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Distinguish Between Similar Words with Different Meanings 1

In this worksheet, students practise distinguishing between similar words that are commonly confused so they can improve the accuracy of their own writing.

'Distinguish Between Similar Words with Different Meanings 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Writing

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Accurate Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Many words in the English language are easily confused because they look and sound alike but in fact mean different things.

 

 

People often muddle up the words stationery and stationary because they are so similar, but the two words have very different meanings.

 

The word stationery means writing materials and office supplies, but if an object is stationary it means that it is not moving.

 

In this activity, you can practise distinguishing between words that many people, even adults, often find confusing. You may find a dictionary helpful.

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

Column A

Column B

Desert
a dry area of land, often covered with sand
Dessert
a sweet course eaten at the end of a meal

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

Column A

Column B

Compliment
to congratulate or praise someone about something
Complement
to add to something in a way that improves it

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

Column A

Column B

Confident
feeling or showing certainty about something
Confidant
a friend who can be trusted to keep secrets

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

Column A

Column B

Principle
a rule or belief that guides the way a person beha...
Principal
the most important or main thing

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

Column A

Column B

Discreet
separate and distinct
Discrete
behaving in a quiet and restrained way

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

You should wait until the bus is __________ before you get off.

Stationary

Stationery

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

I am very __________ that I will pass my piano exam.

Confidant

Confident

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

That necklace really __________ your blue dress.

Complements

Compliments

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

Janey won't eat meat on __________.

Principal

Principle

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

We had a delicious sticky toffee pudding for our __________.

Desert

Dessert

  • Question 1

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Desert
a dry area of land, often covered...
Dessert
a sweet course eaten at the end o...
EDDIE SAYS
There are some clever rhymes you can use to remember the differences. One way to remember the difference is that desserts have lots of sugar in them. Therefore, they more 's's than a sandy area of land! Can you think of something that works for you?
  • Question 2

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Compliment
to congratulate or praise someone...
Complement
to add to something in a way that...
EDDIE SAYS
You could remember this as complement sounding a little like complete, which means adding to something. Make sure you get this right, people won't want to receive compliments unless they are spelt correctly!
  • Question 3

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Confident
feeling or showing certainty abou...
Confidant
a friend who can be trusted to ke...
EDDIE SAYS
The word 'confidant' refers to a male friend. If the person is female then the word is spelt 'confidante'.
  • Question 4

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Principle
a rule or belief that guides the ...
Principal
the most important or main thing
  • Question 5

Match the words with their definitions. Try to remember the meanings as you may need them in later questions.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Discreet
behaving in a quiet and restraine...
Discrete
separate and distinct
EDDIE SAYS
Try to come up with a way to remember these differences, as you can see the wrong word can change the meaning of a sentence drastically!
  • Question 6

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

You should wait until the bus is __________ before you get off.

CORRECT ANSWER
Stationary
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? It's important you remember this, or you could change the meaning of a sentence entirely!
  • Question 7

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

I am very __________ that I will pass my piano exam.

CORRECT ANSWER
Confident
EDDIE SAYS
Did you know what both of these words meant? If you are confident in their meaning, you would know that to be 'confident' means to have a real belief in yourself and your ability. If someone is your confidant, it means that you have confided in them and trust them. You are confident that they will be discreet!
  • Question 8

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

That necklace really __________ your blue dress.

CORRECT ANSWER
Complements
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do here? The necklace cannot compliment your dress as it cannot talk! However, it goes nicely with and so we would say that it complements the outfit.
  • Question 9

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

Janey won't eat meat on __________.

CORRECT ANSWER
Principle
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember this one from earlier? A value can also be thought of as the 'principle'. Write it down so you don't forget!
  • Question 10

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

 

We had a delicious sticky toffee pudding for our __________.

CORRECT ANSWER
Dessert
EDDIE SAYS
Can you remember the trick to getting this right!? Lots of sugar in dessert, therefore, we need more than one 's'! That's another activity complete, on to the next one!
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