Good English Guide



This book is intended for those students who are appearing for the GCE “O” Level English Language examination, or any other examination of equivalent standard like SPM or High School Diploma. If you work sincerely through the whole book and understand every word in it, you cannot fail your GCE “O” Level English paper. If you do, just return this book to me for a full refund of the cost of this book.


For you to understand a word properly, you need to see how it is used in concrete context. No dictionary is able to do this because that dictionary will be so heavy and huge that I don’t think you want to buy it.


This book is also useful to those high school students who are preparing to study in the English medium polytechnics or university colleges. It will provide them the opportunity to revise the words they have learned through out the secondary school days but have forgotten many of them.


For the students who are taking the GCE “A” Level English examinations, or other exams like TOEFL, SAT, IELTS, GRE or GMAT, this is one of the books you must have. Your lecturers will guide you on other reference books you will need in order to obtain high scores


An average student will need only about five months to master all the difficult words in this book. This will save you a lot of money in the end as you will not require a lot of classes again.


For the working adults, this is a book for you too, whether you are a CEO, director, manager, consultant, senior engineer, or whatever position you are in. This convenient book can be used in the bus, train, aeroplane etc. Why not just keep it in your briefcase for easy access? You can learn a lot by tackling it a little at a time.


















Item 1

Associate (noun: declaring oneself in agreement)

Partner (noun: a person who takes part in a business with shared risks and profits)

Correct: Mr. Brown is our business associate.

Correct: Mr. Hill is one of the partners in this company.


Item 2

Assignation (noun: a secret appointment to meet between illicit lovers)

Assignment (noun: handling over of something)


Correct: The hotel owner arranged assignation for this gentleman and the lady.

Correct: My last assignment was to teach English language to engineers

who graduated from non-English medium colleges.


Item 3

Arouse (verb: to give rise to, especially a feeling or emotion, to induce)

Rouse (verb: to stir to action or to bring out of a state of sleep)


Correct: His nervousness aroused the suspicions of the police.

Correct: The loud bang of the thunder roused every body last night.


Item 4

Abjure (noun: to renounce or repudiate)

Adjure (verb: to request earnestly)


Correct: He abjured the consuming of meats from today.

Correct: His friend adjured him to consider carefully before handing over his

resignation letter.


Item 5

Abrogate (verb: to abolish)

Arrogate (verb: to assume without right)


Correct: Slavery was abrogated long ago.

Correct: The maintenance head arrogated the recruiting responsibility.


Item 6

Appraise (verb: to estimate or evaluate the worth of)

Apprise (verb: to inform or advise)

Assess (verb: to estimate the size, quality, or value of)


Correct: Before you appraise the employees, you will not know which are the ones to


Correct: The king has not yet been apprised of the decision by the armed forces.

Correct: Our accountants assessed the amount of tax we had to pay last year.


Item 7

Amoral (adj.: cannot understand the concept of right or wrong)

Immoral (adj.: morally wrong, wicked, evil)


Correct: The truly amoral people are the babies and the lunatics

Correct: It is immoral to kill innocent people.


Item 8

Await (verb: wait for)

Wait (verb: defer)


Correct: A surprise awaits you for your next birthday.

Correct: We waited for a month before we received the cargo.


Item 9

Assume (verb: to accept as true without proof)

Presume (verb: to accept as true with something to back up, but not a strong evidence)


Correct: The customers did not complain before and therefore we assumed they are


Correct: We received a complaint from one of our customers before and therefore we

presumed majority of them were not satisfied with our service.


Item 10

Assure (verb: to reassure, make confident)

Insure (verb: to safe guard against loss or damage by paying insurance)

Ensure (verb: to make certain)


Correct: We assured the casualty that we could reach a hospital within an hour.

Correct: He insures his cargo for a million dollars.

Correct: I ensure the client will receive the component by next week.


Item 11

Aircraft (noun: machine capable of flight, word is used as singular or plural)

Aeroplane (noun: powered aircraft with wings, British spelling)

Airplane (noun: powered aircraft with wings, U.S. spelling)


Correct: One of the aircraft was damaged by the terrorists.

Correct: The aeroplane / airplane landed safely.


Item 12

Alternate (adj.: following each other in succession)

Alternative (noun: a choice between one of two or more things)


Correct: These two groups of people work on alternate days.

Correct: There will be a lot of alternatives to consider.


Item 13

Although (conj.: despite the fact that)

Though (conj.: Interchangeable with although except at the end of a sentence, e.g.

They looked tired, though.)


Correct: Although he was having fever, he came to work.

Correct: Though he was sick, he came to work.

Item 14

Aren’t you


Correct: You’re going to England tomorrow, aren’t you?

Wrong: You’re going to England tomorrow, isn’t it?


Item 15

Advise (verb: offering words of opinion)

Advice (noun: words offered as an opinion)


Correct: He advises her not to waste the money.

Wrong: He advices her not to waste the money

Correct: She was not happy with his advice.

Wrong: She was not happy with his advise.


Item 16

Am not going to do nothing


Correct: I am not going to do anything today.

Wrong: I am not going to do nothing today.


Item 17

Allude (verb: to mention something indirectly, without identifying it)

Elude (verb: to manage to get away from)


Correct: He uses his poems to allude the corrupt practices of his manager.

Correct: He eluded paying some income tax last year.


Item 18

Allusion (noun: indirect reference to something, a hint)

Illusion (noun: deception)


Correct: The allusion of the poem was about the corrupt manager

Correct: All the sufferings and pains are caused by greed, hatred and illusion.


Item 19

All right (predic.: in satisfactory condition)

Alright (adv.: less frequently used than “All Right”, but readily found in journalistic and

business publications, or in fictional dialogue)


Correct: It is all right / alright to be late because your presence will not affect anyone.


Item 20

Award (verb: to bestow for performance or quality)

Reward (verb: to give something in return for a meritorious action or service)


Correct: The best employee for the year was awarded with a return air ticket to

a destination of his or her choice.

Correct: The first aider was rewarded for his bravery in saving the life of the casualty.


Item 21

Abnormal (adj.: does not conform to the rule or standard)

Subnormal (adj.: below or inferior to the average)


Correct: The abnormal guy urinates on the road when all the tourists are there.

Correct: Because his intelligence is subnormal, he failed his driving test six times.


Item 22

Absurd (adj.: wildly unreasonable)

Ridiculous (adj.: unreasonable)


Correct: It is absurd for the factory owner to demand that all workers must

work 14 hours per day, six days per week.

Correct: It is ridiculous to believe the people like you because you are rich.


Item 23

Accessory (noun: additional or extra things fitted to cars, equipment etc)

Accessary (noun: someone involved in a crime but did not actually commit it as chief



Correct: I wish to buy this car without accessories.

Correct: Because Abang was an accessary to that crime, he escaped

the death sentence and was jailed for ten years.


Item 24

Affable (adj.: agreeable, friendly)

Efface (verb: to make disappear)


Correct: The new director was an affable person.

Correct: Although the document had been folded many times, we were lucky the name

of the author was not totally effaced.


Item 25

Amend (verb: to alter, change)

Emend (verb: to correct, or improve by removing errors and corruptions)


Correct: This society must amend its constitution so that even the foreigners can

become members.

Correct: Many monks sat together to comment on a religious document, so as to

emend it, by removing errors and corrupted portions for the sake of the

future generations.


Item 26

Adjacent (adj.: lying near or close)

Adjoining (verb: suggests actually touching)


Correct: His workshop is adjacent to mine.

Correct: His workshop adjoins mine. (in a terrace or semi-detached)


Item 27

Annunciate (verb: to proclaim or promulgate)

Enunciate (verb: to pronounce clearly)


Correct: The new leaders gathered on that day to annunciate the formation of a

Republic of China, thus ending the over 4000 year-old kingdom.

Correct: Phonetic teachers who are able to enunciate each English

word properly are most appreciated.


Item 28

Averse (adj.: disinclined, unwilling, opposed)

Adverse (adj.: opposing, unfavourable)


Correct: Some students are averse to the idea of doing any work.

Correct: The new president of the society has to face adverse opposition from some

of the members.


Item 29

Affluent (adj.: wealthy, prosperous)

Effluent (noun: liquid industrial waste that is discharged into the environment)


Correct: Children from affluent families are lucky.

Correct: An officer from the Department of Environment comes to our factory

once a month to collect samples from the effluent to make sure that the

toxic contents in the effluent are not beyond the permitted limit.


Item 30

Alternate (adj.: refers to the every other one, e.g., one, three, five, seven, nine ……..)

Alternative (noun: means one of the two choices)


Correct: Please pick all the alternate names on the list and put these names into two


Correct: You have two alternatives, one of them is to remain in this country.


Item 31

Ante (prefix forming nouns and adjectives: means before, in front of, e.g., antennas or



Correct: The anteroom is a small room leading to the main one which is a bigger room.

Correct: Antennas are television aerials.

Correct: Antennae are the feelers on the heads of some insects.


Anti (prefix forming nouns and adjectives: against, e.g., anti-American)

Correct: The Japanese were once anti-American.


Item 32

Anxious (adj.: means there is a sense of anxiety, or worry)

Eager (adj.: means there is a pleasant expectation, full of intense interest or deisre)


Correct: She was so anxious about her mother’s health that she flew from London to

New York to visit her in the hospital.

Correct: She did well in her final examinations and therefore she was very eager to have

the result of the examinations.


Item 33

Apt (adj.: means natural tendency, e.g. habitual probability)

Liable (predic. adj.: refers to habitual probability and also responsible for)

Likely (adv.: means probably)


Correct: The snake is apt to bite you if you step on it.

Correct: He is liable for all the mistakes committed in the workshop.

Correct: It is likely to rain heavily during the next few days.


Item 34

Affect (verb: to produce an effect on something, an action is taking place)

Effect (noun: the result of an action)


Correct: His bad behaviours affect the reputation of our company because he is one of us.

Correct: She does not smoke and therefore she does not suffer the effect of smoking.


Item 35

Anticipate (verb: looking forward to)

Expect (verb: to suppose, looking forward to something which is likely to happen)


Correct: I cannot anticipate how dangerous the road will be.

Correct: I expect he will behave badly during our next meeting.


Item 36

Apartment (noun: American word for flat)

Flat (noun: an apartment on one floor)


Correct: He bought an apartment in Hong Kong.

Correct: She bought a flat in Singapore.


Item 37

Anyways & Anywheres


These are nonstandard English words for anyway and anywhere


Item 38

Anywhere (adv.: in or at any place)

Anyway (adv.: in any case, at all events)

Any way (adj.: going to somewhere, or a way of doing thing)


Correct: The police officer confirmed that those terrorists could be anywhere on

this island.

Correct: Anyway, the decision is yours.

Correct: You can complete the job any way you think is most suitable.


Item 39

Amount (noun: refers to singular noun, e.g. money, influence, water)

Number (noun: refers to plural noun, e.g. apples, oranges, eggs)


Correct: We need a certain amount of money.

Correct: We have a number of apples.


Item 40

Activate (verb: to make a system active)

Motivate (verb: to stir to action, refers to people)

Actuate (verb: cause the operation of an electrical or pneumatic device)


Correct: We activate the pneumatic systems so that the automation is functioning.

Correct: The manager motivates the employees to take up higher studies.

Correct: In a good hotel, when the air-conditioning system fails, a controller will

actuate an alarm to inform the maintenance crew that the air-conditioner has

stopped functioning.




Item 41

Admission (noun: the act of allowing to enter)

Admittance (noun: permission or right to enter)


Correct: The college admission office has been burnt by the terrorists.

Correct: Please ask for admittance before you enter that building.


Item 42

Aroma (noun: pleasant smell)

Odour (noun: scent, usually pleasant)

Smell (noun: may be pleasant or unpleasant)


Correct: People love the aroma of fresh flowers.

Correct: The body odour of some people can be very unpleasant.

Correct: Dogs have a fine sense of smell.


Item 43

After (prep: following in time, later, behind)

Afterwards (adj.: later), British

Afterward (adj.: later), American English


Correct: After waiting for a week, we received the required component.

Correct: The man apologized afterwards.


Item 44

Ascend (verb: to rise or climb)

Assent (verb: to agree to)


Correct: The mountaineers started to ascend only yesterday.

Correct: It is only with the assent from the majority of the members that the president

of the society can be ousted.


Item 45

Ambiguous (adj.: having double meaning)

Ambivalent (adj.: having mixed or conflicting feelings, uncertain, undecided)

Correct: His explanation on the accident was ambiguous.

Correct: The employees were ambivalent in their attitude towards the management.


Item 46

Amid (prep.: in the middle of, interchangeable with amidst)

Amidst (prep.: in the middle of, this word is seldom used in Modern English)


Correct: The ship and the poor sailor were sinking amid the waves.


Item 47

Amiable (adj.: a good nature disposition)

Amicable (adj.: friendly or peaceable)


Correct: Johnny is my most amiable companion.

Correct: We had an amicable meeting with the clients.


Item 48

Analysis (noun: separation of a whole into its constituent elements)

Synthesis (noun: the combination of constituent elements to form a whole)


Correct: We sent the used lubricating oils to a laboratory for analysis.

Correct: We can produce water by synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen.


Item 49

Apiary (noun: a place where bees are kept)

Aviary (noun: an enclosure or building for keeping birds)


Correct: The farmer built a new apiary.

Correct: There was a hole on the top of the aviary and therefore some of the

birds escaped.


Item 50

Artist (noun: a person who practises fine art like painting or sculpture)

Artiste (noun: a person who performs in public, especially a singer or dancer)


Correct: The artist sold his painting for U.S. $200000.00.

Correct: Those artistes were from China.


Item 51

Assay (noun: to subject to chemical analysis)

Essay (noun: a composition on any subject)


Correct: Assay is the analysis of an ore or drug to determine its components.

Correct: Each student must write an essay of about 600 words within two hours.


Item 52

Abysmal (adj.: measureless, or unfathomable)

Abyssal (adj.: in oceanography, a depth of more than 300 fathoms)


Correct: Children living in abysmal poverty were killed on the street by people

who claimed these children were thieves or were acting as drug-traffickers.

Correct: We know very little of those creatures living at the abyssal zone of the ocean.




Item 53

Adapt (verb: to change or make suitable for a purpose)

Adopt (verb: take and use as one’s own)


Correct: This book has been adapted to be used for our GCE. “O” Level classes.

Correct: The supervisor adopted my safety article and used it during his briefing


Item 54

Adopted (verb: took other people’s child as one’s own child)

Adoptive (adj.: due to adoption)


Correct: Mr Haque adopted this child two years ago.

Correct: Because of the adoption, Mr Haque is the adoptive father.


Item 55

Acceptance (noun: a favourable reception, willingness to receive something)

Acceptation (noun: usual or generally agreed sense)


Correct: His acceptance of our invitation means he is still interested to associate with us.

Correct: If you have no other specific clauses to add in, I would assume the acceptation

of this agreement as effective from today.


Item 56

Advantage (noun: superior or favourable position)

Vantage (noun: a place affording good view or prospect)


Correct: His rich family background gave him an advantage over all the other children.

Correct: I enjoy watching the scenery from the vantage point of this tall building.


Item 57

Adherence (noun: attachment to a cause or belief)

Adhesion (noun: sticking of one thing to another, or the capacity of a substance to stick



Correct: The politician is well known for his adherence to free speech.

Correct: This industrial glue has very good adhesion.


Item 58

Actuate (verb: to cause to act, e.g. cause the operation of an electrical or pneumatic


Activate (verb: bring into action)


Correct: Murders are mostly actuated by hatred.

Correct: In a petroleum refinery, the liquefied petroleum gas is supplied to the facilities

by pipe lines from an external source. When the refinery is on fire, a sensor

will send the signal to the valve actuator which will then activate the valve

to close, thus preventing more gas to continue flowing into those facilities.


Item 59

Awake (verb: not asleep)

Wake up (verb: stop sleeping, e.g. she woke up at 6 A.M.)


Correct: The casualty is awake now.

Correct: They must wake up at 5 A.M. tomorrow in order to catch the train to Shanghai.


Item 59.01

Arbitrator (noun: person appointed to settle a dispute)

Arbiter (noun: person chosen or appointed to judge and settle a specific question)


Correct: I would not be able to act as an arbitrator to settle the dispute between these


Correct: They employ an arbiter of fashion to assist them during their next fashion show.


Item 59.02

Altogether (adv.: entirely or completely)

All together (adv. phrase: every thing or every body in the same place or at once)


Correct: Altogether I paid $900 to have my car repaired.

Correct: The director said he wanted to see us all together in the canteen.


Item 59.03

Awesome (adj.: dreadful, inspiring reverential fear or wonder)

Awful (adj.: unpleasant or horrible)


Correct: The United States Government has to face the awesome responsibility of

rebuilding Iraq.

Correct: The weather in the northern part of England is awful during winter.



Item 59.04

Appendixes (noun: a small organ attached to your intestine, Appendixes and appendices are interchangeable and they are both plural of appendix, but appendices also means supplements to a book, document etc. Appendixes is preferable in non-technical contexts)


Correct : As a young medical student, his first practical job was to remove appendixes.

Correct: The appendices consist of foreign words with the meanings explained in



Item 59.05

Alumni (noun: is the plural form of alumnus, refers to either male graduates or to males

and females collectively)

Alumnae (noun: refers to female graduates, and not, traditionally, to mixed group, the

singular is alumna)

In U.S.A., alumnus is a male graduate or former student of a university or



Correct: The alumni association of my former college sent me a membership application


Correct: Many of the alumnae from Texas A&M met in Singapore this year.


Item 59.06

Adviser (noun: someone who is asked to give suggestions to another person or a group of

people about what they should do)

Advisor (noun: interchangeable with adviser)


Correct: He is the economic adviser of the newly elected government.


Item 59.07

Autocracy (noun: absolute government by an individual or a paramount authority)

Autonomy (noun: the right of a state or institution to govern itself)


Correct: You cannot expect much from a country where autocracy is still practiced.

Correct: Many colleges have gained greater autonomy from government control.


Item 59.08

Allegiance (noun: loyalty to a person or cause etc)

Alliance (noun: a pact between two or more nations)


Correct: Their allegiance to the nation was so great that they willingly took up arms to

fight the invaders.

Correct: In order to survive in a modern world, many countries would have to form an

alliance to face the most unexpected enemies.


Item 59.09

Antiquated (adj.: old-fashioned, out of date)

Antique (noun: things existing from an early date made valuable by the eyes)


Correct: This is an antiquated washing machine and the repair cost will be more than the

cost of any new washing machine in the market today.

Correct: He spends a lot of money on antique furniture.

Item 59.10

Argentina (noun: a nation in South America)

Argentine (noun: of or relating to Argentina)


Correct: Argentina has an area of 2,766,889 square kilometers.

Correct: Jack is of Argentine descent.


Item 59.11

Achieve (verb: acquire, gain, earn, accomplish)

Attain (verb: arrive at, reach a goal etc which we aspired without being sure of success)


Correct: After working hard for thirty years, this gentleman had at last achieved victory

because he proved it to his friends that he could accumulate a million U.S.

dollars within that period of time.

Correct: Living the life of an ascetic for six years, Sakyamuni had at last attained


Item 59.12

Acedia (noun: torpor, sloth, the dimness of the faculties of each of the mental properties

such as contact, feeling and so forth)

Apathy (noun: lack of interest or feeling)


Correct: Drunkenness and acedia are two of the causes of one’s downfall.

Correct: The slam children faced their bleak future with apathy.


Item 59.13

Amatory (adj.: connected with sexual love)

Amorous (adj.: moved by sexual love, refers to warmer feeling or affectionate desire for

lovemaking or sex play)


Correct: When his amatory affairs leaked out, the ruling party had to asked him to resign.

Correct: The security guard cast amorous glances at that female refugee.

Item 59.14

Ascribe (verb: to credit, or assign as a quality or characteristic)

Attribute (verb: to regard as belonging to)


Correct: These people ascribe to a philosophy that permeates every part of their life.

Correct: Some people tend to attribute their success to external causes such as luck.


Item 59.15

Aerobic (adj.: organisms that require atmospheric oxygen)

Anaerobic (adj.: organisms that don’t require atmospheric oxygen)


Correct: Aerobic bacteria live in the sewerage.

Correct: Anaerobic bacteria grow only in the absence of molecular oxygen.


Item 59.16

Accent (noun: the way a person pronounces a language)

Pitch (verb: the degree of loudness or highness of a sound)


Correct: After working in France for five years, Johnny speaks with a French accent.

Correct: My music instructor told me that my song should be pitched in a higher key.


Item 60

British shoe size

American shoe size


Correct: I wish to buy this brand of shoes. I would like to have British size 7.

Correct: I wish to buy that pair of shoes. Please give me the American size 8.


When a person says his shoe size is British size 7, he does not mean he wants a pair of shoes made in Britain. If he wants to buy the shoes made in Britain, he will say: I want British Make.


Item 61

Borrow (verb: acquire temporarily with the promise of returning)

Lend (verb: grant a person the use of a thing on the understanding that it shall be



Correct: I borrow her book.

Correct: She lends me her book.

Wrong: She borrows me her book, (when the meaning is she allows me to use her book.)


Item 62

Big (adj.: of considerable size, amount etc)

Great (adj.: something very large, important or outstandingly good)

Large (adj.: of great size, often used in term of quantity)


Correct: The rich man has a big house.

Correct: A great politician can bring peace and prosperity to his country.

Correct: I could see a large number of people swimming in the sea.


Item 63

Broad (adj.: wide or large)

Wide (adj.: considerable, extending far, of great extent)


Correct: People who were lucky enough to receive a broad and balanced

education turned out to be the happier ones.

Correct: This workshop has a wide entrance.


Item 64

Benign (noun or adj.: abnormal growth of tissue that is not cancerous, also means gentle,


Malignant (adj. cancerous, harmful, feeling or showing intense ill will)


Correct: I have met some unfriendly people before, but I can not say I have not met

some benign people.

Correct: Hatred is more dangerous than a malignant disease.


Item 65

Bereaved (adj.: lost a relative or close friend recently, especially by death)

Bereft (adj.: deprived of)


Correct: The bereaved person would cry whenever people talked about her

deceased mother.

Correct: The homeless child is bereft of love.


Item 66

Biased (verb: prejudiced)

Biassed (interchangeable with biased)


Correct: If someone is biased against you, he will definitely think of you unfairly.


Item 67

Blush (verb: embarrassed)

Flush (verb: cleanse, also means blush)


Correct: The poor girl blushes and her face goes red.

Correct: The lavatory has been flushed with a rushing flow of water.


Item 68

Boat (noun: a small vessel for travelling across water)

Ship (noun: a large boat which carries passengers or cargo)

Vessel (noun: is a ship or a large boat, it is also a container for liquids)


Correct: I enjoy boating.

Correct: I traveled from Singapore to Hong Kong by ship.

Correct: The engineer inspected the vessel before he confirmed it was safe to fill

in the liquid.


Item 69

Bosom (adj.: woman’s breasts, also means very close friend)

Breasts (noun: the upper front parts of human bodies)


Correct: Johnny is my bosom friend.

Correct: Some people have no hair on their breasts.


Item 70

Bullion (noun: gold or silver in the form of bars)

Gold (noun: valuable yellow metal used in jewellery and also used as international



Correct: Bullion robbery has always been exciting news.

Correct: The price of gold has gone up.


Item 71

Blatant (adj.: unashamed, offensively obstrusive)

Flagrant (adj.: notorius, scandalous or glaringly wrong)


Correct: His actions are blatant.

Correct: The crime is a flagrant violation of the law and yet this thug does not

feel ashamed of it.


Item 72

Breach (verb: a violation of a law or obligation)

Breech: (noun: the hind end of the body, the part of a firearm behind the barrel)


Correct: The contractor breached the agreement because according to the contract,

those crude oil tanks must be painted with three undercoats and two top coats.

