Let’s check the third part of the words that we are sometimes dubious about.
- than vs. then
’Than’ is used in comparison, while ’then’ means ’at that time’.
- lightning vs.lightening
’Lightning’ refers to electrical discharge in a storm, while ’lightening’ is the progressive form of the verb ’lighten’ meaning ’make lighter or brighter’.
- envious vs. jealous
Both envious and jealous mean desiring something another person has, but the feeling of jealousy is linked with more negative emotions such as possessiveness and worrying something will be taken from you.
- in the beginning vs. at the beginning
’In the beginning’ means ’at first’ (In the beginning they didn’t have much success.) while ’at the beginning’ must be followed by a certain time something occurred (at the beginning of 20th century).
- sometimes vs. sometime
’Sometimes’ is used for the things that happen from time to time, while ’some time’ means at an unknown moment in the future or the past. (I’ll visit Japan sometime.)
- almost vs. nearly
Both ’almost’ and ’nearly’ mean ’not entirely’ with a few differences – ’almost’ can be used with ’any’ and negative words such as ’no, none, nobody’, unlike ’nearly’ ( We almost missed the parking lot.) However, ’nearly’ is used with negative sentences for emphasis (The movie is not nearly as interesting as I expected.)
- although vs. though
Both ’although’ and ’though’ mean ’in spite of’, but ’though’ is more often used in everyday conversation. ’Though’, unlike ’although’ can also mean ’however’ and is put at the end of a sentence. (I really wanted to help, though.)
- during vs. for
’During’ shows that something happens in a certain time period (There is a lot of snow here during the winter.), while ’for’ shows how long something goes on and is usually followed by a number. (She was studying for three hours.)
- lend vs. borrow
When you give something to someone for a limited time you ’lend’ it, while the receiver ’borrows’ it from you.
- as well vs. too vs. also
All of these adverbs mean ’in addition’, however ’also’ is usually more used in writing than speaking.’Too’ Is mainly used at the end of a sentence and is preferred in short responses (Me too.)
41.see vs. look at vs. watch
’See’ means being able to notice something without thinking about it, while ’look at’ refers to directing your eyes towards it.’Watch’, on the other hand, refers to looking at something for a particular amount of time.
42.stare vs. gaze
Verbs that also refer to looking at something for a period of time, ’stare’ means a fixed look (What are you staring at me for?), while ’gaze’ is more meditative (She was gazing at the sea).
- across vs. through
’Across’ is usually used for something extending or moving from side to side (The kids were running across the field.).We use ’through’ from moving from side to side ’in’ something else (We were walking through the forest.)
- practice vs. practise
Like ’advice’ and ’advise’; practice’ is a noun, while ’practise’ is a verb.
45 finish vs. end
We use ’finish’ to say that we have completed something and usually with a specific time period. (I need to finish it by Monday.) On the other hand, ’end’ is used when we have a clear conclusion and mainly for more significant things. (He ended his concert with his biggest hit.)
This brings us to the end of the series of the pairs commonly mistaken for one another. For more similar content check the 50 most common grammar questions.
Make sure to check out the 45 CONFUSING PAIRS IN ENGLISH – part 1 and 45 CONFUSING PAIRS IN ENGLISH – part 2.