More Confusing Words

Here are a few more troublesome words to add to your list.


Who’s is a contraction for “who is.” If you want to say, “Who is  that man?” you will use “who’s” to say, “Who’s that man?”

If you want to know who owns that dog, you would say, “Whose dog is that?”


You might sign a waiver to renounce your right to something.

If you’re not sure if you should sign the waiver, you might be undecided and you might waver about making that decision.

used to/ have to

If you were in the habit of doing something in the past, then you used to do it. Don’t be fooled by the sound of the words. It is not correct to say use to when you mean used to.

Another expression that has a similar hard sound is have to. Believe it or not, I have seen it spelled hafto. Shudders!


Shear means to cut. Big scissors are sometimes called shears.

Sheer can mean vertical, as in the drop-off of a cliff. It can mean see-through, as in sheer (lacy or gauze) curtains. It can mean pure, as in “sheer nonsense.”


Loath without the “e” means “reluctant” to do something.

I am loath to walk down that dark alley in the middle of the night.

Loathe with an “e” means you dislike something intensely.

I loathe the taste of bitter medicine.


Again, it is a case of a final “e” or not.

If you can’t catch your breath, you can’t breathe properly.


Sooth is archaic for truth. Soothe with an “e” means to calm or comfort someone.



10 thoughts on “More Confusing Words

  1. Great List, Anneli. Some of these I always need to think about, loath and loathe for example. And occasionally breathe and breath. I know the right one, but sometimes I just don’t type it correctly and spell check doesn’t catch it. Sigh.
    These are helpful posts, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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