Correct: The thug ran out of ammunition as the police officers moved in and he hit

the head of the victim with the breech of his gun before he escaped via

the tunnel.


Item 73

Backward (adj.: directed to the rear, retarded in development)

Backwards (adv.: away from one’s front)


Correct: I would not want to live in a backward country.

Correct: The teacher told the students to move backwards.

In the United States of America, backward and backwards are interchangeable.


Item 74

Beside (prep.: means by the side of or near)

Besides (prep.: means apart from, moreover)


Correct: I sit beside him.

Wrong: I sit besides him.

Correct: Besides the social worker, no one was willing to sit next to the prisoners.

Correct: Besides paying for the service, I paid for the spare parts.


Item 75

Barbaric (adj.: savage, cruel)

Barbarous (adj.: uncivilized)

Barbarian (noun: rough and uncultured)


Correct: The artificial fingers he hangs round his neck show his barbaric tastes.

Correct: The shooting of birds for fun is a barbarous practice.

Correct: He sat on the chair in the restaurant and put his two feet on the dinning table,

not realizing that he was telling the guests that he was a barbarian.


Item 76

Beneficence (noun: a charitable act or gift)

Benevolence (noun: the desire to do good deeds)


Correct: Because of the beneficence of the public, the house of the poor man

was repaired.

Correct: Benevolence is a striking feature of the monks.


Item 77

Bloom (verb: to bear flowers)

Blossom (verb: to bear flowers, but also suggests a stage which culminates in a climax)


Correct: These plants will bloom by July every year.

Correct: After four years of hard work at the college of fine art, she has blossomed

into outstanding artist.


Item 78

British (adj.: of or relating to Great Britain, or the United Kingdom)

English (adj.: of or relating to England or its people or language)


Correct: The British government has always been diplomatic.

Correct: Tulip is an English surname.


Item 79

Belly (noun: the front of the body from the waist to the groin)

Stomach (noun: the internal organ in which the first part of digestion occurs)


Correct: He has a bulging belly.

Correct: This patient is having stomach cancer.


Item 80

Brake (noun: device for slowing or stopping vehicle)

Break (verb: split into pieces)


Correct: The brake of this car is defective and you should not drive this car until the

brake has been repaired.

Correct: Ah Chong has to break the window to go into his own house because he lost

the key.


Item 81

Balmy (adj.: mild and pleasant)

Barmy (adj.: nonsensical, crazy)


Correct: I love the balmy weather in Singapore.

Correct: Ah Low goes barmy and we do not wish to continue with the negotiation.


Item 82

Begin (verb: carry out the first part of)

Commence (verb: formal word for start)

Start (verb: begin)


Correct: I begin the project by sorting out the number of workers I shall need.

Correct: If the contractor accepts this agreement, the project commences.

Note: Do not say “let us commence the dinner now,” thinking it is more impressive.

The use of commence here is not necessary.

Correct: I start up the engine to see if it can run smoothly.


Item 83

Below (prep.: in a lower position, it implies a comparison )

Beneath (prep.: in a lower position)

Under (prep.: below or beneath)


Correct: Ah Tee would not travel by bus because he thought it was below his status

to do so.

Correct: All the flats beneath the tenth floor were on fire.

Correct: My pen was found under the table.


Item 84

Burn (verb: to damage or be damaged by fire, heat, extreme cold or corrosive substances)

Burned (verb: past tense and past participle of burn)

Burnt (verb: past tense and past participle of burn)


Correct: He burns the grass.

Correct: He said his finger was slightly burned yesterday.

Correct: The grass was burned / burnt yesterday.


Item 86

Between (prep.: means at a point in the area bounded by two or more other points)

Among (prep: means surrounded by, in the company of or in the number of)


Correct: Cooperation between countries is good.

Correct: Among all the experienced politicians, only two were willing to come forward

to rebuild the nation.


Item 86

Bi (comb. form: means having two times of a certain duration, or twice within that



Correct: This magazine is a biweekly. (The magazine is published every two weeks

or twice per week.)

Correct: This magazine is a bimonthly. (The magazine is published every two months

or twice per month.)

Note: If your magazine is published twice every month, say semimonthly. If it is

published twice every week, say semiweekly to avoid confusion.)


Item 87

Blond (adj.: having light coloured skin and hair, e.g. blond men or boys)

Blonde (adj.: having light coloured skin and hair, refers more to women, e.g. blonde women and girls)


Correct: The blond men and boys were staying in City Hall Hotel.

Correct: The blonde women were staying in Hilton Hotel.


Item 88

Born (verb: is the past participle of bear, which means to endure, also an adjective which

means natural talent)

Borne (verb: is the past participle of bear, e.g. bearing a child or to bring forth)


Correct: The man was a born leader.

Correct: We were borne by our mothers.


Item 89

Bring (verb: come with, refers to movement towards the speaker)

Take (verb: to grasp with the hand, refers to movements away from the speaker)


Correct: Please bring me some books.

Correct: Please take that book away.


Item 90

Barrel (noun: container shaped like a cylinder, bulging in the middle, made of wooden

staves, secured by metal hoops round them, with capacity of 159 litres)

Cask (noun: container shaped like a cylinder, bulging in the middle, made of wood, metal

or plastic)


Correct: One barrel of crude oil is about U.S.$20.00 today.

Correct: The wine has been kept in the cask during the past many years.


Item 91

Benchmark (noun: the standard against which the output of individual workers in the

same industry is assessed)

Hallmark (noun: a mark on an article of trade indicating its origin & authenticity)


Correct: When we employed a specialist to carry out benchmarking in our company,

majority of our employees were trying to befriend him.

Correct: I will not accept this hardware because its hallmark has been erased.





Item 92

Benevolent (adj.: well-wishing, kind)

Malevolent (adj.: wishing evil on another person)


Correct: Benevolent people are able to live and work in any country.

Correct: His malevolent intention was the main cause of his unhappiness.


Item 93

Bonus (noun: something given or paid in addition to what was expected)

Windfall (noun: an unexpected good fortune, especially a legacy)


Correct: Our company gave each employee a bonus equivalent to two months of his or

her monthly basic salary.

Correct: Samantha received a windfall yesterday because a lawyer called up to announce

that her grandfather left her a piece of land.


Item 94

Broker (noun: an agent who buys or sells for others, without risk of losing any money)

Dealer (noun: an agency authorised to sell a particular commodity, owning that item

legally and may lose money if that item cannot sell)


Correct: The broker went to see his client to tell her the potential buyer would only buy

the house if the cost could be reduced by nine thousand dollars.

Correct: The spare part dealer helps his clients to bring in the required parts.


Item 95

Business (noun: a person’s regular occupation, profession or trade)

Trade (noun: buying and selling, refers more to whole and international dealings)


Correct: People in peaceful countries can normally run their businesses more profitably.

Correct: International trade has suffered because of terrorist attacks in some countries.


Item 96

Barrister (noun: a person admitted to plead at Bar, especially in a High Court, in England

or Wales, in Scotland he is called an advocate)

Advocate (noun: a professional pleader in a court of justice in Scotland)

Solicitor (noun: a lawyer who advises his clients and briefs the barrister)

Attorney (noun: a lawyer in the U.S.A., someone appointed to transact business on behalf

of another)


Correct: The barrister would expect his solicitors to brief him thoroughly before

he attends the next case.

Correct: If the advocate does not plead well this time, his reputation will be affected.

Correct: The solicitor and the barrister have been working very hard for the next case.

Correct: We have appointed an attorney to handle this case.


Item 96.01

Blanch (verb: to make white, to take colour out of, to turn pale)

Bleach (noun: a liquid or powder used to clean or to remove colour)

Blench (verb feeling great fear and disgust at the thought of doing something)


Correct: Most people would blanch at the thought of having to work twelve hours per


Correct: He bought some bleach to whiten his shirt.

Correct: He blenched at the thought of having to work under the scorching sun.


Item 96.02

Billicose (adj.: warlike, eager to fight or quarrel)

Belligerent (adj.: showing a readiness to fight or quarrel)


Correct: Basil made some bellicose statements during the last meeting.

Correct: Belligerent nations should learn from history that fighting a war might not solve

international problem.


Item 96.03

Bogey (noun: a particular fear especially one not based on reasons)

Bogie (noun: US spelling for bogey)

Bogy (noun: interchangeable with bogey)


Correct: His biggest bogey is the commitment in a relationship with a woman.


Item 96.04

Baluster (noun: the upright support of a handrail)

Banister (noun: a handrail with its supporting balusters)


Correct: If the balusters are spread too wide apart, children may fall through the open

space and get hurt.

Correct: The banisters for this house have been constructed by a sub-contractor.


Item 96.05

Bemuse (verb: stupefy, or confused in mind)

Amuse (verb: causing a person to laugh or smile, keep a person entertained)


Correct: The oil field workers were bemused by the sudden appearance of terrorists who

were speeding toward the platform with their fast boats.

Correct: The child was amused by the magician.


Item 96.07

Bathe (verb: to swim in the sea, river, lake or other large area of water)

Bath (noun: a long rectangular container which you fill with water and sit or lie in to

wash your body)


Correct: It is dangerous to bathe in the river here because it is infested with crocodiles.

Correct: I fill up the bath with water and lie in to wash my body.


Item 96.08

Burn down (verb: totally destroyed by fire, e.g. a building)

Burn up (verb: completely destroyed by fire or strong heat)


Correct: That timber building was completely burned down.

Correct: The meteorite was burned up when it entered the earth atmosphere.


Item 96.09

Buffalo (noun: wild animal like a large cow with long curved horns)

Bison (noun: a member of the cattle tribe found mainly over the prairies of west and

north U.S.A It has massive head and a humped back)


Correct: At the Texas country side, we came across a lot of buffaloes.

Correct: The bison were standing in the field and they were munching when we arrived

at that farm.


Item 96.10

Bravado (noun: swaggering pretence of boldness)

Bravery (noun: courage and valour)

Bravura (adj.: brilliant display of daring skill or style, e.g. bravura performance)


Correct: With almost unbelievable bravado, the two witnesses stood before the judge and

told him that they saw the stolen camera in David’s briefcase.

Correct: The fact that he was daring enough to dive into the crocodile infested lake to

save the boy indicated his bravery.

Correct: I don’t like the play because the actors wasted time on bravura

performance simply to make the story to last longer.


Item 96.11

Breadth (noun: the distance or measurement from side to side of a thing)

Broadness (noun: large in expanse)


Correct: I need to know the exact breadth of the cargo because it must not be wider than

the deck of the lorry.

Correct: The broadness of the Yangtse gave me the impression that I was standing at a

sea front.


Item 96.12

Bloc (noun: a group of people, countries or organizations joined to achieve a

common purpose)

Block (noun: a solid piece of material, or a rectangular shape formed by intersecting city



Correct: ASEAN is a bloc of South-east Asian countries joined to ensure their own


Correct : A native in the U.S.A. went to a forest and accidentally found a block of gold

weighing about 500 grams.


Item 96.13

Bated (verb: restrained, held back)

Baited (verb: used food to entice a prey, especially a fish or an animal)


Correct: All the employees have been waiting with bated breath to hear who the

retrenched workers were.

Wrong: All the employees have been waiting with baited breath to hear who the

retrenched workers were.

Correct : He baited the fishes with fresh bananas and as the fishes were eating the

bananas he pulled up his net.



Item 96.14

Beautify (verb: refers to the applying of makeup or any attempt to make something more


Adorn (verb: add beauty or lustre to, furnish with ornaments, decorate)


Correct: We have a program to beautify all the major streets in the city.

Correct: During the festive season, many women adorned themselves in jewels and

new clothes.


Item 96.15

Blessedness (noun: happiness, the enjoyment of divine favour)

Beatitude (noun: supreme blessedness that approaches the transcendent)


Correct: Some people believe their deities are able to grant them blessedness.

Correct: The beatitude enjoyed by priests are not coming from any external agent.


Item 96.16

Brawny (adj.: solid and well-developed muscles)

Burly (adj.: heavy and strong)


Correct: These swimmers have been training for many years and all of them have brawny


Correct: The burly labourers are able to carry a sack of rice weighing about 100

kilograms and walk 50 meters nonstop.





Item 96.17

Boulevard (noun: a broad avenue in a city with areas at the sides or center for trees, grass

or flowers)

Alley (noun: a passage through a continuous row of houses permitting access from the

street to backwards etc)


Correct: Many of the narrow streets in Asian countries have been replaced with wide


Correct: That alley was bordered by beautiful trees and bushes.


Item 96.18

Bored (adj.: refers to an unmoved response to a particular event)

Apathetic (adj.: a general dullness of feeling in a person or a group, unwilling to take



Correct: He is getting very bored with his new job.

Correct: An apathetic person is not interested in doing anything.


Item 96.19

Breath (noun: one respiration of air)

Breathe (verb: to inhale or exhale air)


Correct: I took a breath and dived into the water.

Correct: When I was submerged in the water, I breathed out.


Item 96.20

Bridal (adj.: of or concerning a bride or a wedding)

Bridle (verb: to show sudden annoyance)


Correct: The bridal suite was more beautifully decorated and that was why it was more


Correct: He bridled at the accusation that he had been dishonest.


Item 96.21

Bountiful (adj.: ample, plentiful)

Bounteous (adj.: generous, liberal, freely given)


Correct: We have bountiful rainfall in Singapore.

Correct: The only child in a family normally receives bounteous affection from the



Item 96.22

Brokerage (noun: a broker’s fee or commission)

Brokage (noun: interchangeable with brokerage)


Correct: The brokerage has always been very high and you may save some money if you

do not use the service of a broker.


Item 97

Carcase (noun: dead body of an animal, interchangeable with carcass)


Correct: The farmer buried the carcass.


Most English speakers prefer the word carcass.


Item 98

Contrary (adj.: opposed in nature, opposite in position or direction)

Converse (noun: opposite or reversed)

Opposite (adj.: having a position on the other or further side)


Correct: Contrary to what you said, no one was ever executed in Singapore

because of stealing.

Correct: If a person says: ‘dog bites boy ’, the converse will be “boy bites dog”.

Correct: We were walking in opposite directions.


Item 99

Contemptible (adj.: despicable)

Contemptuous (adj.: scornful)


Correct: I don’t enjoy talking to this contemptible guy.

Correct: He was contemptuous of the way she treated him.


Item 100

Caddie (noun: person who assists a golfer, by carrying clubs or any other equipment)

Caddy (noun: a small container for carrying tea)


Correct: After the match, the golfer gave the caddie $50.00.

Correct: The caddy dropped on the concrete floor and was damaged.


Item 101

Careen (verb: tilt or lean over)

Career (noun: a profession or occupation)


Correct: The workers careened the ship for repair.

Correct: His career was badly affected by the economic crisis.


Item 102

Calendar (noun: a chart showing the days, weeks, and months of a year)

Calender (noun: a machine with rollers for pressing paper)


Correct: This calendar is a gift from my brother.

Correct: The workers used calenders to press on the sheets of paper to make them smooth

and more attractive.


Item 103

Chancellery (noun: the residence or the office of a chancellor, it is also an office in

an embassy or consulate)

Chancery (noun: a division of the High Court of Justice)


Correct: It was claimed that a bomb accidentally dropped near the Chinese Embassy

and a chancellery was badly damaged.

Correct: In the British legal system, the problems which cannot be solved by

applying the law in the normal way are handed over to the

Chancery Division.


Item 104

Chastity (noun: the behaviour of not having sex with others, except their wife

or husband)

Celibacy (noun: the state of being unmarried or not having sex)


Correct: Chastity is an admirable behaviour.

Correct: These nuns believe celibacy and other merits will lead them to heaven

in the next life.


Item 105

Clad (verb: past and past participle of clothe)

Clothe (verb: to put clothes on, to dress)


Correct: The philanthropist saw the kids on the street clad in clothes not fit for

human beings.

Correct: The philanthropist provides money to clothe the poor and homeless kids.


Item 106

Climatology (noun: scientific study of climate)

Meteorology (noun: study of the process in the earth’s atmosphere which cause

weather condition so as to forecast weather for the next few days)


Correct: Our college does not have a department for climatology.

Correct: The equipment for the meteorology department will be installed soon.


Item 107

Cocaine (noun: addictive drug which some people take for pleasure)

Heroin (noun: highly additive drug derived from morphine)


Correct: The taking of cocaine for pleasure could signify the beginning of a problem

for a youth.

Correct: Trafficking of heroin is most common in poorly developed countries.


Item 108

Classified (verb: kept secret by a government for security reasons)

Sensitive (adj.: easily irritated)


Correct: People who steal classified information may have to face the death sentence

if they are caught.

Correct: Some religious issues are sensitive and should never be debated at public places.

Item 109

Controller (noun: a person or thing that controls)

Comptroller (a mistaken spelling for controller, dated back more than 400 years ago, it

is best to avoid using this word unless the examiner wants you to use it)


Correct: The controller for the power of this machine is installed within easy access

so that during an emergency, any body can pull the knob to stop the operation.


Item 110

Councillor (noun: an elected member of a council for local government in a certain area)

Counsellor (noun: a person who gives advice on how to deal with problems)


Correct: I find this councillor very honest and sincere.

Correct: This youth who has trouble with the law could have been saved if he

had a counselor earlier.


Item 111

Celebrant (noun: a person who performs or take part in a religious ceremony)

Celebrator (noun: a person who takes part in a revelry)


Correct: Those celebrants were calmed and happy after the ceremony.

Correct: The celebrators were involved in noisy and drunken enjoyment.


Item 112

Client (noun: a person who receives professional services)

Customer (noun: a person who buys goods from another)

Patron (noun: a person who gives financial or other support to another, to a cause or

work of art; the customers of a shop, pub, or place of entertainment are also

called the patrons)


Correct: The clients are the people we have to serve sincerely because without them,

the company will not survive.

Correct: We want to ensure that the customers will want to come back to buy

things from us in future.

Correct: The patrons to this pub are mostly young people.




Item 113

Chafe (verb: to make or become worn from rubbing)

Chaff (noun: the husks on corn, paddy etc)


Correct: His skin had been chafed and he needed first aid treatment.

Correct: The chaff from the paddy must be separated before we can call it rice.


Item 114

Climactic (noun: the very exciting or important moment in something like an event,

story etc)

Climatic (adj.: means something to do with a place’s climate)


Correct: This serial story contains twenty episodes, with each episode ending with

a climactic event so that the viewers will want to come back to find out what

is going on.

Correct: Climatic changes may result in more people falling ill.


Item 115

Commitment (noun: a pledge, strong belief in something, a promise)

Committal (noun: the act of committing a person to an institution, e.g. a prison)


Correct: People who have no commitment in anything are most unlikely

to succeed in anything.

Correct: His committal to the prison was endorsed by the high court.


Item 116

Carnage (noun: massacre or slaughter)

Carnal (adj.: pertaining to bodily appetites or desires)


Correct: According to our history, whenever wars broke out, carnages could

not be avoided.

Correct: To have carnal knowledge means to have sexual intercourse.


Item 117

Cerebellum (noun: portion of the brain concerned with muscle coordination and body


Cerebral (adj.: characteristic of intellectual pursuits, brainy)


Correct: His cerebellum was slightly damaged during an accident and his sense

of balance is thus impaired.

Correct: The professor’s speech on the purpose of existence on earth is too cerebral

for the average guy on the street.





Item 118

Continuance (noun: the act of continuing)

Continuation (noun: interchangeable with continuance)

Continuity (noun: an unbroken succession)


Correct: The politician wanted to ensure his continuance in office for the next 30 years.

Correct: All the guests returned for the continuation of the meeting.

Correct: Some people do not believe in the continuity from this life to the next life.


Item 119

Centrifugal (adj.: tending to move away from the centre)

Centripetal (adj.: tending to move toward the centre)


Correct: The centrifugal pump in our company can pump a liquid up to a vertical

height of 120 metres.


Correct: It is because of the centripetal force that our planet is able to revolve round

the sun, the centre of our solar system.


Item 120

Change (verb: to make different)

Alter (verb: relatively slight change)


Correct: After thinking over the matter for a few days, he changed his mind.

Correct: I had the shirt altered to suit my body.


Item 121

Country (noun: the geographical characteristics of a place)

Nation (noun: a country with its social and political structures)


Correct: Hawaii is a country.

Correct: The United States of America is a nation.


Item 122

Corps (noun: a group of people organized for a particular purpose)

Corpse (noun: a dead body)


Correct: He was conducting first aids course for the Royal Intelligence Corps.

Correct: The corpse was stolen by people because it was left on the roadside.


Item 123

Cast (verb: to throw)

Caste (verb: hereditary social group of social distinction)


Correct: The new tenants cast away all the articles left by the previous group of people.

Correct: The caste system was introduced by very selfish people.


Item 124

Capacious (adj.: spacious, roomy)

Capricious (adj.: impulsive, arbitrary, unpredictable)

Captious (adj.: fault finding, carping)


Correct: After some renovation, we now have a capacious workshop.

Correct: This man’s behaviour is capricious and we need to keep an eye on him.

Correct: The new employee was captious as could be proved from his many petty

objections during the past few days.


Item 125

Censor (verb: to criticize, object to and possibly delete from publications etc)

Censure (verb: severely criticize or find fault with)


Correct: The censor board people removed many paragraphs from the author’s

book before that book was allowed to appear on the market.

Correct: We can sleep peacefully if the wise people do not censure us.


Item 126

Commensurate (adj.: proportionate)

Commiserate (verb: empathize, to express sorrow or sympathy)


Correct: To be able to employ and keep a person in the company, we must

ensure that his salary will commensurate with his qualification and experience.

Correct: We commiserate with you on the loss of your grandfather.


Item 127

Cite (verb: to quote or refer to)

Site (noun: a place, or location)


Correct: The author cited many times from the lecture presented by the professor.

Correct: All the job site workers are living in very poor condition.


Item 128

Cement (noun: a substance that hardens and fastens on setting)

Concrete (noun: a composition of gravel, sand, cement and water used for building)


Correct: The contractor said he wanted to buy some Portland cement.

Correct: The engineer inspected the concrete before it was poured into the foundation

of the building.


Item 129

Centre (noun: a point equidistant from all points on the sides or outer boundaries)

Middle (noun: at an equal distance from the extremities of a thing)


Correct: The boy was cycling along the middle of the road.

Correct: The sun is the centre of our solar system.


Item 130

Corporal (adj.: belonging to the human body)

Corporeal (adj.: bodily, physical, material)


Correct: Canning is corporal punishment.

Correct: The sage who lives in the cave on a mountain does not have any interest

on corporeal thing.

Item 131

Could (verb: past tense of can, means potentially capable of, it suggests

a greater possibility)

Might (verb: past tense of may, it expresses possibility, but with a less chance

of it happening)


Correct: You could pass the examination if you prepare for it properly.

Correct: The thief might turn up. (It is unlikely he would turn up.)


Item 132

Crevasse (noun: a deep open creak especially in a glacier, In U.S., it is also a breach in a

river bank, or embankment)

Crevice (noun: narrow opening in rocks, buildings etc)


Correct: Since they saw a crevasse on a huge glacier, the scouts decided to pack up

and to descend the mountain as soon as possible.

Correct: The water collected in the crevices of this building was the cause of corrosion

on the aluminium structure.


Item 133

Curb: (noun: a check, or restraint, made of concrete or stone)

Kerb (noun: In Britain, a stone edging to a pavement or raised path, and also the

fender of hearth, or the frame work round the top of a well)


Correct: The curb has been damaged by rough motorists.

Correct: Some of the stones forming the kerb have been stolen.


Item 134

Criterion (noun: a standard by which you judge or decide something)

Criteria (noun: plural of criterion)


Correct: The sole criterion for promotion now is personal merit.





Item 135

Chord (noun: a string of a musical instrument)

Cord (noun: small rope consisting of several strands twisted together)


Correct: In order to produce good music, the chord of the instrument must be tuned


Correct: This cord is no longer safe for use because one of the strands has parted.


