10 Commonly Confused Words You Need to Understand

The world is full of so many words, it’s understandable that we confuse one for another now and again. However, if you want to avoid making vocabulary mistakes in everyday life, you should definitely read the following list.

1. Pill vs. Tablet

tablet assortment

Here is a thinker for you: all pills are tablets but all tablets are not pills. A pill is always round, whilst a tablet can be anything else. Get it?

2. Ghost vs. Ghoul


A ghost is the departed spirit of a deceased human. A ghoul is a spirit that never lived as a human. Ghouls are an Arabic legend, and are generally creatures who eat stolen corpses and children.

3. Race vs. Ethnicity


Race is a significant physical division between humans that have distinct characteristics. Ethnicity is a cultural tradition. You cannot say your ethnicity is black, as that is simply an aspect of your race. Ethnicity is primarily created by your culture’s customs and traditions. Your ethnicity can change to replace old with new customs, but your race is permanent.

4. Mass vs. Weight

mass weight

Weight informs us about how much pull of gravity there is on an object, whilst mass is determined by how much matter an object contains. Mass remains the same wherever you weigh it, whilst weight can change due to the location because of the different gravitational pull on the object.

5. Boat vs. Ship

boat and ship

A boat and a ship are very different things. Boats weight less than 500 tons, while ships weigh more than, you guessed it, 500 tons. Ships are capable of carrying lifeboats and require a license to sail. However, the definition of a boat and a ship can vary from region to region.

6. Gender vs. Sex


Gender is determined by your sexual identity, and it is these characteristics that help differentiate one gender from another – it is an attribute that men and women consider masculine or feminine. Sex is determined by anatomy.

7. Affect vs. Effect

affect vs effect

This one has troubled minds all over the globe for years. So, let’s help you figure out the difference between affect and effect. Affect is a verb, whilst effect is a noun. Affect causes something to happen. Effect is a result of something that has happened. So when something affects something, it causes an effect.

8. Hurricane vs. Cyclone


All hurricanes are cyclones, but cyclones are only hurricanes when they travel at 74mph. So, before you refer to it as a hurricane, check how fast it was travelling.

9. Alligators vs. Crocodile

alligator and crocodile

Crocodiles and alligators will kill you – that is something they most definitely have in common. However, these freshwater creatures are also a little different. Alligators are black whilst crocodiles are olive brown. Crocodiles have a v-shaped snout to help them catch fish, whilst alligators have a u-shaped snout to make it easier to crush their prey.

10. Weather vs. Climate


Weather is determined by the day-to-day conditions in a particular place or time. Climate is the pattern of weather that a region experiences over a long period of time.

Read more about the English language by reading 10 Crazy Origins Behind Popular Sayings.

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