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31. You pronounce these two words the same: “carrot” and “karat/carat”
A carrot is a vegetable that you eat on a salad or by itself. And a karat or carat (both are pronounced the same and mean the same thing) is a unit of fineness of gold. So you can order carrots on your salad, and when you go to a jewelry store, you can ask about the gold rings to see their worth in karats/carats.
32. The words: “censure/sensor”
Censure as noun means the act of blaming or as a verb means to find fault with. These sentences show two meanings: “The newspapers were unanimous in their censure of the columnist” and “The government will censure the Hollywood movies”. Whereas, the word sensor means a device that responds to a physical stimulus. For example, “When a car is six feet away from the garage door, a built-in sensor opens the door.”
33. The differences between “cite/site/sight”
All three words are pronounced the same. Let’s look at what they mean. Cite is a verb that means to quote or to mention in support of. For example, “The criminal cited his constitutional rights.” The word site is a noun that means the location or position of something. It can also refer to computers like a computer site. So you might say, “The site of our future cabin overlooks the lake.” Site as a verb means to locate as in the sentence, “The Army will site the enemy’s cannon.”
34. How about “clothes/close”?
The first clothes is a noun that refers to what you wear. The second close is a verb that means to shut, to stop, or to block. For example, “You close the door”, “The mailman closed the crate”, and “The student’s mind was closed when it came to studying calculus.”
35. When do you use “complement/compliment”?
These words are similar in pronunciation except for the second syllable. Complement as a noun means something that completes like “A good wine is a complement to a meal.” The second syllable is pronounced “pluh”. When complement is used as a verb, it means to complete and is pronounced the same way. An example sentence is, “A good wine complemented the meal.” On the other hand, compliment – with a short “i” sound in the middle – can be a noun to mean an expression of praise or a verb to mean to pay positive praise. Examples include, “The boss gave a compliment to his secretary for her outstanding work” and “The boss complimented the secretary on her outstanding work”.
36. “Confident or Confidant”?
Confident with a short “e” sound in the last syllable is an adjective that means feeling positive and self-assured. For example, “The student who studied hard was confident that he did well on the TOEFL test.” Confidant – spelled with an “a” in the last syllable and pronounced with a short “a” sound – is a noun meaning a person with whom one shares a secret or private matter. A confidant could also be a close friend or the best friend. For example, “She kept no secrets from her confidant.”
37. Which one is which: “costume/custom”?
A costume as a noun means a set of clothes in a style typical a particular country or time period. A costume as a verb means to dress in a particular set of clothes. For example, “The clown wore a colorful costume for the parade” and “The clown group was costumed in colorful clothing for the parade.” Custom as a noun means the practice of doing something like it was custom for the man to give his seat on the bus to a lady. Custom as a noun can also mean a duty or tax as in, “The government collected customs when the foreigners entered the country.” Custom can also be an adjective as in made to order. For example, “The custom suit was designed by the tailor.” And finally, custom can even be a verb to mean how something is made in a particular order. For example, “She had her wedding gown customized with inlaid pearls.”
38. Call them two different words: “decent/descent”?
Decent is an adjective that means acceptable or good enough. You can describe many things as decent like food, clothing, work, and even people. The word descent is accented on the second syllable as opposed to decent which has an accent on the first syllable so the words are pronounced differently. Descent is a noun that means the action of moving downward or falling like in the sentence, “The airplane has gone into a steep descent.” Descent can also mean something completely different. It means the origin or background of a person in terms of their family or nationality. For example, “My grandmother is of Swedish descent.”
39. The words: “moral/morale”.
These words are pronounced differently and mean different things. Moral as a noun means the practical meaning like the moral of a fable or moral practices or teaching. Moral can also be an adjective meaning righteous, noble, and ethical. Morale, on the other hand, is a noun that means the mental and emotional attitude of an individual. For example, “The soldiers had a positive morale all the way to the end of the battle.”
40. Which is which: “expound/expand”?
Both words are verbs and are pronounced differently, but they are pronounced exactly as how they look. Expound means to present and explain a theory or idea in detail. For example, “Einstein expounded on the theory of relativity.” Expand means to become or make larger or more extensive. For example, “The computer business expanded into other third world countries.”