Item 136

Chinese (adj.: of or relating to China)

Chinaman (noun: the offensive way of describing a Chinese national)


Correct: His wife is a Chinese national.

Correct: When the British soldiers called him Chinaman, David sensed the hostility.


Item 137

Catholic (noun: a member of a Catholic Church)

catholic (adj.: universal in extent, comprehensive)


Correct: George is a good Catholic.

Correct: The documents regarding the ancient history discovered so far are surely

the most catholic to be found.


Item 138

Charles’ book


Correct: That’s Charles’ book.

Wrong: That’s Charle’s book.


Item 139

Can (refers to power to do something)

May (refers to the permission to do something)


Correct: May I use the telephone? (I have to ask permission because the telephone

does not belong to me.)

Correct: Can you use the phone? (Refers to whether you are physically strong enough to

lift up the earpiece and dial the required number)

At present, can and may are used by most English speakers without any distinction.




Can (auxiliary verb: possible, know how to)

Cannot (auxiliary verb: is used to indicate a strong belief that something is not true or

will not happen, or to indicate someone should not do something, or some thing

should not happen)


Correct: I can help you now.

Correct: Smoking within the factory compound cannot be allowed to

continue indefinitely.


Item 141

Centenary (adj.: means a hundred years)

Centennial (noun: means lasting for a hundred years or occurring every hundred years)


Correct: Our company spent $30000.00 for the centenary celebration.

Correct: The centennial was celebrated last year.


Item 142

Cavalcade (noun: a procession of people on horses or in cars or carriages)

Procession (noun: a line of people or vehicles moving together for a ceremony)


Correct: The cavalcade carried out last night was great.

Correct: I went to watch the National Day procession at Orchard during the

last few years.


Item 143

Ceremonial (noun: a system of rites or ceremonies)

Ceremonious (adj.: excessively polite)


Correct: The child enjoyed the ceremonial because of the pomp and splendour.

Correct: He performed a ceremonious bow at the Buddha image before he chanted

the Sutra.


Item 144

Capital (noun: refers to wealth and money with which to start a business, or the city

that is the seat of government, or an upper case letter)

Capitol (noun: the building which state officials congregate)


Correct: How much capital do I need to start a training school in Shanghai?

Correct: Please tell me the capital of Japan.

Correct: Capitol is the home of the U.S. Congress.


Item 145

Carat (noun: Weight of diamonds and other precious stones. Each carat is 0.2 gram)

Caret (noun: omission mark made in written or printed matter so that further material

can be inserted)


Correct: I bought a 50 carat diamond while I was in Hong Kong.

Correct: The assistant was told to read the paragraphs sentence by sentence, and to

mark a caret when he thought an insertion was needed.


Item 146

Complement (verb: means to complete a whole or satisfy a need)

Compliment (noun: means to praise, used as a verb or noun)


Correct: Taking of vitamin tablets daily may be able to complement your vitamin

need for the day.

Correct: Please accept my compliment.


Item 147

Continual (adj.: means over and over again)

Continuous (adj.: means uninterrupted or broken)


Correct: I appreciate your continual support.

Correct: The train service was continuous during the past 24 hours.


Item 148

Convince (verb: means persuade a person to believe something)

Persuade (verb: means causing a person to believe something)


Correct: I convinced her that the ordinary surgical mask could not stop the Sars

virus from going into her nose.

Correct: He persuaded her to believe the incident but he had not fully convinced her.

Item 149

Classical (adj.: is used to describe things which are well established in form, style or


Classic (adj.: remarkable, typical)


Correct: Mr Ng said he enjoyed listening to classical music.

Correct: The fact that even the police officers could be so easily corrupted in that

country is a classic example of how difficult it was to for the politicians to

lead that country to prosperity.


Item 150

Council (noun: means an assemblage of persons)

Consul (noun: is a person in the foreign service of a country, who can represent that


Counsel (noun: means to advise, or the advice itself, or a lawyer, e.g. The Queen’s



Correct: I visited The British Council Library.

Correct: The Russian Consul visited Brunei last week.

Correct: In spite of the counsel, the man refused to give up the project.





Item 151

Café (noun: is a small coffee-house or tea house)

Cafeteria (noun: is a restaurant where the customers collect their own meals and pay

before eating)


Correct: I went into the café to have a cup of coffee.

Correct: I had to queue at the cafeteria to buy my lunch.


Item 152

Canvas (noun: is a strong course cloth made of hemp or other course yarn)

Canvass (verb: is to solicit for votes)


Correct: The painting was done on canvas.

Correct: Before the election, the politicians canvassed very hard.


Item 153

Childish (adj.: means immature, spoilt and stupid)

Childlike (adj.: means having the natural innocence and openness of a child)


Correct: Miss Li is very childish as far as love is concerned.

Correct: Most people lost the childlike attitude towards life when they

reached adulthood.


Item 154

Clench (verb: means close the teeth or fingers tightly, grasp firmly)

Clinch (verb: means settle an argument, bargain etc conclusively)


Correct: He clenched his fist and punched the assailant on the nose.

Correct: The two gentlemen clinched their disagreement.


Item 155

Conceal (verb: to keep from observation or discovery, refers more to abstract qualities)

Hide (verb: to keep out of sight)


Correct: The crooks concealed their motives successfully.

Correct: He hides the packet in the pocket.


Item 156

Clean (adj.: means free from contaminating matter)

Cleaner (noun: means more clean, or a person employed to do cleaning jobs in buildings


Cleanse (verb: to make clean or pure, refers more to moral or spiritual sense)


Correct: I prefer to work in a clean workshop.

Correct: You can have cleaner water directly from the tap.

Correct: The murderer came to pray thinking that he could have his sins

cleansed by a supernatural being.

Wrong: You can have more cleaner water directly from the tap.


Item 157

Convex (adj.: curved outward)

Concave (adj.: curved inwards)


Correct: The inside of a spoon would be described as concave.

Correct: The bottom of a spoon would be described as convex.


Note: A concave lens is thinner at the centre than at the edges

A convex lens is thicker at the centre than at the edges.


Item 158

Confident (adj.: self assured)

Confidant (noun: a person you tell your inner most secrets)


Correct: The police officer was confident he could find the mastermind soon.

Correct: The woman was sure her confidant would never leak out her story.


Item 159

Confide in (verb: to entrust a person with a secret)

Confide to (verb: entrust a private matter to someone)


Correct: I was sure she would confide in her parents.

Correct: It is likely that she will confide to the priest.


Item 160

Connection: (noun: the point at which two things are connected)

Connexion: (interchangeable with connection in the U.S. It is seldom used today.)


Correct: The pipeline broke off at the connection.


Item 161

Connote: (verb: to signify or imply)

Denote: (verb: to be a sign of, to indicate)


Correct: Some people mistake politeness to connote weakness.

Correct: His loud noise denoted increasing impatience.


Item 161.1

Coveted (verb) wishing for longingly

Covert (adj.) covered, sheltered, or concealed


Correct: George Bush is holding the most coveted position on this planet.

Correct : The covert military operations were completed last week.


Item 162

Consecutive (adj.: following on in uninterrupted succession one behind the other)

Successive (adj.: coming in succession, but does not necessarily mean next to each other)


Correct: The employee was absent for three consecutive days.

Correct: Successive attempts to find the missing soldier were carried out.


Item 163

Constrain (verb: compel, urge irresistibly)

Restrain (verb: to hold back or keep under control)


Correct: She was constrained to speak her mind.

Correct: The youth was so furious with the motorist who rammed his new car

that even his own father could not restrain him.


Item 164

Clarinet (noun: musical instrument with a single reed in its mouthpiece)

Clarionet (noun: interchangeable with clarinet)


Note: Most Standard English speakers prefer “clarinet”.


Correct: When you blow the clarinet, the vibration of the reed produces the sound.

Correct: Clarinet is the leading instrument in a military band.


Item 165

Cosmopolitan (adj.: implying worldly, fashionable, sophisticated, and rich)

International (adj.: refers more to political, cultural, and economic matters

involving many different countries)


Correct: A cosmopolitan gathering would be held in Singapore next year.

Correct: The epidemic of Sars is an international problem.


Item 166

Contagious (adj.: communicable to others, by touch)

Infectious: (adj.: spreading disease by germs or virus in the air that we breathe)


Correct: Malaria is not contagious.

Correct: Sars is infectious.


Item 167

Comprehensible (adj.: can be understood)

Comprehensive (adj.: include everything)


Correct: The meaning of this poem is comprehensible only if you read the

life history of the poet.

Correct: This student has a comprehensive knowledge of Chinese history.


Item 168

Course (noun: a series of lectures, lessons, etc, which may last up to years)

Seminar (noun: a short intensive course of studies, normally to be completed within a



Correct: The business course will be completed in two years.

Correct: The seminar on contract awareness will be completed in two days.


Item 169

Criticism (noun: fault finding, to censure)

Critique (noun: discuss critically, without suggestion of good or bad)


Correct: His criticism on the U.S. Government was not justified.

Correct: The critique submitted by the committee was reliable.


Item 170

Cultured (adj.: having refined taste and manners)

Cultivated (verb: prepared soil for crops or gardening)


Correct: The President is a cultured man.

Correct: We cultivated the land last year.


Item 171

Complacent (adj.: self-satisfied)

Complaisant (adj.: willing to please, comply with)


Correct: Some people are complacent and thus they can not improve on their skills.

Correct: The young lady was so complaisant that she was many times the

victim of swindlers.


Item 172

Compel (verb: to force, suggesting coercive pressure from outside)

Impel (verb: urge into action, without outside pressure)


Correct: The prisoners of war were compelled to sit on the floor.

Correct: Her conscience impelled her to stay at the nursing corps for another year.


Item 173

Carousal (noun: a noisy or drunken feast)

Carousel (noun: the rotating conveyor belt where luggage is collected at the airport,

in the U.S. it is also a merry-go-round)


Correct: While he was at the carousal, his wife took the chance to go shopping

in the city.

Correct: The carousel stopped rotating because the power supply was disconnected.


Item 174

Contend (verb: satisfied, adequately happy)

Content (verb: to strive, compete)

Contents (noun: what is contained in a vessel, house, box, book etc)


Correct: As he could not afford to buy a big house, he had to be contended

with a smaller one.

Correct: Because he was in the best class, he had to content with

many other bright students

Correct: Please remove all the contents in the vessel, and repair all the corroded



Item 175

Corrupt (adj.: influenced by using bribery)

Corrupted (verb: made dishonest or immoral)


Correct: It is said that if the government officers are not corrupt, the citizens

too will not be corrupt.

Correct: The dishonest officers corrupted the whole system of government

and that was the reason why that country could not progress.


Item 176

Common (adj.: found in large numbers, or it happens often)

Mutual (adj.: something that two or more people share or do to each other)


Correct: In a certain city, it is common to hear that someone dies of gun

shot wound every night.

Correct: The mutual agreement between these people is that the first person

to reach home will prepare the dinner for the day.


Item 176.01

Condole (verb: expressing sympathy with a person over a loss, grief etc)

Console (verb: to comfort someone especially in grief or disappointment)


Correct: We condoled with him in his loss.

Correct: We tried to console her by saying that in life, most people have to face a lot of



Item 176.02

Concussion (noun: lose consciousness or feel sick, or confused after a blow to the head)

Contusion (noun: an internal injury such as a bruise that leaves the skin unbroken, e.g.

a large contusion to the left knee)


Correct: She was in the hospital with concussion.

Correct: Severe contusion may indicate fracture or internal injury.


Item 176.03

Concision (noun: the state of being clear and brief)

Conciseness (noun: interchangeable with concision)

Concise (adj.: brief but comprehensive)


Correct: Make your answers clear and concise because concision will surely earn you

more marks.

Correct: His speech was concise and I was sure he was not a person who enjoyed beating

about the bush.


Item 176.04

Accuse (verb: charge a person etc with a fault or crime)

Charge (verb: to blame or accuse)


Correct: Basil accused his engineer of causing the failure of the centrifugal pump.

Correct: We want to charge him with theft.


Item 176.05

Chronic (adj.: describe a disease slow to develop and often of long duration)

Acute (adj.: describe a disease of sudden onset and short duration)


Correct: Diarrhoea is an acute disease.

Correct: Asthma is a chronic disease.


Item 176.06

Café (noun: a place where you can buy drinks and light meals)

Coffee (noun: an aromatic and mildly stimulating beverage prepared from beanlike

seeds of tropical tree)


Correct: This café serves cappuccino, latte and mocha.

Correct: Espresso which contains less acid and less caffeine is Italian coffee prepared in a

special machine from finely ground coffee beans.


Item 176.07

Caliber (noun: US spelling, refers to ability, strength or quality of character)

Calibre (noun: British spelling)

Caliper (noun: also calliper, means compasses with bowled legs for measuring the size of

things )


Correct: We have over 3000 employees in this company and we need a person with your

caliber to be the managing director.

Correct: I measure the internal diameter of the cylinder with a pair of calipers.


Item 176.08

Canon (noun: a ruling laid down by he church or a title given to a clergyman)

Cannon (noun: a large gun, usually on wheels)


Correct: If the plays are from the Shakespearean canon we will have to believe that they

were written by Shakespear.

Correct : Before World War II, all the large cannons in Singapore were pointing toward

the south.


Item 176.09

Chairman (noun: a person chosen to preside over a meeting)

Chairperson (noun: a man or woman chosen to preside over a meeting)

Chairwoman (noun: a woman chosen to preside over a meeting)


Correct: The chairman for the next meeting will be Mr Joseph.

Correct: Madam Koh will be the next chairwoman.

Correct: The next chairperson has not yet been selected.


Item 176.10

Chasten (verb: subdue, discipline, to make someone aware that they have done something

wrong and make them want to improve)

Chastise (verb: to inflict punishment on, to discipline)


Correct: The recent defeat was a chastening experience for that politician.

Correct: Parents chastised the children so that they would behave properly.


Item 176.11

Citizenry (noun: citizens collectively)

Citizens (noun: members of a nation, e.g. Japanese)


Correct: The country’s citizenry is now more aware of their rights than in the past.

Correct: The citizens in some countries think their governments should give them

anything they wish.


Item 176.12

Coleslaw (noun: a salad of shredded raw cabbage, carrot, onion etc)

Coldslaw (noun: interchangeable with coleslaw)


Correct: Coleslaw will be served either during lunch or dinner.


Item 176.13

Crawfish (noun: a large marine spiny lobster)

Crayfish (noun: a small lobster-like fresh water crustacean, also a crawfish in US



Correct: The flesh of crawfish is eaten as food.

Correct: When you’re in England and you mention about crayfish, the people would

know that you refer to the freshwater crustacean.


Item 176.14

Correctitude (noun: correctness, especially conscious correctness of conduct)

Correctness (noun: interchangeable with correctitude)


Correct: He speaks with such correctitude that I begin to wonder if he pays any

attention to us or he is paying more attention to his English usage.


Item 176.15

Congenial (adj.: pleasant, friendly, suited to or agreeable)

Genial (adj.: sociable, kindly, cheerful)


Correct: While I was studying at the college, I was lucky to have congenial company.

Correct: This pretty lady has a genial manner.


Item 176.16

Carefree (adj.: free from anxiety or responsibility)

Careless (adj.: not taking care or paying attention)


Correct: People from the rural area live a very carefree life.

Correct: This guy has always been careless and we hope he can improve himself.


Item 176.17

Candidacy (noun: interchangeable with candidature)

Candidature (noun: the campaign of a candidate to be elected, i.e. political campaign)

Candidateship (noun: interchangeable with candidacy, In the United States, it refers to

the fact or status of being a candidate)


Correct: He was so interested to be the U.S. President that he willingly allocated U.S

$20,000,000.00 for his candidature.

Correct: The candidateship of Mr Clinton for the Nobel Peace Prize was confirmed by

International Nobel Institute.



Item 176.18

Candelabra (noun: a large branched candlestick or lamp-holder)

Candelabras (noun: plural)

Candelabrum (noun: interchangeable with candelabra)

Candelbra (noun: plural, the ones used standing on surfaces)

Chandeliers (noun: plural, the ones hang from the ceiling)


Correct: Candelbra are the ones we leave standing on surfaces while the chandeliers are

the ones hanging from the ceiling.

Correct: She bought a new bronze candelabrum.


Item 176.19

Casualty (noun: a person killed or injured in a war or accident)

Causality (noun: the relation of cause and effect)


Correct: When we lift or lower a casualty, we must do it gently or we will cause his or

her condition to become worse.

Correct: Every living being is subject to causality.


Item 176.20

Castor (noun: a small swivelled wheel often used to fix to a leg or the underside of a

furniture etc for easy movement)

Caster (noun: interchangeable with castor)


Correct: We fixed four castors under that piece of timber so that we could move our

bulky boxes easily.

Note: The medicinal lubricating oil, Castor oil, is spelt with an “o”.


Item 176.21

Chaperon (noun: a woman who accompanies a young unmarried woman on social


Chaperone (noun: interchangeable with chaperon)


Correct: Lily is from a rich family and she goes to all her social functions with her

chaperon, Madam Brown.


Item 176.22

Cataclasm (noun: violent break, a disruption, breaking into separate parts or groups)

Cataclysm (noun: a violent especially social or political upheaval or disaster, an

earthquake, a horrible flood)


Correct: When the ruling government was overthrown, that country faced cataclasm

because the military leaders were not trained to manage the nation.

Correct: The corrupt leader of that country brought about his own downfall because

cataclysm took place and he was eventually overthrown.


Item 176.23

Combat (verb: fight or struggle between enemies)

Contest (noun: a competition between neutrals or friends)


Correct: The combat between the two fighters may result in one of them getting killed.

Correct: We wish to organize two singing contests for the next year.


Item 176.24

Clew (noun: a ball of yarn or thread)

Clue (noun: something that guides or directs in the solution of a problem or mystery)


Correct: The religious teacher was holding a clew while he was saying a prayer and all

his followers were holding the brown cotton thread which was from that clew.

Correct: I did not know of any clue as to how the thieves could have come into our

workshop when our gate was guarded 24 hours a day.




Item 176.25

Chiropody (noun: the art of treating the feet)

Chiropractic (noun: the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of mechanical disorders of

the spinal column)


Correct : Chiropody has never been a popular course of study.

Correct: After receiving treatments for chiropractic, this gentleman does not suffer

backache any more.


Item 176.26

Curtsy (verb: a formal greeting made by a girl or lady in which she held her skirt

outwards with both hands, bent her knees to lower her head and shoulders)

Curtsey (verb: interchangeable with curtsy)


Correct: The lady curtsied to the Queen’s mother.


Item 176.27

Curtail (verb: cut short, suggest a lessening in quality or effectiveness)

Cut (verb: to reduce or cease services etc)


Correct: This company curtailed deliveries to the countryside.

Correct: Since they did not have sufficient time to slot in that movie on TV, they decided

to cut some of the less important scenes.


Item 176.28

Cacao (noun: a tropical American tree, the cacao seeds are used to make beverages

cocoa, and also chocolate)

Coca (noun: a Bolivan shrub whose leaves are chewed as a stimulant, Cocaine is derived

from coca)

Cocoa (noun: a beverage made by combining cocoa powder with water, milk and sugar)

Coconut (noun: a large seed of the tropical palm coco, with a hard shell and edible white

fleshy lining, enclosing a sweet milky juice)


Correct: The cacao is also called chocolate tree.

Correct: Some people chew coca for the stimulant properties.

Correct: Some people say cocoa is best taken without milk.

Correct: I enjoy drinking the sweet juice of the coconut.


Item 176.29

Celerity (noun: quickness of motion, speed, rapidity)

Alacrity (noun: cheerful readiness, facility, doing it quickly and eagerly)


Correct: The thieves will have to get away with celerity because the security guards will

arrive within five minutes.

Correct: He accepted his next assignment with alacrity.

Item 176.30

Check (verb: to cause a reduction)

Arrest (verb: to catch and hold)

Block (verb: to prevent movement through something or to prevent something from

happening or succeeding)


Correct: The new measures checked the rapidity with which the bird flu was spreading.

Correct: The new drugs did not arrest Sars.

Correct: The fallen trees block the road.


Item 176.31

Commit (verb: to give in charge or trust)

Consign (verb: to deliver merchandise for sale or to another party)


Correct: The children committed their mother to an old folks’ home.

Correct: We shall consign the goods to the client when the payment has been settled.


Item 176.32

Cryptic (adj.: obscure in meaning, indirect)

Arcane (adj.: mysterious, secret)


Correct: During a ritual, the participants used cryptic signs and hand clasps.

Correct: There were some arcane religious symbols only a few selected priests were able

to interpret.


Item 176.33

Conviction (noun: a strong belief arising from a deep-seated feeling of certainty)

Belief (noun: something accepted by the mind as being true with certain proof)


Correct: It is my conviction that because we use our rational thoughts and therefore we

are insensitive to things, to life and to ourselves.

Correct: It is their belief that Friday the 13th is unlucky.


Item 176.34

Category (noun: a classificatory division in any particular field of knowledge, especially

in science or philosophy)

Class (noun: refers to a number of persons or things regarded as forming a group)


Correct: The domestic dogs belong to the category of mammals living on flesh.

Correct: I will conduct an English language class for the international students.


Item 176.35

Condemn (verb: express utter disapproval of, censure)

Contemn (verb: despise or treat with disregard, to underrate)


Correct: The terrorists were condemned for their irresponsible behaviour.

Correct: The teacher contemns the student who are slow in learning.


Item 176.36

Conjugal (adj.: having to do with marriage, e.g. the conjugal rights of a husband

or conjugal vows)

Connubial (adj. of or relating to marriage or the relationship of husband and wife e.g.

connubial delights, connubial bliss)


Correct: The husbands insist on their conjugal rights.

Correct: Alex does not believe in connubial bliss and this is the only reason why he

remains a bachelor.


Item 176.37

Credit (verb: entry in an account for payment)

Accredit (verb: to credit, or to certify as meeting a standard)

Ascribe to (verb: to credit with, to attribute)


Correct: They credited my account with $1000.

Correct: Our language training institute has been accredited by the Ministry of Education,


Correct: In addition to having many curative properties ascribed to it, the water from the

Sembawang Hot Spring is also potable.


Item 176.38

Continual (adj.: constantly or frequently receiving, always happening)

Continuous (adj.: unbroken, uninterrupted)


Correct: Joan is not able to work properly because of the continual interruptions from the

cronies of the employer.

Correct: I always believe that the continuous assessment is the better educational system

for our country.


Item 176.39

Comprise (verb: include, comprehend, consist of, be composed of)

Compose (verb: construct or create a work of art, especially literature or music)


Correct: This document comprises of 1000 pages.

Correct: The latest song composed by John was voted the best song for 2003.


Item 176.40

Crumby (adj.: like or covered in small pieces like fragments, scraps etc)

Crummy (adj.: US spelling for crumby)

Crumbly (adj.: could easily be broken into small pieces)

Crummie (noun: a cow with crooked horns, a name for any cow)


Correct: Manila is a crumby city.

Correct: These crumbly cookies had been baked recently.

Correct: This crummie was specially flown in from India.


Item 176.41

Crosswise (adv.: across, transversely)

Crossways (adj.: interchangeable with crosswise)

Crossway (noun: a crossroad)


Correct: Those greedy people seek pleasure crosswise.

Correct: Most of the motor vehicle accidents happened at crossway.


Item 177

Davis’s car


Correct: Johnny and David’s car. (meaning the two persons own the same car)

Correct: Johnny’s and David’s cars. (these two persons own a car each)


Item 178

Dissident (noun: rebellious, or disagreeing)

Dissonant (adj.: unpleasant or disagreeable, clashing. e.g. of sound)


Correct: Just because he disagrees on some of the party policies, Mr. Ho

was labeled as dissident by his party members.

