English has a lot of similar sounding or similar looking words or phrases that can cause a lot of trouble. Lets take a look at some of them.
Effect vs Affect
This is a common one even among natives.
Affect is a verb and means to cause or bring about emotions or change in something or someone;
- The presidential election affected the stock market.
Effect is a noun than means the results of something;
- The effect of the consumption tax raise was small.
A lot vs Allot
A lot means many;
- A lot of people take the trains to work every day.
Allot is a verb that means to hand or give out.
- The mother allotted the house chores to her children.
Breath vs Breathe
A breath is noun and breathe is verb.
- Take a deep breath
- Don't forget to breathe. We must breathe to live!
Complement vs Compliment
These words can be both nouns and verbs. To complement something means to make something complete.
- The sauce complemented the dinner perfectly.
To compliment means to say something nice to someone.
- We complimented her for her excellent cooking.
Stationary vs Stationery
Stationery is a noun that means writing materials;
- We are running low on stationery, can you go and order some?
Stationary is an adjective meaning to stand still, to not move.
- The guard remained stationary at his post despite the commotion around him.