The following pairs of words may look alike, but they don't mean the same:
Noteworthy / Noticeable
Noteworthy: deserving attention; noticeable: easily seen.
e.g. The candidate's accomplishments are noteworthy.
e.g. The flaws in the Governor's character are easily noticeable to the public.
Waive / Wave
Waive: forgo or relinquish; wave: move.
e.g. If you sign this document, you will waive all your rights.
e.g. He was waving his hands at you.
Partake of / Take part in
Partake of: share; take part in: perform.
e.g. The children will partake of the Christmas dinner.
e.g. The children will take part in the carol singing.
Freehand / Free-handed
Freehand: done by the hand. free-handed: generous.
e.g. His freehand sketch of the White House is really beautiful.
e.g. The rich man was free-handed with his donation.
Pleased about / Pleased with
Pleased about: happy about (denoting a feeling of pleasure); pleased with: showing approval and satisfaction.
e.g. I am pleased about your success.
e.g. My boss is pleased with my performance.
Habitable: that can be lived in; habitual: acting by habit.
e.g. This house is under construction and is not habitable.
e.g. Don't believe what he says: he is a habitual liar.
Wait / Await
Wait: stay or stop without doing anything (requiring an object); await: be ready for or in store for.
e.g. I will wait for him.
e.g. Act now and don’t wait for the announcement.
e.g. He did not realize that good fortune was awaiting him.
e.g. We await your reply with interest.
Right / Rightly
Right: immediately; rightly: justly, correctly.
e.g. Do it right now.
e.g. Do it right away.
e.g. I rightly canceled the trip.
e.g. We refused the offer, and rightly so.
Recollect / Re-collect
Recollect: remember; re-collect: gather together, or regain calmness of mind.
e.g. Do you recollect what happened last night when you were dead drunk.
e.g. For this investigation, we have to re-collect all the data.
e.g. Calm down, and re-collect yourself.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
Words are neither effective nor ineffective; they just impart different meanings to the sentences in which they are used. It is the writer's effective use of words and phrases that makes sentences effective or ineffective.
The English language is made up of nearly a million words and phrases. A writer, especially one whose English is not his or her first language, may face two major problems in writing: not knowing "enough" words; and not knowing how to choose the "right" words.
Writing is made up of words. Effective writing requires having a good stock of vocabulary, as well as selecting the most suitable words and phrases to express the intended ideas.
There are many English words and phrases that are frequently confused and misused by ESL learners. This book provides hundreds of those words and phrases with examples to show how they should be used correctly.