Correct: When the guitar strings are not correctly tuned, you get dissonant sounds.


Item 179

Despite (prep.: in spite of)

Despise (verb: regard with contempt)


Correct: Despite the fact that his family was very rich, he did not complete

his bachelor degree course.

Correct: This new recruit is from a very poor family and many of the

supervisors despise him.


Item 180

Drunk (adj.: rendered incapable by alcohol)

Drunken (adj.: intoxicated with alcoholic liquor)


Correct: When he was drunk he wanted to fight with a police officer.

Correct: The drunken sailor had to be carried on board the ship.


Item 181

Disassemble (verb: take a machine to pieces)

Dissemble (verb: disguise or conceal a feeling, intension, etc)


Correct: The technicians disassemble the engine so that they can inspect

the internal components.

Correct: This cunning guy dissembles his motives so well that I don’t think

anyone will ever find out.


Item 182

Defuse (verb: to make less dangerous or tense)

Diffuse (verb: spread out or be spread widely)


Correct: We are safe now because the soldier has defused the bomb.

Correct: We can diffuse light through translucent material in order to spread it

to various directions.


Item 183

Different (adj.: means unlike, distinguishable to something)

Different to

Different from

Different than


Correct: The happy experiences he enjoyed overseas are different to the experiences he

used to have at his own country.

Correct: Maupassant’s writing style is different from mine.

Correct: My environment now is different than what it used to be many years ago.


Item 184

Discomfit (verb: cause you to be embarrassed or confused, or very upset)

Discomfort (verb: unpleasant or slightly painful feeling)

Correct: His vicious remarks on her in front of the audience really discomfited her.

Correct: I feel discomfort because the taxi is very noisy.


Item 185

Device (noun: tool, implement)

Devise (verb: invent by careful thinking)


Correct: The welder created a device so that he could put the structure on the

table and start to fabricate it without worrying if that structure would

be distorted.

Correct: After the bracket was devised, the welder could then increase

the productivity because there were less rejected components.


Item 186

Disillusioned (verb: free from illusions)

Dissolution (noun: dissolving or breaking up)

Correct: According to Buddhist belief, people who are disillusioned would

have become the Buddhas or the Arahants.

Correct: After the dissolution of the current contract with the employer,

the employee can look forward to work for others.

Item 187

Demur (verb: to object)

Demure (adj.: quiet, modest, shy)

Correct: Mr Teo suggested that the company recruits the next batch of

engineers from China, but the director demurred.

Correct: Her demure nature makes her even more attractive.


Item 188

Disparage (verb: speak ill of, belittle)

Disparate (adj.: scattered, unrelated)


Correct: After he had disparaged so many other employers, the people in

this workshop began to realize that this workshop owner was a cocky guy.

Correct: This manufacturing plant is unique because we have a disparate

group of engineers from many parts of the world.


Item 189

Disburse (verb: means to pay out)

Disperse (verb: means to scatter)


Correct: The payments have all been disbursed.

Correct: After cremation, the relatives took the ash and dispersed it into the sea.


Item 190

Discus (noun: heavy thick centred disc thrown in field sports)

Discuss (verb: hold conversation about any subject)


Correct: His discus record was 28 meters.

Correct: She discussed her interest on sports with her mother.


Item 191

Dinghy (noun: a small boat)

Dingy (adj.: means gloomy or shabby)


Correct: When the ship was on fire, the crew escaped by using a dinghy.

Correct: I don’t enjoy the atmosphere at the dingy underground stations.


Item 192

Differentiate (verb: to point out the differences between two things)

Distinguish (verb: to point out the characteristic features that mark out something as



Correct: It would be difficult for the students to differentiate between good

and bad tutors.

Correct: Good and bad religious teachers could be distinguished by whether

they are greedy or not.


Item 193

Dispatch (verb: send off to a destination)

Despatch (verb: interchangeable with dispatch)


Correct: The teaching materials you requested had been dispatched to you.


Note: The preferred spelling today is “Dispatch”.


Item 194

Disposal (noun: getting rid of something)

Disposition (noun: natural tendency, a person’s temperament)


Correct: The disposal of garbage has become profitable business in many cities.

Correct: Margaret has a happy disposition.


Item 195

Discreet (adj.: means tactful)

Discrete (verb: means distinct individually or separate)


Correct: She was discreet in her behaviour.

Correct: The scientist will discrete all the elements in the compound.


Item 196

Dissimulate (verb: to hide or conceal something)

Simulate (verb: pretend to have or feel)


Correct: He dissimulated his fear by jogging in the field.

Correct: The instructor simulates a rough sea in the swimming pool and tells us

to jump into the water


Item 197

Disinterested (adj.: means impartial, not influenced by personal gain)

Uninterested (adj.: means indifferent to the outcome)


Correct: The monk was disinterested on monetary gain when he carried out his duties.

Correct: The rich man was uninterested in the result of this project.




Item 198

Decidedly (adv.: undoubtedly)

Decisively (adv.: conclusively)


Correct: Because the evidences have been decidedly proved, this manger

is obviously involved in the scandal and he will have to resign.

Correct: I have to speak decisively against his reinstatement because the

company must survive.


Item 199

Deceitful (adj.: means tricky)

Deceptive (adj.: easily mistaken for something else)


Correct: This guy is deceitful.

Correct: The way that salesman talks about investment is deceptive.


Item 200

Deduce (verb: means infer)

Deduct (verb: means take away)


Correct: He deduced from his speech that we were the ones who should pay the


Correct: The company deducted 10% of my allowance.


Item 201

Deficit (noun: an excess of liabilities over assets in a given period)

Shortfall (noun: less than was expected)


Correct: We had to close that company because during the past two years the

deficit was too great for us to tolerate.

Correct: The employees did not get their bonuses last year as there was a

shortfall on the production target.


Item 202

Dying (adj.: means connected with or at the time of death)

Dyeing (verb: means the process of applying a dye)


Correct: His dying wish was to have a look of his only child.

Correct: We are dyeing the clothes red because we love red.


Item 203

Drug (noun: a stimulant especially one causing addiction, people take them to enjoy their


Narcotic (noun: a substance inducing drowsiness, sleep, or insensibility)


Correct: Smoking cigarettes is a form of drug addition, though many

smokers refuse to admit it.

Correct: Narcotics like opium, morphine and heroin are still available in

many countries although the traffickers have to face a death sentence

if they are caught.


Item 204

Dyslexic (adj.: describing a person having difficulty with reading and writing)

Dyslectics (noun: people who have difficulty with reading and spelling)


Correct: It is very seldom that we have a dyslexic student in our school.

Correct: A few of the dyslectics were brilliant people.


Item 205

Defective (adj.: imperfect, faulty)

Deficient (adj.: incomplete)

Correct: The dishonest contractor used defective pipes for the transmission lines

and therefore he should be punished if the people are injured in future.

Correct: There is a deficient supply of potable water on the island.


Item 205

Defensible (adj.: supportable by argument)

Defensive (adj.: done for defence, e.g. to prevent someone or something from attack)


Correct: Your case is defensible because the other party had not come up

with concrete evidence.

Correct: These people are on the defensive because the impending attacks are real.


Item 207

Depositary (noun: a person or organization you can leave money or valuables for


Depository (noun: a place where something is held for safe keeping)


Correct: The service charge of this depositary is excessive.

Correct: I left your book in a depository in the city and you may go and collect

it any time you are free.


Item 208

Desert (verb: give up, leave, also noun, a sandy waste land)

Dessert (noun: the sweet course of a meal served at the end)


Correct: After being chased for hours by the police officers, the gang

leader deserted his members.

Correct: My desserts are ice cream, apple pie and coffee.



Item 209

Deprecate (verb: to protest against)

Depreciate (verb: belittle or to decline in value)


Correct: Those parents strongly deprecated the use of cane in the school.

Correct: The value of any car will depreciate every day.


Item 210

Doctor (noun: qualified practitioner of medicine, or a person holding a doctorate)

Physician (noun: legally qualified to practise medicine and surgery, but they are normally

medical specialists who see patients in the consulting room only)


Correct: Dr Chan who is a general practitioner would be on duty tomorrow.

Correct: Dr Chan told me I only had a fever and therefore there was no need to

consult a physician.


Item 211

Drizzle (noun: very fine rain)

Shower (noun: a brief fall of rain, snow etc)


Correct: There was a drizzle but the boys carried on running.

Correct: There was a shower and the boys got soaking wet.


Item 212

Dialectal (noun: characteristic of a dialect)

Dialectic (noun: logical discussion or argumentation, to arrive at the truth by

exchanging of logical arguments)

Dialectical (adj.: of or relating to logical disputation, logical, argumental)


Correct: This guy speaks the dialect from the southern region, and because of

the dialectal difference, I don’t understand half of what he was talking about.

Correct: The dialectic was between only two persons and I noticed one of

them was very nervous and aggressive.

Correct: A smart guy may use the dialectical method to arrive at the truth which

many people may not be able to accept because of their polluted mind.


Item 213

Definite (adj.: clearly defined, no uncertainty)

Definitive (adj.: final, conclusive)


Correct: We have not received any definite answer.

Correct: The proposal by the consultant will be definitive.





Item 214

Dialogue (noun: a conversation between two or more people)

Duologue (noun: a conversation between two people only, especially for a play or

a scene in a play with only two people)


Correct: During the chaos, there was a dialogue between the five political parties

and we did not expect any shooting on the street unless the dialogue was

not successful.

Correct: The two poor guys were holding a boring duologue on stage.


Item 215

Disc (noun: British English, thin magnetic-coated flexible plastic used on computer

for filing )

Disk (American English for Disc)

Dish (noun: a container for serving food, an aerial to receive signals from communication



Correct: I did not notice that my documents saved in the disc were corrupted.

Correct: I filled the dish with chilli sauce.


Item 216

Derisive (adj.: scornful, shows contempt)

Derisory (interchangeable with derisive, except when referring to something

very small or unimportant like pay-offers and financial settlements)


Correct: I don’t like to see the derisive expression on his face because it

clearly shows contempt.

Correct: The offers from the management were considered derisory by all the

union members.


Item 217

Diminish (verb: become smaller or less significant)

Minimize (verb: reduce to the lowest level possible)


Correct: The reputation of the factory diminishes as the owner was involved

in a scandal.

Correct: We were trying to minimize the wastage from the factory.


Item 218

Distinct (adj.: definite, unmistakable, clear to the senses)

Distinctive (adj.: characteristic, serving to set apart from others)


Correct: The visiting students were briefed on the three distinct stages at

which the oil, gas and water were separated.

Correct: The distinctive howl of a dog can be unpleasant to some people.


Item 219

Debar (verb: legally prevented from doing it)

Disbar (verb: deprive barrister, lawyer, or solicitor the right to practice)


Correct: Because of the accident, he was debarred from driving for the next

five years.

Correct: This unethical barrister has been disbarred for life because he

deceived many of his clients.


Item 220

Distrust (verb: doubt, suspicion)

Mistrust (verb: suspicious)


Correct: We distrust this employee but we have no concrete evidence to

terminate his service

Correct: We mistrust these two employees because their behaviour have

not improved so far.


Item 221

Dower (noun: a widow’s share of her husband’s estate for life)

Dowry (noun: money or property a person’s family gives to the lady or gentleman

who marries their son or daughter)


Correct: The dower for Madam Kelly has been successfully settled by her lawyer.

Correct: In some cultures, a man gets a dowry from the lady’s family if he marries her.


Item 222

Draft (noun: a preliminary outline, plan, or version)

Draught (noun: a current of air, or a drink, e.g. beer drawn from a cask)


Correct: The draft for the agreement has been completed.

Correct: He went into the pub to have a draught of beer.


Item 222.01

Duplication (noun: the state of making an exact copy of something)

Duplicity (noun: lack of honesty especially by saying different things to two people)


Correct: Lack of communication between these sister companies led to a wasteful

duplication of effort.

Correct: These contractors were accused of duplicity in their dealings with their clients.


Item 222.02

Doubtful (adj.: in doubt, not clear or definite, not clearly predictable, uncertain, unsure)

Dubious (adj.: doubting, uncertain, ambiguous)


Correct: It is very doubtful whether he will return the money.

Correct: The claims are dubious and I will not believe them until they have been

scientifically proven.


Item 222.03

Despair (noun: loss of hope)

Desperation (noun: in a state of despair, beyond hope)


Correct: When he failed the GCE examinations, he had a feeling of utter despair.

Correct: In desperation the poor man committed suicide.


Item 222.04

Dexterous (adj.: skilful)

Dextrous (adj.: interchangeable with dexterous)


Correct: Mr Dex said he had many dexterous technicians working over there.


Item 222.05

Dietician (noun: a person who studies the principles of nutrition)

Dietitian (noun: interchangeable with dietician)


Correct: If you want a healthy life style, you may have to consult a dietician.


Item 222.06

Decry (verb: to belittle publicly, censure)

Descry (verb: to discover by careful observation, to catch sight of especially from a



Correct: The environmental organization issued a report decrying the government’s plan

to build a hydro-electric power plant in their country.

Correct: The drug trafficker glued his packet of heroin on the bottom of his car engine

where any inspection would be unlikely to descry it.


Item 222.07

Desirable (adj.: worth having or wishing for)

Desirous (adj.: wishful, wanting)


Correct: It is desirable that nobody should cough in public places unless they are willing

to cover their mouths with a handkerchief or their two hands.

Correct: The chief executive officer is desirous of meeting you.


Item 222.08

Defend (verb: to act in the face of hostility, to protect a challenged right or position)

Champion (verb: refers to taking the place of someone less able to act)


Correct: We must take up arms to defend our homeland whenever it is necessary.

Correct: He has championed successfully for educational reforms in his country for many



Item 222.09

Demoralize (verb: a gradual and long-term exhaustion or sapping of the will because of

hopelessly snarled situation)

Disconcert (verb: to upset, to perturb)


Correct: After three days without food and water, the soldiers were all demoralized.

Correct: The vicious verbal attack from the competitors did not disconcert Mr Tulip, he

went on as planned and successfully delivered his speech.


Item 222.10

Debilitated (verb: refers to the sapping of strength formerly present)

Decrepit (adj.: refers specifically to loss of strength or usefulness because of advanced



Correct: The human body can be debilitated by disease or old age.

Correct: The decrepit ladder was squeaking as I was climbing up.


Item 222.11

Discernment (noun: insightful, sound in evaluation or judgement especially on character

with observation that finds the real behind the apparent)

Discrimination (noun: unfavourable treatment based on prejudice especially on race,

colour, or sex, the power of observing differences which might be blurred

to the ordinary observation)


Correct: By applying discernment in screening all the new applicants, our directors had

agreed to select Mr Singh as our managing director.

Correct: This fishmonger has been selling fish for over ten years and by now his

discrimination between a fresh fish and a rotten one is always correct.


Item 222.12

Digest (noun: refers to a boiled-down recasting of the original to present its essentials in

shorter space, but with the original style and flavour retained)

Abridgment (noun: the act of reducing the length or the extent of)


Correct: The digest prepared by Mark on the industrial safety was very well done.

Correct: This is an abridgment in which all the sexual scenes were omitted.


Item 222.13

Deposition (noun: a legal testimony made under oath orally in response to formal

questioning and is then put in writing. The testifier is subject to cross-


Affidavit (noun: a legal testimony put into writing with a sworn document made

voluntarily without cross-examination. This affidavit will be accepted as

testimony by a court when the testifier is unable to appear in person)


Correct: The deposition from David will arrive from U.S.A. tomorrow.

Correct: We submitted many affidavits last week.


Item 222.14

Distribute (verb: to spread, scatter or supply something over an area)

Circulate (verb: to move round or through)


Correct: Because of an explosion in a gas plant, the pollutants are widely distributed

across the countryside.

Correct: The retrenchment news circulated round the office quickly


Item 222.15

Daunt (verb: to dishearten, frighten, or discourage someone from going on, implying a

loss of will to keep trying)

Dismay (verb: a sense of hopeless discouragement in the face of obstacles or paralyzing

fear in the face of a threat)


Correct: It was most daunting job for a team to prove that a driver with a container of

only two cubic metres capacity could have stolen 8000 cubic metres of diesel

fuel from an oil terminal.

Correct: The union members’ refusal to compromise dismayed the union lawyer and he

was very confused.


Item 222.16

Desolate (adj.: suggests an underpopulated starkness)

Barren (adj.: suggests a complete absence of life)


Correct: We drove into the desolate countryside and were lucky to find an old man

willing to sell us a gallon of petrol.

Correct: It took us four hours to drive across the barren desert.


Item 222.17

Desirous (adj.: an intense longing or craving)

Avid (adj.: eagerly desirous, very desperate)


Correct: The young man was desirous of her hand in marriage.

Correct: The old lady was avid for the news of that country because war broke out and

she lost contact with her only daughter.


Item 222.18

Deface (verb: refers to less permanent damage or injury)

Blemish (noun: a physical or moral defect)


Correct: The kids defaced my wall with pencil markings.

Correct: I can not find any blemish on the skin of her face.


Item 222.19

Dialogue (noun: discussion among people of dissimilar views)

Colloquy (noun: an extremely formal substitute for discussion, also refers to conference)


Correct: A year-round dialogue between the labour and the management had not been

successful and the matter was handed over to the industrial court.

Correct: The two leaders continued colloquy on the potable water issue.


Item 222.20

Disable (verb: suggests a practical impairment, either temporary or permanent)

Incapacitate (verb: a total loss of function or effectiveness)


Correct: Though disabled from the use of her legs, this lady has been writing short stories

for the local and international periodicals.

Correct: James used to boast around, partly because of his physical size that he was the

toughest guy in the company, but was later incapacitated by a stroke.


Item 222.21

Depressed (adj.: emotional state in which physical and mental activity may be slowed


Despondent (adj.: in low spirits)


Correct: He was despondent because he lost one month of his salary in gambling.

Correct: The lady was depressed because within the same day her parents, husband and

all her children passed away.


Item 222.22

Delegate (noun: one authorized to act as a representative for another or others)

Deputy (noun: an assistant exercising in the absence of his superior)


Correct: Our delegates arrived in that country last week but after careful consideration,

had decided not to proceed with the construction project

Correct: During my absence, Mr Bol, my deputy will be the general manager.


Item 222.23

Detach (verb: the removing of a part from a larger whole especially when the two

components are designed to come apart as a convenience)

Disconnect (verb: to break or interrupt the connection of)


Correct: The technicians detached the coupling from the shaft because the shaft had worn


Correct: The water main is leaking and the technicians disconnected the line in order to

carry out the repair.



Item 222.24

Drier (noun: a machine for drying the hair, laundry etc)

Dryer (noun: interchangeable with drier)


Correct: She bought a new drier because the existing one was defective.


Item 222.25

Determinately (adj.: precisely limited or clearly defined, definitely, exactly, precisely)

Determinedly (adv.: to resolve firmly)


Correct: I admire their courage because they pursue their aims determinately.

Correct: She determinedly kept the conversation going because she had a feeling that she

would be rescued at any moment.


Item 222.26

Detract (verb: take away a part of something, reduce, diminish, to make something seem

less valuable or less deserving of admiration)

Distract (verb: draw away the attention of a person, or animal)


Correct: I don’t want to detract one bit from his achievements but having rich parents did

help his business.

Correct: The phone kept on ringing and therefore we were distracted.


Item 222.27

Dispersal (noun: the process to scatter)

Dispersion (noun: the resultant situation of the dispersal)


Correct: The dispersal of the mob was done after the arrival of the soldiers.

Correct: The dispersion of the emergency supplies to the refugees will be carried out



Item 222.28

Dived (verb: past tense of dive, means to plunge head first into water)

Dove (verb: is the U. S. and Canada form of past tense of dive. It is still nonstandard in

British English.)


Correct: She dived into the water and pulled the poor boy out of the water.

Correct: He dove into the sea to pull up a fish trap, which was made of bamboo.


Item 222.29

Divers (noun: persons who wear diving-suits to work under water for long periods)

Diverse (adj.: of a different kind or of various kinds)


Correct: The divers went thirty metres down to the sea floor to repair the legs of the

platforms which were corroded.

Correct: Our engineers came from more than fifteen countries and we were proud of their

diverse backgrounds.


Item 222.30

Dent (noun: a mark or hollow in a surface made by a blow with a hard object)

Dint (noun: interchangeable with dent when used as a noun. Dint in the figurative sense,

also means a blemish, e.g. a dint in his reputation)


Correct: The hooligan kicked the door of that car and the poor owner had to pay over

$300 to have that dent repaired.

Correct: Because he was caught having a relationship with another man’s beautiful wife,

this politician created a dint in his own reputation which was otherwise



Item 222.31

Democrat (noun: a member of Democratic Party in U.S.A.)

democrat (noun: an advocate or an adherent to democracy)


Correct: I have always been a democrat.

Correct: Mr Lambert has always been a Democrat.


Item 222.32

Daily (adj.: done, produced, or occurring every day or every weekday )

Diurnal (adj.: of or during the day, daily, of each day)


Correct: He goes to school daily.

Correct: The rising of the sun is a diurnal occurrence because it happens daily.


Item 222.33

Deadly (adj.: causing or able to cause fatal injury or serious damage, poisonous)

Deathly (adj.: deathlike, as gloomy or still or silent or pale as death)


Correct: There are many deadly snakes in the palm oil estate.

Correct: After Ah Hong insulted a lot of the people in the hall, Ah Hong went deathly



Item 222.34

Decorum (noun: propriety of behaviour, i.e. controlled, calm and polite behaviour)

Conduct (noun: behaviour especially in its moral aspect)


Correct: We expect those ladies to behave with proper decorum.

Correct: His conduct has never been satisfactory and there is no reason why we should

not retrench him.


Item 222.35

Dromedary (noun: a one-humped camel bred mainly for riding and racing)

Camel (noun: a long-neck mammal. The Arabian camel has one hump but the Bactrian

camel has two humps.)


Correct: Camels are used in the desert regions to transport goods.

Correct: We need to hire one dromedary in order to participate in the racing event next



Item 222.36

Demean (verb: lower the dignity of)

Bemean (verb: to make mean, to lower or debase)


Correct: I wouldn’t demean myself as to participate in smuggling goods into a country.

Correct: Because David was a brilliant guy James had to bemean him so as to make sure

David would remain condemned by the company management.


Item 223

Economic (adj.: of or relating to production, development and management of material


Economical (adj.: not wasteful, or extravagant)


Correct: Because of the Sars outbreak, it was no longer economic to keep the

manufacturing facilities open)

Correct: The buses provide an economical system of transport.


Item 224

Exhausting (adj.: use up the strength or resources)

Exhaustive (adj.: thorough, comprehensive)


Correct: Fast running is exhausting.

Correct: His study method on the subject was exhaustive.


Item 225

Everyone knows (pron.: Every person knows)

Every one (pron.: every single one)

Everybody (pron.: every person))


Correct: Everyone knows that smoking is dangerous.

Wrong: Everyone knows which smoking is dangerous.

Correct: When the teacher raised the question, every one of them replied.

Correct: Everybody was very happy with him.


Item 226

Ecstasy (noun: a feeling of overwhelming happiness)

Extasy (an old spelling for ecstasy, no longer used in modern English)


Correct: The boy had a feeling of ecstasy when he met his father for the first

time after many years.


Item 227

Egocentric (adj.: self-centred, selfish)

Egoistic (noun: a person who is selfish and thinks he is more important than others)

Egotistic (interchangeable with egocentric and egoistic)


Correct: The egocentric people are people who only think of themselves.

Correct: I don’t appreciate the egoistical behaviour of the egoistic.


Item 228

Empathy (noun: a close understanding of the feelings or problems of another)

Sympathy (noun: the act of sharing in an emotion of another person)


Correct: If you have the ability of empathy, you can put yourself in someone’s

position and understand his or her feelings.

