More Fun for your List of Confusing Words


English is not an easy language to learn, even for native speakers of the language. Here are some more words that are often troublesome. If you have a list on the go, you may want to add these to it.


To make indirect reference to something is to allude to it.

Without actually accusing her of anything, he alluded to her checkered past.


To avoid something is to elude it – usually used in reference to evading a pursuer.

She had hoped to elude the police after she stole the chocolate bar.



To draw information out of someone means to elicit it.

The conniving woman tried to elicit information from her acquaintance by chatting her up like an old friend.


Something illegal or not approved of by law can be called illicit.

The young man had a stash of illicit drugs in his bedroom.



If you correct or improve something, especially something written, you amend it.

I amended the phrasing in the guidelines to make them more easily understandable.


When you remove or change irregularities in text (often in historical writings), you emend the text.

He emended a translation error in the ancient history source.



If I assure you, I am informing you positively. It is also used to make someone feel more confident and safe. (He assured me and inspired confidence in me that I would be safe now.)

I can assure you that you have passed the test (because I marked it myself).


Ensure means to make something certain.

This should ensure that you will be accepted for the job.


Insure is what you do when you pay money to a company so they will cover any accidental losses.

I had to pay an extra high rate to insure my house in case of an earthquake.



7 thoughts on “More Fun for your List of Confusing Words

  1. Emended. I have always used the word with the letter A in both instances. The rest of the grammar I understand its use applied to speech. Writing the words properly is a different challenge for me. I really enjoy these posts, Anneli!


    • Thanks, John. You have most likely been using amended correctly. Emend is something scholars do when they are doing very bookish things and digging into very old writings of ancient history. If they make a change to some historic article, they “emend” it. I doubt if you’ve done much emending in your life, but you most likely have amended things frequently.

      Liked by 1 person

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