compare.




Capital
Capitol
Capital = the seat of government, finances for a project, an important thing.
Capitol = only used for the Congress building and nearby area in D.C.
“Albany is the capital of New York.”
“Capitol Hill in D.C. is where Congress meets.”
The O in Congress is the only one you should use Capitol with.
All other times you want capita with an A

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