Correct: The judge had no sympathy for this criminal because the

crime committed was vicious.


Item 229

Each other (old English referred each other to mean when two people were involved, and

one another when more than two people were involved)

One another (interchangeable with each other)


Correct: The nine students were told to help each other with their work.

Correct: The nine students were told to help one another with their work.

Note: modern English speakers don’t differentiate these two phrases.


Item 230

Elusive (adj.: difficult to find or catch)

Illusory (adj.: deceptive or unreal)


Correct: The thief has been elusive.

Correct: The belief that the more money you have the more happiness

would come to you could be illusory.


Item 231

Ethics (noun: a set of moral principles)

Ethical (adj.: morally correct)


Correct: The ethics of the teaching profession may be different from country to country.

Correct: I believe it is ethical for a school teacher to take up part-time job if

he can make it.





Item 232

Exceptional (adj.: extraordinary, uncommon)

Exceptionable (adj.: open to objection)


Correct: That quiet guy showed exceptional courage when the terrorists attacked

our factory.

Correct We find his accusations at our superintendent exceptionable.


Item 233

Explicit (adj.: stated in detail)

Implicit (adj.: unquestionable, implied though not plainly expressed)


Correct: We are not going to begin the job until explicit instructions are available.

Correct: She has implicit faith in her fiancé.


Item 234

Elemental (adj.: the basic forces of nature)

Elementary (adj.: simple, involving the fundamental or simplest aspects of a subject)


Correct: The elemental forces of nature have always been problems for the farmers.

Correct: This farmer did not do well in the elementary school.


Item 235

Envisage (verb: forming a mental picture of something or foresee something as likely

to happen in future)

Envision (verb: means visualize, interchangeable with envisage)


Correct: Over 2000 years ago when a few smart guys envisaged an iron bird

flying in the sky people thought that was a crazy idea.

Correct: A designer envisions the structure he wants to build before he puts

the plan on paper.


Item 236

Equate (verb: equivalent or equal to)

Equitable (adj.: fair or just)

Equable (adj.: without variation)


Correct: Some people equate money with happiness.

Correct: We practise an equitable system of reward in our company.

Correct: We have a pleasant and equable climate in this country.


Item 237

Exigent (adj.: requiring much, urgent, pressing)

Exiguous (adj.: scanty, small)


Correct: The exigent situation in the yard required us to request backup

fire fighters from the government.

Correct: The prize for the lucky draw turned out to be a coupon entitling you to

a cup of tea and an exiguous plate of noodle at a cafeteria in Chinatown.


Item 238

Endorse (verb: support, to give approval of)

Indorse (used to be interchangeable with endorse, but no longer used by

Standard English writers now)


Correct: When I went to the bank to cash my cheque, the officer told me

to endorse by signing my name on the back of that cheque.


Item 239

Entrust (verb: to give responsibility to a person)

Intrust (used to be interchangeable with entrust, but no longer used by

Standard English writers now)


Correct: I entrust the urgent job to him because I know he will be able to make it.


Item 240

Effervescent (noun: bubbling)

Efflorescent (verb: busting into bloom, blossoming)


Correct: The boy sat on the alluvial river bank and threw a block of coral into

the water to watch the effervescent.

Correct: These plants efflorescent only in summer.


Item 241

Equipment (noun: the articles or tools required for a certain job)


Correct: My equipment is in the yard now.

Wrong: My equipments are in the yard now.


Item 242

Eatable (adj.: in a safe condition to be eaten, refers more to the taste)

Edible (adj.: suitable to be eaten)


Correct: The food he served was not eatable because he did not cook it properly.

Correct: Not all fruits are edible.


Item 243

Enquiry (noun: the act of seeking information)

Inquiry (noun: looking into a matter, e.g. an investigation)


Correct: The customers’ enquiry was always about the availability of spare parts.

Correct: The manufacturer disliked the inquiry by the police officers.

Note: The American Standard English speakers don’t differentiate between the two



Item 244

Envy (adj.: means feeling of discontent because of the better fortune of other people,

but with admiration)

Jealous (adj.: means feeling fiercely resentful, and spiteful on the success of others, or

on what they may have)


Correct: I envy the success of George Bush.

Correct: He was jealous the U.S. President.

Item 245

Emigrate (verb: means leaving one’s country permanently)

Immigrate (verb: means to move to a new country permanently)


Correct: George emigrated from Vietnam to Canada last year.

Correct: Johnny immigrated to Australia from Brunei.


Item 246

Exterior (noun: the outside of a building)

External (adj.: outward features or aspect)


Correct: The exterior of that building has been damaged by the thieves.

Correct: The ointment is for external use only.


Item 247

Extrovert (noun: an outgoing or sociable person)

Outgoing (adj.: friendly, sociable)


Correct: The extrovert has outgoing attitude toward life.

Correct: She has an outgoing attitude and is a good company.


Item 247

Eminent (adj.: means well known)

Imminent (adj.: about to happen)


Correct: George Bush is eminent.

Correct: The politician confirmed that another war was imminent.


Item 249

Engine (noun: a machine that converts energy into mechanical motion, refers more to

a bigger machine)

Motor (noun: something that imparts or produces motion)


Correct: The lorry was powerful because it was installed with a big engine.

Correct: The lawnmower was less powerful because it was installed with a small motor.


Item 250

Epigram (noun: a clever saying)

Epigraph (noun: an inscription on a stone, building etc)

Epitaph (noun: an inscription on a monument in memory of a deceased person)


Correct: The epigram on the tomb was: “We are all temporary”.

Correct: The epigraph on the tomb has been damaged by strong sunlight,

(ultra violet degradation).

Correct: The epitaph on the tomb was still legible.


Item 251

Exaggerate (verb: distort by overstatement)

Exasperate (verb: to annoy, or irritate)


Correct: The accusations made by the employer against the employee were exaggerated.

Correct: The president of the company was very exasperated when he found

out the union leader was trying to demand his immediate resignation.


Item 252

Evoke (verb: to call up past emotions)

Invoke (verb: to call up a spirit for assistance)


Correct: The evil man deliberately asked what happened to David’s

former girlfriend, trying to evoke the past emotions.

Correct: That gentleman claims he is able to invoke spirits of the dead.


Item 253

Endemic (adj.: only found among a particular people at a certain region)

Epidemic (adj.: wild spread of a disease)


Correct: Yellow fever is endemic in tropical America and West Africa.

Correct: The Sars epidemic has badly affected the economy of China.


Item 254

Essence (noun: the basic, real, the central meaning of speech, book etc)

Substance (noun: physical matter or material, the essential part, meaningful and



Correct: The essence of all the speeches was compassion.

Correct: There is substance in what he is now talking about.


Item 254.01

Exceed (verb: to surpass, to go beyond the proper limits)

Accede (verb: to take an important position)


Correct: He was found guilty on the charge of exceeding the speed limit.

Correct: The king acceded to the throne five years ago.


Item 254.02

Extant (adj.: of something very old still existing, Medieval customs are extant in some

parts of Europe)

Extinct (adj.: no longer existing)


Correct: Medival customs are extant in many parts of the world.

Correct: The practice of slavery is now extinct.


Item 254.03

Effeminate (adj.: disapproving of a man behaving or appearing in a way that is similar to

a woman, an excessive manner, or qualities which are usually thought of as

being feminine)

Effete (adj.: weak and powerless, worn out)


Correct: He has got a very effeminate manner and I don’t think the other recruits who are

all men, will enjoy working with him.

Correct: The effete mastermind was caught in a cave.


Item 254.04

Effectual (adj.: succeed in producing the results that were intended, e.g. The law would

have to be very tough indeed to be effectual.)

Effective (adj.: having a definite or desired result)


Correct: We wish to promote a real and effectual understanding between the various


Correct: Your management methods are not effective and that is the only reason why you

need to work more than eight hours per day.


Item 254.05

Exalt (verb: to praise very highly, e.g. Some historians exalt Mao Tse Tung as a great


Exult (verb: feel and show great pleasure because of success you have had, e.g. He

exulted at his fortune.)


Correct: He exalted his own relative to the position of a managing director.

Correct: They exulted over their victory.


Item 254.06

Expedite (verb: to quicken or to hasten)

Expeditious (adj.: efficient and speedy)


Correct: The director expedited the calculation of our yearly bonuses by bringing in more

account clerks on temporary basis.

Correct: Aggie Associates Engineering services is able to provide expeditious services.


Item 254.07

Enumerable (adj.: countable, ascertain the number of)

Innumerable (adj.: far too many to be counted)


Correct: The human population on this planet is enumerable.

Correct: There are innumerable world systems in our universe.


Item 254.08

Electric (adj.: of or worked by electricity)

Electrical (adj. connected with, dealing with electricity)


Correct: We use electric energy and electric equipment but we face electrical hazards.

Correct: Electrical machines are common in many workshops.

Item 254.09

Enclose (verb: to surround with a wall, fence etc)

Inclose (verb: interchangeable with enclose)

Enclosure (noun: whatever you include in the same container with a package or letter

Inclosure (noun: interchangeable with enclosure)


Correct: You spent a million dollars to have this house built and it is surely sensible to

enclose it with a concrete fence.

Correct: The enclosure was the updated copy of his resume.


Item 254.10

Entomology (noun: the study of the forms and behaviour of insects)

Etymology (noun: the origin and historical development of a word)


Correct: I strongly believe the pursuits on entomology by engineers, if they have the time

to do it, will benefit them greatly.

Correct: If you have the chance to attend a short course on etymology you will surely

obtain better score for your “A” Level English..


Item 254.11

Faery (noun: a tiny, imaginary being, either male or female)

Faeries (noun: plural of faery)

Fairy (noun: interchangeable with faery or faerie)

Fairies (noun: plural of fairy)


Correct It is said that faeries are emotional beings.


Item 254.12

Excerpt (verb: to quote or reproduce a portion of a book, play, poem etc)

Correct: Pessimistic people would be more likely to find it difficult in coping

the daily routine.


Item 393

Orient (noun: the region at eastern and south-eastern of Asia)

Orientate (verb: to place or turn toward the east)


Correct: My ancestors came from the Orient.

Correct: After a storm, the sailor orientated his ship and carried on sailing toward the



Item 394

Oriental (adj.: of or concerning the east, all those lands east of the Mediterranean)

Eastern (adj.: of or in the east)


Correct: Oriental art has always been of interest to the Europeans.

Correct: Changi Airport is located on the eastern part of Singapore.


Item 395

Outward (adj.: visible on the surface)

Outwards (adv: toward the outside)


Correct: We should never judge a person by his outward appearance.

Correct: If you are in a building and that building is on fire, the best thing to do

is to run outwards unless you are trained to extinguish a fire.


Item 396

Overlook (verb: fail to notice)

Oversee (verb: officially supervise workers etc)


Correct: We must apologize that our foreman overlooked that matter.

Correct: I have appointed Jack to oversee the whole project.


Item 397

Obsolete (adj.: disused, discarded, no longer useful or functioning)

Obsolescent (adj.: becoming obsolete)


Correct: Many of the machines in some countries are now obsolete.

Correct: Most of the equipment manufactured 50 years ago are now obsolescent.



Item 398

Orthodox (adj.: conforming to conventional beliefs)

Paradox (noun: a seeming contradiction that may be true)


Correct: Because the priest was trained by the Roman Catholic Church,

I would not expect him to change his orthodox opinion.

Correct: An example of a paradox I came across was from a priest who said

that the more a person could detach from worldly possessions, the happier that

person would be.


Item 399

Odious (adj.: offensive, hateful)

Odorous (adj.: having a scent, or fragrant)


Correct: I don’t like his odious manners.

Correct: These are the odorous flowers.


Item 400

Onward (adv.: further on, advancing motion)

Onwards (adv.: interchangeable with onward)


Correct: The search party moved onward although it was getting dark.


Item 401

Over 70 dollars


Correct: My watch costs over 70 dollars.

Wrong: My watch costs 70 over dollars.


Item 401.01

Overflowed (verb: past tense and past participle of overflow, which means to flow over

the top, brim or bounds)

Overflown (past participle of overfly, which means to surpass in flight

Note: past tense of overfly is overflew


Correct: The mechanic pumped in the gear oil until the oil overflowed.

Correct: The young pilot had overflown at the runway of the airport, but that was a small

matter because he was still learning to fly an aeroplane.


Item 401.02

Omnipotent (adj.: having enough to be able to do anything that is desired)

Omniscient (adj.: possessed of universal or complete knowledge)


Correct: If I suddenly become omnipotent, I would wipe out all sufferings on this planet.

Correct: I wish I would be omniscient by tomorrow.


Item 401.03

Ostensible (adj.: appearing or claiming to be one thing when it is really something else)

Ostensive (adj.: exhibiting, showing, manifestly demonstrative)


Correct: When I was working in a foreign country, I came across a group of politicians

whose ostensible goal was to clean up government corruption but their real

intention was to unseat the political opponents.

Correct: His explanation on the topic has been most ostensive.


Item 401.04

Opposite (adj.: having a position on the other or further side)

Contrary (adj.: opposed in nature or tendency)


Correct: Contrary to what we had expected, it was not raining last night.

Correct: Basil said Chua was a good engineer but what I found out was just the opposite.


Item 401.05

Outcome (noun: visible effect, a consequence)

Denouement (noun: the solution or outcome of a literary work, e.g. a play, a novel)


Correct: The tragic outcome was that the lady ran away with all her husband’s money

soon after their marriage.

Correct: The denouement of the story was that the lady whom the thug kidnapped

eventually fell in love and married the kidnapper.


Item 401.06

Obstacle (noun: something one must remove or go around before being able to proceed)

Barrier (noun: an obstruction that temporarily impedes progress)

Hurdle (noun: a barrier one must surmount in order to continue)


Correct: Financial constraint may be an obstacle to higher education.

Correct: The Great Wall in China was built as a barrier to prevent the barbarians from

attacking the Chinese.

Correct: The students face many hurdles before they can successfully obtain the

necessary qualifications to be admitted to a university.


Item 401.07

Overpower (verb: to gain supremacy over, to subdue)

Overwhelm (verb: to bury or sub-merge completely)


Correct: The soldiers overpowered the bandits.

Correct: He was overwhelmed with joy as he came in first during the marathon race.


Item 401.08

Obscure (adj.: not clearly expressed, or easily understood, known by only a few people)

Indistinct (adj.: confused, obscure)

Hazy (adj.: misty, vague)

Dim (adj.: only faintly luminous or visible, not bright)


Correct: We visited an obscure Malaysian mountain village.

Correct: She said something but her voice was indistinct and I did not know what she was

trying to say.

Correct: The sky was hazy but we could see a lot of sea birds flying in a circle above us.

Correct: I did not see the person clearly because the light in that house was dim.


Item 401.09

Opulent (adj.: behaving or made in a way which show great wealth)

Affluent (adj.: refers to an abundant flow of goods or riches)


Correct: An opulent lifestyle is sensible only for those who really have the means.

Correct: They are from affluent community where each family member owns a car.


Item 402

Platform (noun: a horizontal surface higher than adjourning area)

Podium (noun: a platform for only one person)


Correct: The drilling equipment has been placed on the platform.

Correct: The speaker stands on the podium.


Item 403

Pipe (noun: a hollow cylinder or tube for the transmission of fluid or gas)

Conduit (noun: a tube or duct for enclosing cables)


Correct: A steel pipe is used to convey the water from a river to irrigate the fields.

Correct: The electrician runs all the cables through the conduit so that the cables

are protected.


Item 404

Prominent (adj.: means distinguished, important)

Prominence (noun: means a prominent thing, like a very famous mountain)


Correct: Mr Tan is a prominent politician.

Correct: We do not doubt the prominence of Mt. Kinabalu in Asia.


Item 405

Peaceable (adj.: disposed to peace)

Peaceful (adj.: tranquil and serene)


Correct: Whatever differences our countries may face, we must follow

a peaceable course of action.

Correct: After an hour of meditation, a person would normally feel very peaceful.


Item 406

People (noun: means any group of human beings)

Person (noun: a living human being of a community, race, tribe or nation)


Correct: The United Nations is doing its best to help all the peoples of this planet.

Correct: I wish to book a vehicle for eight persons.

Correct: The peoples of South-east Asia love horticulture.


Item 407

Parricide (noun: the killing of a near relative, especially a parent)

Patricide (noun: the killing of one’s father)


Correct: I think a death sentence would be most appropriate for people

who have committed parricide.

Correct: Only mad people are able to commit patricide.


Item 408

Pendant (noun: a hanging jewel etc, especially one attached to a necklace)

Pendent (interchangeable with pendant)

Correct: During my 21st birthday, my parents bought me a pendant.


Item 409

Passed (verb: successful in an examination)

Past (adj.: gone by in time and no longer existing)


Correct: He passed his G C E examinations last year.

Correct: After studying the past career record of Krisnan, he does not go high

on my list anymore.


Item 410

Prostate (noun: male glandular organ at the neck of the bladder)

Prostrate (verb: lying down, prone)


Correct: Dr Chin told the patient that cancerous cells have been detected

on the prostate of that patient.

Correct: The devotee prostrated in front of the Buddha statue.


Item 411

Proposition (noun: a scheme proposed, a matter to be dealt with)

Proposal (noun: some definite thing offered by one party to be accepted or rejected

by the other party)


Correct: The propositions of peace for the Middle East countries have

been presented for discussion.

Correct: The engineering department has put forward a proposal for better service.


Item 412

Predominant (adj.: means most common)

Predominate (verb: means to prevail or have the greatest influence)


Correct: The only thing predominant in the mind of this greedy employer is profit.

Correct: English-speaking people predominate in the United States of America.


Item 413

Persecute (verb: treat in harsh and unfair manner, especially in political or religious


Prosecute (verb: take legal action against someone believing that person has committed a



Correct: The Protestants persecuted the Catholics for centuries.

Correct: Since that person has committed a crime against you, you may prosecute him.


Item 414

Principal (noun: is the head of a school or company)

Principle (noun: is a rule or standard)


Correct: Mr. Tan is the principal of Chung Wah School.

Correct: Mr. Tan is a man of principle.


Item 415

Packet (noun: a small package, a number of things wrapped together)

Package (noun: a case for packing goods for storage or transportation)


Correct: The courier service employee placed the packet in the mailbox.

Correct: The workers put all the articles in a package and shipped the package

to a foreign country.


Item 416

Pair of trousers


Correct: I sent my pair of trousers to the laundry.

Wrong: I sent my trouser to the laundry.


Item 417

Pair of glasses


Correct: I left my pair of glasses on the table.

Wrong: I left my glass on the table. (unless you refer to drinking vessel)




Item 418

Pair of scissors


Correct: I need a pair of scissors.

Wrong: I need a scissor.


Item 419

Pair of pliers


Correct: There is a pair of pliers on the table.

Wrong: There is a plier on the table.


Item 420

Prize (noun: something offered or won as an award)

Price (noun: the cost of an article)


Correct: The student who obtained the highest grade was awarded a prize.

Correct: The price of that house was too high.


Item 421

Practice (noun: training or exercise in something)

Practise (verb: something you keep doing it regularly to improve your skill at it)

In American English, both verb and noun are spelled: practice.

Correct: My swimming practice was cancelled.

Correct: I practised swimming yesterday.



Item 422

Palatable (adj.: agreeable, tasty)

Palpable (adj.: evident, obvious)


Correct: Even though that was the first dish he learned to prepare, it was palatable.

Correct: The fact that Krisnan went round the manufacturing plant saying the camera was

stolen by Ah Kow, was palpable evidence that Krisnan was the thief.


Item 423

Providence (noun: foresight, divine care & guardianship)

Provident (adj.: providing for future needs)


Correct: Some lazy people believe that providence would just drop down from heaven.

Correct: In some countries, it is mandatory for all employees to contribute

to an employee provident fund.





Item 424

Piteous (adj.: exciting or deserving pity)

Pitiable (adj.: lamentable or deplorable)

Pitiful (adj.: exciting pity)


Correct: The old woman suffered a piteous state of misery.

Correct: The refugee was in a pitiable condition.

Correct: I believe I have seen this pitiful paralysed man before.


Item 425

Permissible (adj.: allowable)

Permissive (adj.: tolerant)


Correct: Smoking in the bus is not permissible.

Correct: We live in a permissive society.


Item 426

Permit (noun: to allow to do something)

Allow (verb: to permit, interchangeable with permit, but suggesting a less formal way)


Correct: We need to apply for a hot work permit to do our welding job in a refinery.

Correct: They allow you to speak what you like in this class.


Item 427

Personage (noun: someone of distinction or importance)

Personality (noun: the visible aspect of one’s character as it impresses others)


Correct: If you can have the backing of a local personage you will be able

to market your product more successfully.

Correct: This guy has strong personality, but because of the lack of

formal education, he was not promoted to be the director.


Item 428

Perspicacious (adj.: having keen mental perception)

Perspicuous (adj.: clearly express)


Correct: This perspicacious guy can learn things quickly.

Correct: Our reporter submitted a perspicuous description of the situation in that country.


Item 429

Perturb (verb: throw into confusion or disorder)

Disturb (verb: interrupt, agitate)


Correct: If anything is perturbing him, he should tell us so that we might try

our best to help him.

Correct: Basil said he did not want people to disturb him because he

was preparing the monthly report.


Item 430

Picnic (noun: eat an informal meal in the open air)

Panic (noun: sudden feeling of fear and anxiety)


Correct: We had a picnic at Changi beach on last Sunday.

Correct: When the lightning flashed, my friend had a panic.


Item 431

Poetic (adj.: beautiful and expressive)

Poetical (adj.: interchangeable with poetic)


Correct: The first stanza is the most poetic part of this poem.

Correct: Poetical works of most writers are not appreciated until the writers are dead.


Item 432

Potent (adj.: effective and powerful)

Potential (adj.: capable of developing into the expected kind of persons or things desired)


Correct: Nuclear bomb is a potent weapon.

Correct: These students are our potential scientists.


Item 433

Practicable (adj.: can be carried out successfully)

Practical (adj.: concerned with use and practice rather than theory)

Correct: To construct a tunnel from Singapore to Kuching is not practicable at

the moment.

Correct: I am sure my plan is practical.


Item 434

Precede (verb: to go before in place, order, rank or time)

Proceed (verb: go forward or on further)


Correct: The runners were preceded by a torch-bearer.

Correct: We were told to proceed with the project although the contract had

not yet been signed.


Item 435

Precipitate (verb: moving with great haste, to hasten the occurrence of)

Precipitous (adj.: very steep)


Correct: The pirates made a precipitate attack on the bank.

Correct: On my way up to the top of Mt.Kinabalu, I had to ascend a precipitous slope.


Item 436

Predicate (verb: to declare or assert as an assumed quality or attribute)

Predict (verb: to tell what will happen in advance)


Correct: The unification of these two countries is predicated on the hope

of economic growth.

Correct: That experienced teacher actually predicted two of the history

questions for the G C E “O” Level paper.


Item 437

Preface (noun: an introduction to a book stating its subject, scope etc)

Prefix (noun: a group of letters added at the beginning of a word to make a new

word with a different meaning)


Correct: The preface is the last thing I do for a book.

Correct: If I add a prefix un to the word friendly, it becomes unfriendly.


Item 438

Prescribe (verb: order for use as a remedy, to advise the use of)

Proscribe (verb: to condemn as dangerous)


Correct: The doctor prescribes some medicines for me.

Correct: Heroin has long been proscribed by governments from all over the world.


Item 439

Pretence (noun: make-belief, a false show of intentions or motives)

Pretension (noun: an assertion of a claim)


Correct: Under the pretence of friendship, this man was able to cheat the

woman of thousands of dollars.

Correct: His pretension was not noticed by the managers until many months later.


Item 440

Preventive (adj.: to stop something undesirable happening)

Preventative (adj.: interchangeable with preventive)

Correct: Preventive maintenance has been popular with the factories during

the last few years.

