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Frequently confused words 1

This is an exercise that will help you learn the differences between frequently confused words. We call them "Frequently Confused Words" sentence completion exercises because the key thing to learn here is the appropriate context in which you should use these words. Sometimes you can use both words, but one answer is more appropriate to use in that context. For other sentences, one word is the only possible answer. The explanations at the bottom of each page will clarify all of the answers if you're not sure about certain sentences.

1. The kindergarten teacher walked into the classroom and said good morning to the ______.

a. children


b. minors

2. The monk does not eat meat anymore. He is a(n) ________.

3. There are many ______ in the animal kingdom--from tabbies to mountain lions.

a. cats


b. felines

4. This property is beautiful! It will make a lovely _____.

a. home


b. house

5. I ______ that there are 5,000 people attending this parade!

a. estimate


b. guess

6. The law states that alcohol cannot be sold to _______.

a. children


b. minors

7. Koalas only eat eucalyptus leaves. They are therefore ______. 

8. "I'm soaked! It's raining ____ and dogs outside!"

a. cats


b. felines

9. My ____ is made from bricks.

a. home


b. house

10. I didn't know the right answers on this worksheet, so I ______.

a. estimated


b. guessed

An explanation of the answers:


In this first sentence completion worksheet about similar words, you will see that the answers are...well...similar!


1. Let's look at number 1. This sentence is about a kindergarten teacher at school. Since "children" is the general word for young people who are not adults, it is more appropriate in this context. While all the students in the teacher's kindergarten class may be minors, "minors" is usually only used in legal contexts. For example, "Minors cannot vote in elections."



2. On to number 2. Since this sentence is about a monk, "vegetarian" is more appropriate because vegetarians are people who choose to not eat meat. "Herbivores," on the other hand, are animals that only eat plants. 


3. If you chose "cats" as the answer to number 3, don't worry too much about being "wrong." It is perfectly fine to use cats in this sentence. However, since this sentence is about biology (it uses academic words such as "tabbies" and "animal kingdom"), "felines" is arguably more appropriate here since it describes all cats in the cat family.


4. The difference between "house" and "home" is more stark in number 4. "House" is the word for a detached building that people live in. "Home" describes a place where people live. Your house could be your home, but Beijing or China could also be considered your home. Since the sentence in number 4 is about a property (that is, the house and land around it), "home" is the right word to use in this context.


5. An estimate is when you guess a number--it is an approximate calculation. Guess, on the other hand, is more general. It is when you come to a conclusion without being certain that you are correct. Since this sentence is about making a calculation, "estimate" is the better answer.


6. Since number 6 is about the law and alcohol sales, "minors" is the better answer here. While it's true that children cannot legally purchase alcohol in most countries, it is a general word. "Minor" on the other hand, has a specific definition depending on the country (or city, state, province, etc.).


7. Number 7 is about koalas, which are animals that only eat leaves. This means that they are herbivores, not vegetarians


8. Did you know that "It's raining cats and dogs" is an idiom which means, "It's raining heavily?" Since the idiom is not "It's raining felines and dogs," "cats" is the right answer.


9. Since number 9 is about a building made out of bricks, "house" is the better answer.


10. This setence is not about calculating an approximate number. It is about choosing something without knowing for certain. Therefore, "guess" is the right answer for number 10.

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