Item 441

Programme (noun: a series of actions or events which are planned to take place)

Program (US spelling for Programme)


Correct: The teacher has completed the programme for the sea sports tomorrow.

Item 442

Prophecy (noun: a statement saying something will happen)

Prophesy (verb: to foretell future events)

Correct: The prophecy that the world was going to end in 2003 was a hoax.

Correct: I have yet to meet the person who can prophesy the future events.


Item 443

Proportional (adj.: relates a quantity to the whole, proportional usually precedes its noun)

Proportionate (adj.: same as proportional, but proportionate usually follow its noun)


Correct: The advance pay given out to each employee is proportional to his basic salary.

Correct: Each employee was given a bonus proportionate to his or her basic salary.


Item 444

Purposely (adv.: intentionally)

Purposefully (adv.: in a determined manner)


Correct: The personnel manager purposely dropped Ah Kow’s promotion

proposal letter into the waste paper basket.

Correct: He walked purposefully into the burning hotel because he knew his

father was inside.


Item 444.01

Pitch (noun: a degree of highness or lowness of a musical note or a voice, e.g. have

absolute or perfect pitch)

Tone (noun: someone’s tone is the quality in their voice or general action which shows

what they are feeling or thinking)


Correct: His voice dropped to a lower pitch when he realized it was his mistake.

Correct: I knew from the tone of his voice that he was very angry.


Item 444.02

Pray (verb: to offer devout petition)

Prey (verb: to hunt or kill for food)


Correct: The devotees prayed to their gods for assistance when they were struck by


Correct: The tigers prey upon the wild pigs on that island and there is little chance for the

pigs to escape predation.


Item 444.03

Exclude (verb: to prevent someone from sharing or taking part, to shut out or keep out)


Preclude (verb: to rule out, eliminate, or make impossible, to prevent their involvement in



Correct: The captain excludes Johnny from the college soccer team.

Correct: My contract precludes me from discussing the process of ultra-pure water with

anyone outside the company.


Item 444.04

Pygmy (noun: very small person, a member of a race of dwarfs living in equatorial Africa

and parts of South-east Asia, giving an average height less than 1.27 metres)

Pigmy (noun: interchangeable with Pygmy, most standard English speakers prefer the

word Pygmy)


Correct: Pygmies may have small stature but it does not mean they are insignificant



Item 444.05

Paediatric (adj.: branch of medicine dealing with children and their diseases)

Pediatric (adj.: US spelling for Pediatric)

Orthopaedic (adj.: treatment of bones, joints, and muscles etc)

Orthopedic (adj.: US spelling for Orthopaedic)


Correct: The paediatric wards were beautifully decorated for the Christmas.

Correct: The orthopaedic surgeon was very busy last week.


Item 444.06

Peninsula (noun: a piece of land which is joined to the mainland, and is almost

surrounded by water or projecting far into a sea or lake)

Peninsular (adj.: relating to or of the nature of a peninsula)


Correct: She moved to Florida Peninsula because she enjoyed sailing in the seas there.

Correct: The Peninsular War was started in the 1808 and ended in 1814.


Item 444.07

Pleasantness (noun: the state of being delightful or agreeable)

Pleasantry (noun: a pleasant, entertaining or humourous remark)


Correct: When I first arrive in the United States of America in July, the pleasantness of

the weather was memorable.

Correct: The stranger was able to carry on talking because Mr Haque used pleasantry to

facilitate the conversation.


Item 444.08

Precedence (noun: priority in time, order or importance)

Precedency (noun: interchangeable with Precedence)

Precedent (noun: a previous example or case that establishes a moral, social or legal



Correct: Precedence must be given to casualties who are in critical condition.

Correct: Some politicians fear that agreeing to the free trade agreement with one country

would set a dangerous precedent because many other countries would be asking

for free trade agreement in future.


Item 444.09

Picaresque (adj.: of or involving clever rogues or adventures)

Picturesque (adj.: alluring, beautiful)


Correct: With her picaresque friend as a guide, she travels to the remote villages in


Correct: It would be a good idea to rent a car and drive to the country side of England to

see the picturesque villages.


Item 444.10

Perceptible (adj.: noticeable, recognizable)

Perceptive (adj.: observant, discerning or sensitive)

Percipient (adj.: good at noticing and understanding things)


Correct: There has been perceptible improvement in the working conditions in China.

Correct: His poems are full of perceptive insights into the environment in China.

Correct: She is a very percipient author but her works are not yet popular because she has

been writing about people who are still living.


Item 444.11

Produce (noun: food or any other substance or material that is grown or obtained through

farming, especially that which is produced in large amounts, e.g. fruit and


Product (noun: is something that is made to be sold, usually something that is produced

by industrial process)


Correct: The agriculture or daily produce from Malaysia are cheaper.

Correct: Labour is very cheap in that country and yet the consumer products are still



Item 444.12

Prevaricate (verb: to avoid telling the truth or making a decision or saying what you


Procrastinate (verb: to keep delaying something that must be done, because it is

unpleasant or boring)


Correct: She is prevaricating over whether to buy a new car.

Correct: Since he cannot confirm on this matter, he is procrastinating it hoping that

someone will give him a helping hand.




Item 444.13

Predate (verb: exist or occur at a date earlier than)

Antedate (verb: to be older than)


Correct: The construction of Seletar Airport predated the construction of Changi Airport.

Correct: Madam Lee’s birth antedates that of her son by 30 years.


Item 444.14

Puerile (adj.: showing or expressing silliness that is unsuitable for an adult)

Juvenile (adj.: of or by a young person who is not yet old enough to be considered an



Correct: After a few drinks, some people can be very puerile.

Correct: Since caning was introduced, there has been a decrease in juvenile crime in the

past few years.


Item 444.15

Placate (verb: to appease, e.g. calm anger, resentment, hostility etc)

Calm (verb: a state of quietude that may only be transient)


Correct: The kidnappers could only be placated if the victim’s parents yield to some of

the demands.

Correct: The first aiders calmed the casualty with soothing words and attentions


Item 444.16

Prophesy (verb: refers to authoritative wisdom and acumen)

Augur (verb: implying a reading of subtle omens and clues as a way of prefiguring what

is to come)

Foretell (verb: tell of an event etc before it takes place)


Correct: He was the only pundit who prophesied an economic boom in China.

Correct: A pundit claims he sees omens and clues which refer to the fact that our

company will augur well for the next seven years.

Correct: If fortune-tellers can foretell your future, they will be able to foretell their own



Item 444.17

Permit (verb: to grant leave to or empower by expressing consent, usually indicating

official sanction)

Allow (verb: grant as a right or privilege)

Let (verb: to allow to escape, to go or to come)


Correct: We need a written permit to bring out company property from that oil terminal.

Correct: His boss allowed him to go home early because he was sick.

Correct: We did not let him to come into the oil terminal because he did not have a

visitor’s pass.


Item 444.18

Predominant (adj.: the strongest or main element, most important)

Preponderant (adj.: be greater in power, weight, or importance)


Correct: The predominant quality of his story is its relevance to our modern society.

Correct: All kinds of trees flourish in the country side, but the preponderant species is the



Item 444.19

Pusillanimous (adj.: contemptible moral squeamishness, rather than a physical

cowardliness, unwilling to press for one’s rights, timid)

Craven (adj.: persons or actions that are outrageously or abjectly cowardly)


Correct: They are too pusillanimous to stand up to fight for their rights.

Correct: The craven thugs kowtowed at the feet of the police and begged for mercy.


Item 444.20

Pious (adj.:religious, dutiful)

Devout (adj.: earnestly religious)


Correct: Mr James is a pious fraud whose mind is more devoted to greed and hatred than

to gospel.

Correct: Mr Abdullah is a devout Muslim.


Item 444.21

Privilege (noun: advantages given as favours, or immunity belonging to a person, class,

or office)

Prerogative (noun: a right or privilege exclusive to an individual or class)


Correct: In some countries, college education is taken as a right rather than a privilege.

Correct: It is the prerogative of every employee to receive adequate severance pay.


Item 444.22

Pretty (adj.: usually applies to women, e.g. pleasing or appealing in a delicate or graceful

way, charming)

Handsome (adj.: usually applies to men, e.g. good-looking especially in having regular,

pleasing and well-defined features)


Correct: Pretty women are in an advantageous position as far as the career is concerned.

Correct: A handsome guy stands a better chance of being selected for higher training or






Item 444.23

Probe (verb: investigating thoroughly by legislative body or by a committee set up within

such a body into alleged large-scale misconduct or illegal practices)

Inquisition (noun: searching an individual or group in order to dig out facts proving the

existence of illegal acts)


Correct: The Inland Revenue Department sent a team to probe into a tax evasion on the

part of a large company.

Correct: The inquisition started yesterday on the missing 8000 cubic metres of diesel fuel

which James said was stolen by the Chinese driver, from the oil terminal.


Item 444.24

Power (noun: any exercise of control over something often with a stress on forcefulness

or strength)

Authority (noun: indicates an officially determined right to rule)


Correct: If a government doesn’t have the chance to stop a revolt by reasons, it can use

brutal power to put it down.

Correct: These people always rebel against authority.


Item 444.25

Protégé (noun: a person under the patronage, protection or care of someone interested in

his or her career or welfare)

Disciple (noun: a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another)


Correct: David told James that if he wanted to remain as David’s protégé, James must

stop womanizing and getting drunk.

Correct: Christ sent forth the 70 disciples.


Item 444.26

Peep (noun: a weak high noise by young birds)

Chirp (verb: to make a short high sound or sounds)

Cheep (verb: faint or weak cry made by young birds)


Correct: The chicks were making tiny peeps.

Correct: The sky was blue and the birds were chirping on the casuarina trees.

Correct: When the rain stopped, the birds in the jungle began cheeping again.

Item 444.27

Personality (noun: that which constitutes a person)

Character (noun: the combination of qualities distinguishing any person, e.g. distinctive

mark or trait)


Correct: He has an amusing personality and I don’t doubt his sincerity.

Correct: This guy has a doubtful character and we don’t want to take the risk of

employing him.


Item 444.28

Postulate (verb: to claim, accept as true without proof)

Assume (verb: to conclude something based on little or no validating evidence)


Correct: The investigators postulate things and then look for evidence before they

confirm them.

Correct: Some people assumed that the government owed them a living.


Item 444.29

Petty (adj.: unimportant, trivial, minor )

Picayune (adj.: an insignificant person or thing, anything of little or no value)


Correct: All our company employees are allowed to use the petty cash to purchase

anything needed by the company without the official approval from the section

head if that item is not more than $50.00.

Correct: A picayune opposition leader who hadn’t come up with a good idea in thirty

years should not be elected again.


Item 444.30

Property (noun: any object of value a person or group may acquire and own, e.g. land,

buildings, jewelry etc)

Estate (noun: a piece of landed property or the residence built upon it)


Correct: These buildings are private property.

Correct: His country estate was worth over a million dollars.


Item 444.31

Precis (noun: suggests a lengthier treatment than abstract and adhering to the exact

ordering of points in the original)

Abstract (noun: refers to summary written by someone other than the original author,

stressing on brevity of the essential points)


Correct: During my last English Language examination, I had to write a précis of an

essay and I was not allowed to use more than 33% of the words making up that


Correct: Some magazines include abstracts of their recent articles for the sake of the busy



Item 444.32

Petite (adj.: when refers to women, small and slim)

Diminutive (adj.: refers to women’s figures that are pleasingly trim and compact)


Correct: This petite lady was my neighbour.

Correct: When he opened the door, he saw a diminutive figure standing at the entrance.


Item 444.33

Phantasm (noun: an apparition, a phantom)

Phantasy (noun: interchangeable with fantasy)

Fantasy (noun: a fanciful mental image, a whim)


Correct: The beautiful palace on the horizon turned out to be a phantasm.

Correct: An author may introduce a lot of fantasies in order to attract the less intelligent



Item 444.34

Possible (adj.: able to be carried out if the circumstances are right)

Feasible (adj.: likely, reasonable, or practical to carry out)


Correct: It is possible to walk from Singapore to Shanghai.

Correct: It is possible to construct another airport in Singapore which will be as good as

Changi Airport, but at the moment, it is not feasible.


Item 444.35

Prohibit (verb: to prevent a particular activity by making it impossible)

Inhibit (verb: to prevent someone from doing something or to slow down a process or the

growth of something)


Correct: The loud noise from the construction engines prohibits serious conversation in

the yard.

Correct: Many of the medicines will only inhibit the progress of the diseases



Item 444.36

Petrol (noun: US word for gasoline)

Gasolene (noun: interchangeable with gasoline and petrol)

Gasoline (noun: a volatile inflammable liquid distilled from petroleum and used for

heating, lighting and as fuel for internal combustion engines)


Correct: We must have our gasoline tank topped up now because Harrisburg is 100 miles



Item 444.37

Pendulate (verb: to swing, undulate)

Pendulous (adj.: swinging freely, drooping)


Correct: When the heavy load was lifted from the ground, it pendulated from one end to

the opposite end.

Correct: Since the pendulous motion of the lifted load was beyond control, the crane

operator lowered the load to the ground.





Item 444.38

Permissive (adj.: allow others a great deal of freedom in the way they behave, especially

in sexual matters)

Permissible (adj.: allowable)


Correct: The citizens of the US live in a very permissive society.

Correct: Smoking is not permissible in the bus.


Item 444.39

Perpetually (adj.: eternally, for ever)

Continually (adv.: always happening, very frequent and without cessation)


Correct: The fugitives are perpetually living in fear of being discovered and arrested.

Correct: They are continually arguing about which religion to follow.


Item 444.40

Prosaic (adj.: like prose, lacking poetic beauty, dull, unimaginative)

Prosy (adj.: tedious, common place)


Correct: Why are some people always taking a prosaic view of life?

Correct: To sit down and listen to the prosy talk will be a waste of my time.


Item 444.41

Policy (noun: a principle, plan or course of action as pursued by a government,

organization or individual etc)

Polity (noun: a process of civil government or constitution by which the framework of

the various departments of government are combine into a systematic whole)


Correct: The foreign policy recently introduced by the US Government is a decent one.

Correct: For some people, the US polity is most objectionable.


Item 444.42

Pidgin (noun: a simplified language containing vocabulary from two or more languages

used for communication between people not having a common language)

Pigeon (noun: any of various related birds with deep-chested body, a small head and

short legs. Pigeons are commonly domesticated.)


Correct: I don’t encourage pidgin to be used for international trade.

Correct: My pigeons have very good sense of time because they may be many miles

away but every day they will be around in the yard during the feeding time

which is twelve noon.


Item 444.43

Perspective (noun: a point of view, a way of regarding a matter)

Prospective (adj.: likely or expected)


Correct: From the perspective of the junior commissioned officers of the Japanese

Imperial Forces, the invasion of China was not avoidable if Japan was to


Correct: He is one of the prospective buyers.


Item 444.44

Purgatory (noun: a place of temporary suffering for guilt after death)

Purdah (noun: the practice among some Hindus and Muslims of secluding or hiding

women from strangers)


Correct: Some people believe that after spiritual cleansing in purgatory, they will be

accepted in heaven by God.

Correct: Purdah is still practised in some parts of the world.


Item 444.45

Pour (verb: to emit or discharge)

Pore (verb: examine carefully)


Correct: Sakyamuni told his disciple to take the leftover food to the forest and pour it

into a hole to cover it with soil because no ordinary human or animal can

consume it.

Correct: He takes the book and pores over the poems.


Item 444.46

Pence (noun: plural of penny)

Penny (noun: plural is pennies or pence, a monetary unit of the United Kingdom, there

are 100 pennies in a pound)


Correct: I keep some fifty pence coins just in case I need to use the public phones in



Item 444.47

Personal (adj.: concerning or affecting a person as an individual, private)

Personnel (noun: the body of people employed in a company, or engaged in a service, or



Correct: He wants to apply for his personal parking space.

Correct: The personnel manager of that company was very corrupt.


Item 444.48

Plain (adj.: not decorated in any way, with nothing added)

Plane (adj.: flat, even, perfectly level)


Correct: When you are thirsty, you enjoy drinking even plain water.

Correct: In order to align the pump and the motor correctly, we shall need a plane



Item 444.49

Personality (noun: the quality which makes a being a person, that which distinguishes and

characterizes a person)

Personalty (noun: personal property)


Correct: The next candidate recommended to be the senior engineer was not considered

because of his offensive personality.

Correct: The personalties of the wife and the husband exceed U.S. $10 billions.


Item 444.50

Protestant (noun: opposite of a Roman Catholic, a member of the churches founded by

the Reformers)

protestant (noun: a protester, this word starts with a lower case p)


Correct: Margaret Tulip was a Protestant.

Correct: The company has decided to terminate the services of all the protestants.


Item 444.51

Proved (verb: past participle of prove, means demonstrate the truth by evidence or


Proven (verb: interchangeable with proved)


Correct: It had been proved / proven that the accused was innocent.


Item 444.52

Putter (noun: a golfer who putts)

Putter (noun: US and Canadian word for potter)

Putter (verb: to act, work or proceed in a dawdling or ineffective manner)

Potter (noun: a person who makes pottery)


Correct: Johnny is a good putter.

Correct: I was puttering around in New York for a day.

Correct: This potter is very rich because his pots, dishes and other articles which are

made of clay are selling well in the US.


Item 444.53

Puritan (noun: a member of that party of English Prostestants who from late 16th to mid

17th century, desired a further purification of the Church and especially, a simpler

form of worship)

puritan (noun: this word starts with a lower case p, refers to one who is extremely strict,

precise or scrupulous in religion or morals)


Correct: The Puritans were very sure that in order for the Church to survive they had to

attract more educated and young people to the Church.

Correct: The puritans believe they would definitely be in heaven in their next life.


Item 444.54

Punctilious (adj.: a person who is scrupulously observant of fine points or of details of

actions or behaviour)

Punctual (adj.: prompt, exactly on time)


Correct: Mr Brown is a punctilious person and it is most unlikely that he will be late for

this meeting.

Correct: If you don’t wish to discredit yourself, be punctual for all your conferences.


Item 444.55

Procession (noun: going forward, or a body of persons marching in ceremonial order)

Precession (noun: the action or fact of preceding in time, order or rank)


Correct: The lantern procession this year attracted more people than all the previous


Correct: During that procession, the Prime Minister took precession over all other



Item 444.56

Persistently (adv.: continuing obstinately, enduring)

Consistently (adv.: always behaving or happening in a similar way)

Correct: They have persistently ignored our request for the refund of the damaged goods.

Correct: They have been consistently rude to us all week.


Item 444.57

Query (noun: question or inquire)

Quest (noun: the act of seeking)


Correct: Our query regarding the defective engine component has not yet been attended

to by the supplier.

Correct: I appreciate his insatiable quest for knowledge taking into consideration that he

was from a poor family.


Item 445

Racket (noun: a bat for striking a ball, also means an illegal way of making money)

Racquet (noun: this word used to be another word for tennis racket)


Correct: I bought a new tennis racket yesterday.


Item 446

Railway (noun: a route along which trains travel)

Railroad (noun: American word for railway)


Correct: The buffalo was walking along a railway before the people caught it.


Item 447

Rapt (adj.: to be carried away by an idea, vision etc)

Wrapped (verb: folded paper, cloth or other soft material tightly round something to

cover it up completely)


Correct: A rapt expression came over his face as he saw a tulip for the first time

in England.

Correct: I wrapped a piece of cloth round the pillow and left it in the storeroom.


Item 448

Rare (adj.: very uncommon)

Scarce (adj.: insufficient for the demand)


Correct: It is very rare that you see a comet in the sky.

Correct: When a commodity is scarce, it will be expensive.


Item 449

Reciprocal (adj.: in return, given or felt by each toward the other)

Mutual (adj.: having the same feeling, each for the other)


Correct: The reciprocal trade agreement between United States and Singapore

will definitely benefit the two countries.

Correct: If we have problems in future, our mutual friends will support us.


Item 450

Recourse (noun: resorting to a possible source of help)

Resort (verb: to turn for help or solution etc)

Resource (noun: the means available to achieve an end)


Correct: Our budget for the project has been totally used up, and we need to have

recourse to other funds.

Correct: You shouldn’t have resorted to violence because the police could

have helped you.

Correct: These thugs were known to have killed all their victims even though

the ransoms had been paid, and our only resource was to escape.


Item 451

Reflection (noun: the casting back of light, sound etc from a surface)

Reflexion (noun: the old spelling used in the classical English for reflection)


Correct: When you look at a mirror, you see your own image, which is a reflection.




Item 452

Reflective (adj.: thoughtful)

Reflexive (adj.: doing something without thinking about it)


Correct: When you calm down your mind, you will be in a sombre and reflective mood.

Correct: When the mother saw her child dropping into the river, her action

of jumping into the river to save her child was reflexive.


Item 453

Refute (verb: repel by argument)

Deny (verb: declare untrue or non-existent)


Correct: I refute the charge put forward by the chief engineer.

Correct They deny the charge put forward by the chief engineer.


Item 454

Regretful (adj.: feeling or showing sadness and disappointment that something has


Regrettable (adj.: unfortunate and undesirable)


Correct: They were regretful for their lost chances.

Correct: Our company’s legal action against you is regrettable, but I have

no authority over this matter.


Item 455

Remember (verb: keep in the memory)

Recall (verb: bring back to memory)

Recollect (verb: succeed in remembering)


Correct: I will try to remember all the names of the people I met this morning.

Correct: I cannot recall that we met in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Correct: They are not able to recollect the details of the accident.


Item 456

Repairable (adj.: can be restored to good condition after damage or wear)

Reparable (adj.: that can be made good, e.g. mistakes, losses and other non-material



Correct: All the defective equipment in our workshop are repairable.

Correct: All our losses at the moment are reparable.


Item 457

Repellent (adj.: causing distaste or aversion)

Repulsive (adj.: horrible and disgusting)


Correct: I need to bring some mosquito repellent with me into the jungle.

Correct: I find his behaviour most repulsive.


Item 458

Repetitious (adj.: characterized by repetition especially when unnecessary or tiresome)

Repetitive (adj.: involves doing the same things again and again, or the same things

happening again and again)


Correct: Our rehearsals were repetitious and that was why I did not attend

some of the sessions.

Correct: The harassment was repetitive and that was why he called the police.


Item 459

Requirement (noun: some quality which is needed in order to comply with certain


Requisite (noun: things which are needed for a certain purpose)


Correct: The selection procedures of the police force include a minimum height


Correct: The two requisites needed for success are honesty and diligence.


Item 460

Reserve (verb: put aside for a later occasion)

Preserve (verb: keep safe, free from harm, decay etc)


Correct: They reserve some money for the rainy days.

Correct: I preserve these seeds so that I may use them in future.


Item 461

Respective (adj.: concerning or appropriate to each of several individually)

Respectively (adv.: for each separately or in turn)


Correct: All the students were told to go back to their respective classes.

Correct: Helen and Ann were given a book and a pen respectively.


Item 462

Reverend (adj.: title used before the name of a religious leader)

Reverent (adj.: feeling or showing great respect)


Correct: The Reverend Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda was born in Sri Lanka.

Correct: The reverent monks were on their way to Thailand.


Item 463

Reversal (noun: the state of being changed to the opposite)

Reversion (noun: the return of an estate to the grantor or to the grantor’s heirs)


Correct: We thought Krisnan was going to win the case, but the reversal is

now the truth.

Correct: The reversion of the land title to Mr. Tan is with immediate effect from today.


Item 464

Rotary (adj.: turning on an axis)

Rotatory (adj.: interchangeable with rotary, Standard English speakers normally

use the word Rotary)


Correct: The turbo-charged rotary engines are becoming more popular.


Item 465

Rural (adj.: of or suggesting the country, e.g. rural communities)

Rustic (adj.: unsophisticated country people)


Correct: The rural areas may be the better places to live in future.

Correct: Many residents from the city still think of the rural people as rustics.


Item 465.01

Refractory (adj.: obstinate and rebellious, determined to protest against authority)

Intractable (adj.: stubbornly resists being led, guided, or restrained influenced, or

influenced, difficult to manage or solve)

Recalcitrant (adj.: to kick back, implying uncompromising resistance)


Correct: That country would have progressed well if the refractory priests didn’t refuse to

assist the king.

Correct: Intractable problems in some parts of the world are difficult to solve, and I am

one of those who would not be able to solve them even if all the gods authorized

me to be the judge.

Correct: The reason why we have to pull the donkey around is its own recalcitrant



Item 465.02

Resources (noun: the existence of a reserve supply of wealth or assets that can be drawn

upon when needed)

Means (noun: material possessions that can be used for specific purposes)


Correct: The natural resources of a nation include its raw materials like potable water,

crude oil, metals as well as its human wealth.

Correct: His means are not sufficient for a university education.


Item 465.03

Reliance (noun: the act of depending on with confidence, dependence, an actual

dependence on someone or something)

Confidence (noun: self-assurance or trust, refers to a conviction born of times-tested



Correct: We go on board a plane with complete reliance of the effectiveness of the plane

to take off and also to land safely.

Correct: This politician has a record that merits the confidence of all voters.


Item 465.04

Relate (verb: recount, or give an account of)

Narrate (verb: give a continuous story or an account of something)


Correct: The witness related the events to the police.

Correct: David was only 20-year-old when Sara narrated the story of how the notorious

John Chiang made his father drunk on board Sri Gaya and pushed him into the



Item 465.05

Repetitious (adj.: refers to repetition especially when it is unnecessary)

Diffuse (adj.: verbose or wordy)


Correct: I don’t enjoy watching those repetitious commercials every night.

Correct: His incident report was so diffuse that it was almost impossible to grasp its

central idea.


Item 465.06

Resist (verb: withstand the action or effect of, repel)

Defy (verb: resist openly, refuse to obey)


Correct: We are peaceful people but any attack on us will definitely be resisted with


Correct: People who defy the order of the court will have to face the music later on.


Item 465.07

Regular (adj.: conforming to a rule or principle)

Ordinary (adj.: normal, customary, usual)

Common (adj.: occurring often, without special rank or position)


Correct: Anthony had been a regular soldier for ten years.

Correct: He was just an ordinary man, but he seemed to be happier than all of us.

Correct: That was a common mistake and we should not take it too seriously.


Item 465.08

Resilient (adj.: readily recovering from shock, depression etc, emphasizes a rapid

rebounding into original shape)

Agile (adj.: stress quickness of response with the ability to move quickly and yet



Correct: Among these athletes, Judy had been the most resilient.

Correct: The agile leap of the acrobat was beautiful.


Item 465.09

Rim (noun: a circumscribing outline of a circle, especially the open lip of a cylindrical

shape, e.g. a wheel)

Brim (noun: the circumscribing outline of containers, e.g. a cup)


Correct: The rim of his car wheel had been damaged.

Correct: John Chiang filled David’s glass to the brim with whisky.


Item 465.10

Reflect (verb: to ponder, meditate )

Ruminate (verb: think very carefully)

Meditate (verb: to reflect deeply)

Muse (verb: to become absorbed in thought especially to turn something over in the mind

meditatively and often inconclusively)


Correct: I give them time to reflect on the subject and hope they will be more sensible

when we meet again next month.

Correct: The employees ruminated over the choice of receiving the compensation and

leave the company or to staying on.

Correct: He meditated under a bodhi tree.

Correct: The young engineer mused over the possibility of traveling from Singapore to

Los Angeles within two hours.


Item 465.11

Rival (verb: seeking the same object or end for which another is striving, usually

motivated by feelings that can make him or her malicious)

Competitor (noun: a person who competes especially in business or commerce)


Correct: These two gentlemen rivaled for the love of that woman.

Correct: There are so many competitors on the market that in order to survive, we must

produce commodities which are cheap and yet durable.


Item 465.12

Reprimand (verb: an official or sharp rebuke for a fault etc)

Censure (verb: criticize harshly)


Correct: The judge reprimanded a witness because that witness was most uncooperative.

Correct: The judge censures the thugs because he wants them to repent.


Item 465.13

Resign (verb: give up an office or one’s employment etc)

Abdicate (verb: giving up of a throne by a monarch)


Correct: Mr George said he had resigned but the personnel department had not received

his letter of resignation.

Correct: It was believed that King George III threatened to abdicate.


Item 465.14

Renaissance (noun: rebirth, renewal)

Renascence (noun: interchangeable with renaissance)


Correct: The renaissance refers to the vigorous intellectual awaking in Western Europe

from 14th to 16th century.


Item 465.15

Reclaim (verb: seek the return of one’s property, or bringing something back to its

original condition)

Restore (verb: bring back or attempt to bring back to the original state by rebuilding,

repairing or repainting etc)

Correct: The villagers reclaim large areas of land.

Correct: We are interested to restore all these buildings.


Item 465.16

Rotate (verb: to turn or spin on an axis)

Revolve (verb: to orbit a central point)

Roll (verb: to move by turning over and over)


Correct: The air will be in motion when the fan blades rotate.

Correct: The earth and the moon revolve around the sun.

Correct: He rolls the oxygen cylinder out of the workshop.


Item 465.17

Rugged (adj.: rough or uneven surfaces of landscape, e.g. rugged mountains, roads etc)

Bumpy (adj.: also refers to landscape but it suggests a smooth stretch with small hollows

and lumpy projections)


Correct: The rugged mountains in a country will actually help to attract more tourists to

that country.

Correct: I had to drive along the bumpy road for about five hours, covering a distance of

only 300 kilometres.


Item 465.18

Roast (verb: cook food especially in an oven or by exposure to open heat)

Barbecue (verb: a meal cooked on an open fire out of door, especially meat grilled on a

metal appliance)


Correct: They roasted a duck and a fish.

Correct: We barbecued a duck yesterday.



Item 465.19

Reason (noun: the basis or motive for an action, decision, feeling or belief)

Cause (noun: a person or thing responsible for an action or result)


Correct: The reason I am here is that I wish to talk to you face to face.

Correct: The breaking down of my car is the cause for me to request temporary shelter

at your place as the next workshop is 100 miles away and the ambient

temperature is zero degree Celsius.


Item 465.20

Royal (adj.: of, or relating to, or befitting a king or queen or other monarch)

Regal (adj.: magnificent, of, or relating to, or befitting a king or queen or other monarch)

Kingly (adj.: in a manner appropriate to a king, having the characteristic or quality of a

king, kinglike, majestic)


Correct: It is believed that the Royal Family in Britain attracts a lot of tourists to visit

Britain every year.

Correct: Sakyamuni’s regal manner must have attracted the five disciples to listen to the

first sermon.

Correct: As the five disciples tried to avoid Sakyamuni thinking that he had abandoned

the ascetic life, they saw in his kingly eyes that he was not an ordinary being.


Item 465.21

Rent (verb: give temporary use of something in return for payment when the duration is


Hire (verb: temporary use of something in return for payment if the duration is short, e.g.

less than a day)

Lease (verb: a contract granting use or occupation in exchange for money)

Let (verb: to grant the temporary possession and use of property to another in

consideration of payments of money)


Correct: He rented a flat in Queenstown.

Correct: I hired a taxi to go to Changi Airport.

Correct: Our town council leased the land to the foreign company.

Correct: He lets his house to Japanese tourists.


Item 465.22

Reduce (verb: make or become smaller or less)

Deplete (verb: reduce in numbers or quantity, empty out)


Correct: Because of the new projects we are doing now, our materials in the warehouse have

been very much reduced and we must replenish them as soon as possible.

Correct: All the materials in our warehouse have been depleted.





Item 465.23

Reprint (verb: to print a book again)

Edition (noun: a particular form in which a book, magazine or newspaper is published)

Impression (noun: a mark made on the surface of something by pressing an object on to



Correct: The first edition was very successful and so we had it reprinted.

Correct: I bought the paper back edition because it was cheaper.

Correct: He pressed a coin on his left arm for a few seconds only but the impression was



Item 465.24

Remedial (adj.: counteracting or removing anything undesireable)

Remediable (adj.: that can be removed, repaired or counteracted)


Correct: The teacher was conducting remedial classes for students who are slow or


Correct: Most of the problems created by the students are remediable.


Item 465.25

Reputed (adj.: generally suppose to be such)

Reported (verb: presented an official, formal or regular account of )


Correct: This gentleman is reputed to have earned twenty million dollars a year.

Correct: It was reported that the swindlers were still using the same tricks in that country.


Item 465.26

Ranch (noun: a cattle-breeding establishment especially in western US and Canada)

Rancho (noun: a hut, or group of huts for ranch workers)

Range (noun: the levels or area within or to which something is limited)

Hacienda (noun: an estate, ranch or plantation with a dwelling house)


Correct: If you have enough money, it is a good idea to buy a ranch.

Correct: The ranchos were built by the ranch workers,

Correct: The value of the US dollar fluctuated within a narrow range last week.

Correct: She bought the hacienda because it would save her the trouble of having the

house built.


Item 465.27

Rise (verb: get out of bed)

Raise (verb: to cause to arise or appear)


Correct: They rise very early in the morning as they have to reach the top of the mountain

before it is enveloped by the clouds.

Correct: The enemies raised a white flag to tell our advancing troops that the war was



Item 465.28

Restive (adj.: impatient or disobedient because of boredom or dissatisfaction with the

way something is being done)

Restless (adj.: bored or dissatisfied and want to do something else, unable to stay still)


Correct: When they lost their way in the middle of the Borneo jungle, the soldiers were

restive and mutinous.

Correct: We spent the restless night on board a ship right in the middle of the ocean.


Item 465.29

Rout (noun: a disorderly crowd, noisy mob, or overwhelming defeat)

Route (noun: a road, way or course for traveling, especially a highway)


Correct: The US soldiers put the enemies to rout.

Correct: The procession took a different route for security reason.


Item 465.29

Renounce (verb: to give up a right, position, or to abdicate, to have nothing to do


Denounce (verb: to accuse or inform against)


Correct: The monks and nuns must have great courage because they were able to

renounce the world.

Correct: In a certain country, the police officer publicly denounced, but privately

celebrated the illegal activities of the gangsters.


Item 465.30

Ratable (adj.: that can be rated or estimated, liable to the payment of taxes)

Rateable (adj.: interchangeable with ratable)


Correct: My transport allowance was not ratable.


Item 465.31

Repair (verb: to put something damaged, broken, or not working correctly back into good

condition, or to make it work again)

Fix (verb: to fasten something in position)


Correct: The mechanic has repaired that car engine.

Correct: I shall need someone to help me fix that door because it is too heavy for me to

do it alone.


Item 465.32

Remission (noun: a reduction of a prison sentence)

Remittance (noun: the sending of money in payment)


Correct: He was granted a remission on the prison sentence because he behaved well

while he was there.

Correct: As soon as we receive the remittance, we will dispatch the books to you.


Item 465.33

Riotous (adj.: involving public uproar or disturbance)

Tumultuous (adj.: the commotion of a great crowd)


Correct: A riotous crowd appeared that morning in the capital of that country and we

thought we could never have the chance to rush to the airport.

Correct: The tumultuous celebration was held at a stadium.


Item 466

Salubrious (adj.: pleasant, healthy, agreeable)

Salutary (adj.: producing good effects)


Correct: I would like my house to be situated in a salubrious area.

Correct: Our past failure was actually our salutary experience.


Item 467

Sanatory (adj.: favourable to health, curative)

Sanitary (adj.: connected with hygience and cleanliness)


Correct: Many people do not believe that meditation is sanatory.

Correct: Sanitary conditions in many parts of the world are still very much neglected.


Item 468

Sceptic (noun: one who maintains a doubting or distrustful attitude towards people, ideas


Septic (adj.: infested with germs)


Correct: He can never be happy because he is a sceptic.

Correct: His wound is already septic, and we need to send him to a hospital.


Item 469

Stimulant (noun: medicines and other substances which make the body work faster,

thus increasing heart rate)

Stimulus (noun: something that stimulates or spur)

Correct: People who inhaled cocaine will have tremor of the hands, and

hallucinations like hearing voices or seeing things.

Correct: The thought that if he fails the examination the company will terminate his

service is the stimulus that spurs him on to work very much harder.




Item 470

Stoic (noun: accept difficulties and sufferings without complaining or getting upset)

Stoical (adj.: impassive, describing a person undisturbed by passion, serene)


Correct: We should not say the stoics are unhappy people.

Correct: The captives remained stoical although the enemies tortured them.


Item 471

Storey (noun: the floor or level of a building, in American English it is spelled Story)

Story (noun: a tale)


Correct: This is a five-storey building.

Correct: His latest story book will be published next year.


Item 472

Strategy (noun: a plan of action or policy)

Tactics (noun: a method to achieve a goal)


Correct: Our marketing strategies have been approved by the directors.

Correct: His tactics of getting a degree in mechanical engineering is to work in

an engineering firm and to attend evening classes at the university.


Item 473

Summon (verb: to call for the presence of, especially by command)

Summons (noun: a call to appear before a magistrate)


Correct: The director summons a meeting with all his employees.

Correct: One of our employees received a summons yesterday.


Item 474

Scream (verb: make a loud piercing sound)

Screech (verb: make a loud high-pitched sound)

Shriek (verb: give out a loud scream when in pain or suddenly frightened)


Correct: The lady screamed as the thug forced her to the ground.

Correct: The car screeched as he was driving off in a hurry.

Correct: The poor boy shrieked as the car was running over him.


Item 475

Scull (noun: a light rowing boat which is moved through the water using two short oars)

Skull: (noun: the bony part of the head which encloses the brain)


Correct: He goes sculling every Sunday.

Correct: This casualty has a fracture of the skull and must be rushed to the hospital now.


Item 476

Seasonal (adj.: depending on or varying with the season)

Seasonable (adj.: suitable to or usual in the season)


Correct: These fruits are seasonal and we will run out of stock soon.

Correct: The damp and windy weather is seasonable.


Item 477

Sensibility (noun: possession of fine perceptions)

Sensitivenes (noun: responsive to external stimuli, e.g. pain etc)

Sensitivity (noun: the quality or condition of being sensitive)


Correct: His right hand was badly burned and the doctor confirmed its sensibility

would be affected.

Correct: If a patient regains consciousness, his sensitiveness to external stimulus

would return.

Correct: Questioning religious principles will hurt the sensitivity of some people.


Item 478

Sensible (adj.: having, using or showing good sense)

Sensitive (adj.: easily hurt or offended)


Correct: It is not sensible to expect good health without physical exercises.

Correct: Religious topics are very sensitive and are best avoided unless you

are sure the other party can accept it.


Item 479

Sensual (adj.: preoccupied with gratification of the senses especially the sexual appetite)

Sensuous (adj.: readily affected through the senses)


Correct: Sensual pleasures are of no interest to the monks.

Correct: The music is sensuous if you enjoy listening to it.


Item 480

Sergeant (noun: one of the ranks of the non-commissioned officers in the fighting


Serjeant (noun: the full title is serjeant-at-arms, an official at the House of Parliament

in England)


Correct: Ricky joined the army for ten years, and was promoted to the rank of

sergeant recently.

Correct: The serjeant-at-arms performs ceremonial duties in parliament.





Item 481

Sew (verb: join things together using a needle and thread)

Sow (verb: plant with seeds)


Correct: I sew a button on my shirt.

Correct: You reap what you sow.


Item 482

Sewage (noun: water containing waste matter from homes and industries, or from the

drains, which is carried to a treatment plant)

Sewerage (noun: is the system of pipes, and sewers used to take sewage away

from homes, drains and industries)


Correct: The sewage has been treated before it is dumped into the sea.

Correct: We completed the whole sewerage project last year.


Item 483

Simplistic (adj.: characterized by excessive simplification)

Simplified (verb: to make simpler)


Correct: You cannot expect simplistic solutions to complicated problems.

Correct: The simplified version of the novel will be more suitable for my students.


Item 484

Sociable (adj.: friendly and enjoy talking to other people)

Social (adj.: living together in communities or groups)


Correct: I bought him a cup of coffee because he was sociable.

Correct: We organize social events every Sunday.


Item 485

Specie (noun: coins collectively)

Species (noun: a class of plants or animals whose members have the same

main characteristics and are able to breed with each other )


Correct: Specie was once very popular because paper was not yet invented.

Correct: Many animal species have disappeared from our planet.


Item 486

Spirituous (adj.: containing much alcohol)

Spiritual (adj.: concerned with sacred or religious things)


Correct: Spirituous liquor may not be good for your health.

Correct: Spiritual development of the mind is as important as

physical development of the body.


Item 487

Sprain (verb: tearing of the ligaments, e.g. on ankle, knee or wrist))

Strain (verb: overstretching of the muscle, which may result in partial tearing)


Correct: He sprains his ankle and has to seek medical attention.

Correct: Strains are frequently suffered by athletes.


Item 488

Sprint (verb: run a short distance at full speed)

Spurt (verb: gush out in a jet or stream)


Correct: He sprints for a hundred metres.

Correct: The blood spurts out from his wound.


Item 489

Repent (adj.: feel sorry for past actions)

Regret (verb: distress over a desire unfulfilled or actions performed)


Correct: The murderer said he repented his crime.

Correct: Judy regretted that she had not completed her MBA course many years ago.


Item 490

Ravish (verb: to fill with delight)

Ravage (verb: to damage or destroy)


Correct: The painting on that wall really ravishes the eye.

Correct: The grass had been ravaged by locusts.


Item 491

Respectfully (adv: means full of respect)

Respectively (adv.: means individually in the order given)


Correct: I would respectfully suggest that the authorities concerned take action

against the culprits.

Correct: David and Mary were elected captain and vice-captain respectively.


Item 492

Revenge (noun: retaliation for an offence or inquiry)

Avenge (verb: to take revenge)


Correct: Mr. Chin took revenge on the people who attacked him many years ago.

Correct: Since his father was killed by a robber, he looked for the robber to avenge

the matter.




Item 493

Refectory (noun: a large dinning hall at monastery or college)

Refractory (adj.: stubborn, unmanageable)


Correct: There are more than 100 monks having their meals at the refectory

and yet the place is not noisy.

Correct: The patient has a refractory wound and the doctors are trying to find

out how they can assist the patient to heal that wound faster.

Item 494

Requisite (noun: necessary, required, indispensable )

Requite (verb: to repay, compensate)


Correct: The requisites we expect from the workers are energy and initiative.

Correct: The Industrial Court had ordered the employer to requite all the over time

pay and other allowances to Mr. Koh.


Item 495

Shall (auxiliary verb: is used before a verb to show something will take place or exist in


Will (auxiliary verb: is used to indicate futurity)


Correct: I shall come back tomorrow.

Correct: I will come back.

The modern Standard English speakers do not make any grammatical distinction for shall and will.


Item 496

Sedentary (adj.: staying in one place, inactive)

Sedimentary (adj.: the accumulation of materials deposited by oil, water, wind etc)


Correct: This position is sedentary and we are not sure if the new employee will accept

or reject the job when the probationary period is over.

Correct: The sludge in the sump was the result of sedimentary action of the

lubricating oil.


Item 497

Stanch (verb: means to stop the flow of a liquid)

Staunch (adj.: means loyal or trustworthy)


Correct: She stanched the bleeding by applying a tourniquet.

Correct: My staunch friends help me.


Item 498

Stationary (adj.: means not moving)

Stationery (noun: means writing paper and envelopes)


Correct: The car is now stationary.

Correct: This is a stationery shop.


Item 499

Sting (verb: to prick painfully with a sharp object or venom-bearing organ)

Stink (noun: a strong offensive smell)


Correct: A bee stings the boy.

Correct: I could smell the stink from the refugee as he walked toward me.


Item 500

Steak (noun: a thick slice of meat or fish for grilling, frying etc)

Stick (noun: a slender branch cut from a tree)


Correct: I enjoyed eating the steak.

Correct: I need a stick to force the snake out of the house.


Item 501

Staff member (An employee is a staff member. He or she cannot be a staff because

the staff is made up of more than one employee. Staff refers to all the

employees in an organization)


Correct: This is John, my new staff member.


Item 502

Stock (noun: a store of goods ready for sale)

Stoke (verb: to supply with fuel to a fire)


Correct: Do you stock ball-pen refills here?

Correct: The opposition party members wanted to stoke the fire of intolerance.


Item 503

Sarawak woman (Sarawak is a state in Malaysia)


Correct: Sarawak woman who visited Tan Tock Seng hospital dies of sars.

Wrong: Woman who visited Tan Tock Seng Hospital Sarawak dies of sars.


Item 504

Some more


Correct: The guy who died of Sars was a doctor.

Wrong: The guy who died of Sars was a doctor some more.


Item 505

Semiweekly & Semimonthly


Correct: This magazine is a semiweekly. (It is published twice a week.)

Correct: This magazine is a semimonthly. (It is published twice a month.)


Item 506

Simple (adj.: easily understood, without sophistication)

Simpleton (noun: a stupid person)


Correct: Every student could understand the lesson because the teacher explained

it in a simple way.

Correct: A politician in a certain country told the audience that they should vote for

him because he was a “simpleton”, thinking that simpleton meant a person

who was easily satisfied.


Item 507

Satiric (adj.: describe an individual’s folly or vice to ridicule him)

Satirical (adj.: sarcastic)


Correct: I enjoy reading the satiric poems.

Correct: Michael was always making satirical remarks about his own country.


Item 508

Sensory (adj.: having to do with senses)

Sensuous (adj.: appealing to the senses)

Sensual (adj.: offering a physical pleasure, especially of a sexual nature)


Correct: Our sensory organs transmit the impulses to the central nervous system.

Correct: People derive sensuous joy by watching at beautiful things.

Correct: The monks have no desire for sensual pleasures.


Item 508.01

Street (noun: a road in a city, town or village which has buildings that are usually close

together along one or both sides)

Road (noun: a long piece of hard ground that people can drive along from one place to



Correct: The streets of this town are narrow.

Correct: The road from Durham to Brighton goes through some beautiful countryside.


Item 508.02

Supper (noun: the last meal of the day and is mostly a light bedtime snack)

Lunch (noun: meal taken around midday)

Tea (noun: also afternoon tea, taken between dinner and lunch)

Dinner (noun: main meal of the day taken in the evening)


Correct: I don’t normally take supper because my doctor advised me to cut down on food


Correct: My lunch is normally a light meal consisting of coffee and snack.

Correct: My afternoon tea consists of coffee and cakes.

Correct: My dinner is the main meal for me daily because at times I

need to travel even during lunch time.


Item 508.03

Saleable (adj.: fit to be sold, purchasers will be willing to buy)

Salable (adj.: interchangeable with saleable)


Correct: Our books are saleable in all countries where English is spoken.


Item 508.04

Steal (verb: to secretly take the property of another person or others without permission)

Steel (noun: a hard, tough metal composed of iron alloyed with various small portions of

carbon and often also with other metals like nickel, chromium, manganese etc)


Correct: He steals the money from the lady’s handbag.

Correct: Steel structures were used to reinforce the bridge.


Item 508.05

Scenery (noun: the general appearance of natural surroundings, especially when these are


Scene (noun: a landscape, situation etc as seen by someone)


Correct: The scenery in Shanghai is beautiful.

Correct: The scene is of a beautiful lake.


Item 508.06

Shade (noun: the blocking or partial blocking out of sunlight, or the dimness caused by


Shadow (noun: a dark shade on a surface produced when an object stands between the

surface and a source of light)


Correct: That large tree makes a nice shade.

Correct: The huge tree casts a shadow over our garden.


Item 508.07

Soviet (noun: a native or inhabitant of the former Soviet Union)

Russian (noun: a native or inhabitant of Russia)


Correct: The U.S. and Soviet Union Governments did not agree to dismantle some of

their long-range nuclear weapons.

Correct: The Russian dancers came to perform in Singapore last year.



Item 508.08

Stalk (verb: pursue game or enemy etc stealthily)

Stoke (verb: feed and stir up a fire, furnace, boiler etc)


Correct: I don’t believe James was stalking that woman because most gentlemen would

find her repulsive.

Correct: Ah Hong stokes up the fire by adding more timber.


Item 508.09

Short (adj.: not extended in time)

Brief (adj.: of short duration, quickly passing away)


Correct: He went to England for a short holiday.

Correct: There was a brief period of tolerance during the meeting conducted in the

Middle East.


Item 508.10

Shipment (noun: an amount of goods sent or received, an instance of shipping goods etc)

Cargo (noun: goods carried on a ship, aircraft, or in a motor vehicle)


Correct: Our last shipment of motor vehicle spare parts was delayed because the ship had

engine problem while it was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Correct: The refugees were waiting at the airport for the aircraft to bring in the cargoes of

food and medicines.


Item 508.11

Shut (verb: move a door, window, lid etc into position)

Close (verb: shut up)


Correct: If you shut your eyes, you lower the pieces of skin that cover the top parts of

your eyes and you are unable to see anything)

Correct: I opened the door and closed it behind me.


Item 508.12

Session (noun: a single meeting of an assembly, court, or other body for conducting


Cession (noun: the act of ceding, surrender, or assign property or rights to another or



Correct: An emergency session of the United Nations Security Council was carried out


Correct: The cession of Labuan Island to the British Government was done over 150

years ago.




Item 508.13

Systematic (adj.: activity or behaviour that follows a fixed plan or system so that things

are done in a thorough and efficient way)

Systemic (adj.: specialized)


Correct: He has always been very systematic in his approach to his work.

Correct: This is a systemic drug and it will affect your whole body.


Item 508.14

Sufficient (adj.: as much of it as you need or as is necessary)

Enough (adj.: as much as is necessary)


Correct: If the matter is of sufficient importance, the police will look into it.

Correct: We cooked enough food for fifty people.


Item 508.15

Sacrosanct (adj.: supremely holy or sacred, not to be violated)

Sacred (adj.: considered to be holy and deserving respect especially because of

connection with gods)


Correct: This sacrosanct temple was constructed over a thousand years ago.

Correct: They walk into a sacred building which the natives believe their gods are there.


Item 508.16

Sometime (adj.: at some unexpected time)

Sometimes (adv.: occasionally)


Correct: They will arrive sometime next week.

Correct: He comes to my house sometimes.


Item 508.17

Scrip (noun: a provisional certificate entitling the holder to a fractional share of stock or

of other jointly own property)

Script (noun: a copy of a text used by a director or performer)


Correct: The original scrip must be presented if you wish to collect the share.

Correct: The script for the performer was lost and that was the reason for the delay.


Item 508.18

Sanatorium (noun: an establishment for the treatment of invalids, especially of

convalescents and the chronically sick)

Sanitarium & Sanitorium (nouns: U.S. spellings for Sanatorium)


Correct: Judy told us she had a brother in the sanatorium.




Item 508.19

Seminar (noun: a short intensive course of study)

Seminary (noun: a place of education or development)


Correct: My last seminar lasted only three days.

Correct: After their training at the seminary, these boys and girls are now more polite.


Item 508.20

Systematise (verb: to plan a system for it)

Systematize (verb: U.S. spelling )

Systemize (verb: interchangeable with systematize)


Correct: We systemize our planned maintenance procedures so that we don’t miss out

any equipment when the date of service is due.


Item 508.21

Study (noun: a room in which a student or scholar studies or work, also a room in which

a writer writes)

Studio (noun: a work-room of a painter, sculptor or photographer, also a room in which

items to be broadcast are produced, or where recordings are made)


Correct: His parents agreed to have an air-conditioner installed in the study.

Correct: He went to a studio to have his song recorded so that he could send it to his

parents in the U.S.


Item 508.22

Stair (noun: a succession of steps leading from one floor to another, or support consisting

of a place to rest the foot while ascending or descending a stairway)

Stairs (noun: a set of steps connecting the floors of a building)

Staircase (noun: a flight of stairs with the supporting frame work casing and balusters)

Stairway (noun: one or more flights of stairs usually with landings to pass from one level

to another)


Correct: We need a stair from level 10 of this building to level 11 because during a fire,

we expect the employees to move from level 11 to level 10 and then to the

emergency exit to the ground floor.

Correct: The stairs between level three and level four are no longer safe.

Correct: We have to install an emergency light for the staircase because during a fire, the

power supply for this building will fail.

Correct: No obstruction should be found on our stairway.


Item 508.23

Stingy (adj.: niggardly mean)

Economical (adj.: sparing in use of resources)


Correct: The woman is so stingy that her only meal for the day consists of plain water,

salted vegetables and rice, although her worldwide earnings are expected to be

over U.S.$ 100 billion this year.

Correct: It is obviously not economical to allocate one car to each engineer.


Item 508.24

Verse (noun: each of the lines of a poem)

Stanza (noun: a small number of metrical lines forming a unit in a poem, usually between

four and twelve lines of verse)


Correct: I love the following verses:

The sea birds still circle in the sky

Even though thirteen years had passed

Correct : The following stanza expresses the feeling of the writer:

The sea birds still circle in the sky

Even though thirteen years had passed

Are they the same birds we used to watch?

It was great to lie beside you on the white sand

Enjoying the blue sky and the clouds

Item 508.25

Synthetically (adv.: in a synthetic way)

Artificially (adv: not occurring naturally, made by human effort)


Correct: When rubber was produced synthetically in the U.S. by combining the chemical

elements carbon and hydrogen, the price of natural rubber dropped drastically.

Correct: I don’t like those flowers because they were made artificially.


Item 508.26

Seamstress (noun: a sewing woman)

Sempstress (noun: interchangeable with seamstress)


Correct: Joan has been a seamstress in this company for many years.


Item 508.27

Politician (noun: a person engaged in or concerned with politics, especially a


Statesman (noun) a person skilled in affairs of state, especially one taking an active part

in politics)


Correct: A good politician will want the foreigners to invest in his country.

Correct: If you have a lot of statesmen in your country, you can be sure that the country

will prosper.




Item 508.28

Supervision (noun: the act of overseeing the execution of a job etc)

Oversight (noun: failure or omission to see)

Omission (the act or instance of leaving out)


Correct: The supervision on the installation of the offshore platforms was professionally

done and we completed the jobs ten days earlier than the twelve months

allocated to us.

Correct: The fact that one of the joints was still leaking was an oversight on our part.

Correct: The omission of his name from our engineering team was deliberate because I

did not want to work with him.


Item 508.29

Soap (noun: a cleaning agent that is a compound of fatty acid with soda or or potash, or

another metallic oxide)

Soup: (noun: appetizing liquid dish made by boiling meat, fish or vegetable etc in stock

of water)


Correct: I scrubbed both my hands with soap and water until the grease had been washed

off, but the smell of grease was still noticeable on my hands.

Correct : While I was in Pennsylvania, a sales assistant gave me two fish heads free of

charge ( these heads were discarded and he did not want to sell them) and he

was surprised to find out that the Asians prepare soap with fish heads.


Item 508.30

Scant (adj.: limited, barely enough)

Scanty (adj.: when referring to clothing, revealing or skimpy)


Correct: The people in that country have scant regard for the law.

Correct: The lady puts on a scanty bikini and goes swimming in the sea.


Item 508.31

Scarf (noun: a piece of cloth worn around the neck or on the head)

Scarfs or scarves (nouns: the plural of scarf)


Correct: Miss Li says the scarf helps to protect her hair.


Item 508.31

Stratagem (noun: a cunning plan or scheme especially for deceiving an enemy)

Strategy (noun: a plan of action or policy in business or politics etc)


Correct: The contractor devises a new stratagem which if practicable, may force his

competitors to go bankrupt.

Correct: Our economic strategy was that if we could sell more commodities, we could

earn even more by selling the products at the lowest price.


Item 508.32

Straight (adj.: extending uniformly in the same direction)

Strait (adj.: narrow, restricted, difficult circumstances)

Strait (noun: narrow channel, the plural is straits)


Correct: I told the students to draw a straight line without using a ruler.

Correct: The oil tanker captain said it was difficult for him to navigate his supertanker

along the Straits of Malacca.


Item 508.33

Sled (noun: U.S. spelling for sledge, a vehicle on runners for conveying loads or

passengers especially over snow, driven by horses, dogs, or reindeers)

Sleigh (noun: a large sledge)


Correct: Every winter in Canada, you see children playing on their sledges.

Correct: I was sitting on the sleigh and was wondering if the dogs in front of me were

having a hard time pulling the sleigh for me.


Item 508.34

Siphon (verb: draw off liquid by means of a tube using atmospheric pressure)

Syphon (verb: interchangeable with siphon, most people prefer siphon)


Correct: A motorist ran out of petrol on a remote highway and he asked if I could siphon

some petrol from my car fuel tank for him so that he could reach the next petrol


Item 508.35

Shaved (verb: paste tense of shave, to remove the beard or other body hair with a razor)

Shaven (adj.: close-cut, smoothed)


Correct: He had his hair shaved off and was staying in the monastery for about a year.

Correct: The shaven heads of the monks is just one of the proofs that they are able to give

up material possessions.


Item 508.36

Sentiment (noun: a feeling, emotion, attitude )

Sentimentality (noun: the state of being sentimental, especially with excessive indulgence

of the emotions)


Correct: My sentiments on your systems of government in your country may surprise


Correct: He kept the holy book she gave him many years ago, for reasons of





Item 508.37

Scotch (adj.: of Scotland, produced in Scotland)

Scots (adj.: of Scotland, usually refer to people)

Scottish (adj.: of Scotland, most English speakers prefer this word)


Correct: When I was a student I was taught Scottish dances.

Correct: I bought a bottle of Scotch whisky.

Correct: Theresa married a Scot while she was studying at Durham University.


Item 508.38

Sit (verb: to rest with the body supported on the buttocks.

Seat (verb: to place in or on a seat)


Correct: The student sits at a desk to write his essay.

Correct: The airhostess seated the passengers one by one.


Item 508.39

Serrated (verb: provided with a sawlike edge)

Crenellated (adj.: provided a tower etc with small holes on the walls)

Crenelated (U.S. spelling for crenellated)


Correct: The blade of this knife has been serrated.

Correct: The ancient people used to shoot through the embrasures of their crenellated

wall when the invaders were approaching their castle.


Item 508.40

Still (adj.: not moving)

Quiet (adj.: with little or no sound or motion, suggesting freedom from activity)


Correct: He sat cross-legged on the floor with a posture so still that we thought he was


Correct: We love the quiet environment of the countryside.


Item 508.41

Shelter (verb: to protect from danger, bad weather etc)

Harbour (give shelter especially to a criminal or wanted person)

Harbor (verb: U.S. spelling for harbour)


Correct: When Sakyamuni was meditating under a bodhi tree, the Naga-king came out of

his abode and coiled around him to shelter Sakyamuni from the cold wind and


Correct: People who harbour criminals or wanted persons are punishable by law.


Item 508.42

Spurn (verb: reject with disdain, pushing away contemptuously)

Repudiate (verb: disown, reject)


Correct: The new recruit spurns the suggestion that he has his haircut.

Correct: We need to find out why many young people repudiate their religious beliefs.


Item 508.43

Swift (adj.: moving with great speed, refers to speed that is smooth, uninterrupted or

seemingly effortless, e.g. swift transition, swift runner)

Rapid (adj.: very fast, refers mainly to beneficial or advantageous speed, e.g. rapid

recovery, rapid progress)


Correct: On our way to ascend the mountain, we had to swim across a rapid river.

Correct: He is a swift runner.


Item 508.44

Sponger (noun: a person with any sort of gain in mind, especially one who never returns

borrowed items, or one who manages to get free drinks or food at public place)

Freeloader (noun: a person who eats or drinks at others’ expense)


Correct: These spongers are good at getting free drinks from the tourists.

Correct: I suggested to put the name of each guest on the chair because the last time we

held a gathering, I noticed a few freeloaders.


Item 508.45

Similar (adj.: having a resemblance, of the same kind, nature or amount)

Alike (like one another)


Correct: My shoes are not exactly similar to yours.

Correct: The two office buildings are alike in size and shape and they used to be the

tallest buildings on this planet for a while.


Item 508.46

Stalactite (noun: conical formation of dripstone that hangs from the roof of a limestone

cave, the plural of stalactite is stalactitae))

Stalagmites (noun: conical or columnar formation of dripstones that rise from the floor of

a limestone cave)


Correct: While standing under a stalagmite, I was worried it might drop on me.

Correct: While I was in a cave, I had a picture taken with a stalagmite that was two times

my height.


Item 508.47

Slim (adj.: small in thickness in proportion to height or length as a human figure or a


Slender (adj.: having a small diameter or circumference in proportion to the length or



Correct: In order to remain slim, those ladies will need to exercise regularly.

Correct: That slender lady was attractively thin and graceful.


Item 508.48

Scope (noun: the area covered by a given activity or subject)

Extent (noun: the area or distance over which something extends)


Correct: The repairing and overhauling of fire fighting equipment is not included in the

job scope for our fireman.

Correct: Our firemen had not submitted the report on the extent of the area damaged by

the fire.


Item 508.49

Sneaky (adj.: furtive, deceitful)

Underhand (adj.: secret and crafty or dishonourable)


Correct: We don’t like him because he is sneaky.

Correct: I have heard of his underhand deal with the chief of the thugs.


Item 508.50

Seep (verb: to pass slowly through small openings, by a gradual, accidental or unwanted

movement of a substance into or out of something)

Exude (verb: ooze or trickle out through pores or small openings suggesting a natural or

planned phenomena)


Correct: The liquefied petroleum gas seeped into the commercial building and was the

cause of the explosion killing people on the spot.

Correct: The latex exudes from the rubber tree after the tree has been tapped.


Item 508.51

Slaughter (verb: to kill animals for food)

Butcher (noun: one who slaughters and dresses animals for food, or a person who sells



Correct: Some people say it is not wrong to slaughter animals for food, not realizing that

the crocodile can also say it is not wrong for crocodiles to kill humans for food.

Correct: This man was a butcher before he worked for us in the factory.


Item 508.52

Scattered (verb: occurring in an irregular or random pattern especially refers to things

that are part of a group and have large, unequal spaces between them)

Sporadic (adj.: refers to things that occur here and there with little or no continuity)


Correct: Poorly constructed huts were scattered all over the countryside.

Correct: Some countries had sporadic outbreaks of Sars.


Item 508.53

Singe (verb: burning the surface or ends of something)

Scorch (verb: burning something to the point of discolouration)

Char (verb: reduce a substance to carbon)


Correct: The fire singed his finger.

Correct: She scorched her pair of gloves under the sun because she forgot to remove them


Correct: Pieces of charred timber could be collected to use as fuel for cooking our meals

after the campfire had burned out because we were using mangrove timber.


Item 508.54

Sanction (verb: make legal or valid or binding)

Ratify (verb: established, confirm or validate an act, agreement, etc)

Confirm (verb: make firmer, establish)


Correct: The leader of that country may now sanction the use of force against the

invaders because these invaders have crossed over to his territory.

Correct: The leaders of the two countries have yet to ratify the potable water supply


Correct: David’s promotion to be the director of the company has been confirmed.


Item 508.55

Sensitiveness (noun: the capability to receive stimuli)

Sensitivity (noun: the quality or degree of being sensitive)


Correct: An unconscious person has lost the sensitiveness and that is why he does not

respond to painful stimulus.

Correct: Questioning the religious principles will hurt the sensitivity of many people.


Item 508.56

Support (verb: to aid or favour without any implication of permanent commitment)

Sustain (verb: to bear a burden or endure without giving way)


Correct: We will support her until her final year of the university education.

Correct: The enemies cannot sustain bombing for long because they will definitely run

out of bombs.


Item 508.57

Spruce (adj.: neat in dress and appearance, smart)

Dapper (adj.: neat and precise especially in dress)


Correct: The young recruits coming out of the salon looking spruce and clean shaven.

Correct: He looked dapper in his dark suit.


Item 508.58

Synopsis (noun: a plot summary of a piece of fiction)

Outline (noun: the key words or phrases of a document)


Correct: Please give me a brief synopsis for each of the books you wish to recommend

for our company library.

Correct: I was given a book written by a Japanese author and was told to draw up an

outline of the author’s argument.


Item 508.59

Stuffy (adj.: lacking fresh air or ventilation, dull or uninteresting)

Muggy (adj.: oppressively damp and warm, humid)


Correct: It is stuffy inside here and I don’t think I will be able to work properly.

Correct: I was stepping out of the plane and into the muggy weather of South-east Asia.


Item 508.60

Strayed (adj.: wandered from the right place, gone astray)

Rove (verb: wander without a settled destination)


Correct: He was trying to win back the wife who had strayed.

Correct: The gentleman roves around in New York.


Item 508.61

Secular (adj.: concerned with the affairs of this world, not spiritual or sacred)

Profane (adj.: shows disrespect for a religion or religious things)


Correct: We enjoy both sacred and secular music.

Correct: Profane utterances against the religions must not be tolerated.


Item 508.62

Suppose (verb: a lack of certainty but with some scanty grounds)

Guess (verb: a completely arbitrary notion)


Correct: You are only supposing this on hearsay and we will not take it seriously.

Correct: I guess that thug would be caught by next year.


Item 508.63

Shallow (adj.: lack of depth, an inability to feel, sympathize or understand)

Superficial (adj.: apparent but not real, having no depth of character or knowledge)


Correct: When shallow people run a country that country is unlikely to progress.

Correct: He leads a superficial life of self-indulgence.




Item 508.64

Sum (noun: the total amount resulting from addition of two or more item)

Total (a number or quantity obtained by addition)

Aggregate (noun: the total of totally different elements)


Correct: The sum of three and four is seven.

Correct: Our profit this year total one million dollars.

Correct: A human being is composed of these aggregates: matter, feeling, perception,

mental states and consciousness.

Item 508.65

Shy (adj.: finding it hard to overcome self consciousness and establish personal relations

with others, nervous and uncomfortable in the company of other people who

he or she does not know)

Bashful (adj.: self conscious and easily embarrassed)

Diffident (adj.: lacking in self-confidence, too modest or shy)


Correct: She lowered her head and eyes in a shy reaction when we asked whether she

had found someone to love.

Correct: He is a bashful guy and this is why we don’t think the position of a personnel

manager suits him.

Correct: She stood at the bus stop, diffident and abashed.


Item 508.66

Simper (noun: a smile that suggests smugness and primness)

Smirk (noun: an affected, conceited or foolish smile)


Correct: After the annual dinner, the owner of the company stood up to give a short

speech and I could see his complaisant simper as he walked away from the


Correct: When I told the class that we could delight in the beauty of other people,

whether men or women, without any selfish interest or desire, Helen gave me a



Item 508.67

Specious (adj.: deceptive, seemingly attractive or correct, but actually not so)

Hypocritical (adj.: insincere)


Correct: The sales person’s specious theories about curing baldness with herbs from the

Himalayan mountains did not convince our company medical doctors.

Correct: This hypocritical guy would put on a smiling face whenever his boss was around

and would slander him behind his back.


Item 508.68

Stock (noun: the liquid from boiled vegetable, meat or fish used in preparing soups, stock

stresses that the liquid is a by-product, not a food by itself)

Broth (noun: is a liquid consisting of meet, fish or vegetables boiled in it and it is a food

by itself)


Correct: We prepared some beef stock as a base for our soup.

Correct: His broth for lunch was composed of noodles and beef stock.


Item 508.69

Stain (verb: to leave a mark on something which is difficult to remove)

Blot (verb: to stain ink on paper)

Taint (verb: to infect, contaminate or corrupt)


Correct: Tomato sauce can stain your cloth.

Correct: My pen blots because it is leaking.

Correct: The superintendent’s reputation has been tainted by drunkenness and corruption


Item 508.70

Sully (verb: to tarnish or mar the brightness or purity of)

Besmirch (verb: to soil or stain)


Correct: Nothing had ever happened to sully his reputation because he had always been


Correct: It has been his habit to besmirch those who stood in his way.


Item 508.71

Shimmering (verb: to shine faintly, give off or emit a tremulous light)

Glimmering (verb: to shine with a faint and unsteady light)

Flickering (verb: burning or shining with an unsteady or wavering light)


Correct: The 15th day of the lunar calendar is a night you may watch the sea shimmering

in the moonlight if the weather is fine.

Correct: The night sky was glimmering.

Correct: The flame was flickering, but it changed in strength and brightness as we threw

more timber in it.


Item 508.72

Stay (verb: the temporary continuance in one place, or condition)

Remain (verb: to continue without change of condition, quality or place)


Correct: We were told to stay in a very expensive hotel.

Correct: She was the only student who remained in the library when all the others had

gone home.


Item 508.73

Suppress (verb: an effort of will in putting away an unpleasant thought or feeling, which

the subject may or may not be conscious about it)

Repress (adj.: a process of restraining without the subject’s knowledge to the

unconscious mind the fears and impulses so that they cannot easily be called up


Correct: She was able to suppress the thought of revenge.

Correct: He was once bitten by a ferocious dog and therefore the repressed fear of dogs in

general was in his subconscious.


Item 508.74

Stink (verb: foul and offensive odours and smells, with sharper sensation)

Stench (noun: refers to what is rotting or decaying, denotes the more overpowering



Correct: The dead fish in the river stinks awfully.

Correct: The stench of a corpse may sicken you.


Item 508.75

Slack (adj.: slow and negligent in the performance of duties)

Sluggish (adj.: the reluctance and sometimes an inability to move forwad )


Correct: When a religious teacher said people could delight in the beauty of others,

whether men or women, without any selfish interest or desire, his followers

thought he was slack.

Correct: If a person has a mind that is too sluggish to entertain new ideas, we know for

sure that person won’t go far in this life.

Item 508.76

Savage (adj.: wild, primitive, barbarous, lack of the restraints practiced by civilized


Ferocious (adj.: fierce, wildly cruel, tendency to violence or viciousness)


Correct: In a civilized society, I would not expect someone to make a savage attack

against a political opponent.

Correct: I would not expect a ferocious person to be able the respect the lives of other

creatures on this planet.


Item 508.77

Special (adj.: being distinctive)

Especial (adj.: interchangeable with special)


Correct: This painting is of special importance.


Item 508.78

Savoury (adj.: appetizing to the taste or smell, US spelling: Savory)

Tangy (adj.: having a strong, usually spicy taste or smell)

Piquant (adj.: agreeably pungent or appetizing, spicy)


Correct: One of the courses for our lunch was savoury curry.

Correct: After the lunch, the host served us with tangy soft drink.

Correct: People in Singapore and Malaysia love piquant food.


Item 509

Temporal (adj.: of worldly affairs, of this life)

Temporary (adj.: lasting for a time only)


Correct: Temporal matters may not be as important as most people believe them to be.

Correct: My life on this planet is temporary.


Item 510

Traumatic (adj.: of or causing trauma)

Trauma (noun: severe physical or psychological injury)


Correct: The sudden death of a loved one can cause traumatic problem.

Correct: The trauma suffered by Basil was caused by the sudden death of his father.


Item 511

Tall (adj.: of more than average height)

High (adj.: reaching upward, especially to great extent)


Correct: Johnny is about six feet tall.

Correct: I went up to that high building and had a better view of the surrounding areas.


Item 512

That (adj.: refers to a specific thing or something implied. Never use “that” to refer to


Which (pron.: refers to a choice from many alternatives)


Correct: What is that book for?

Correct: Which book do you wish to buy?

Item 513

Tiring (transitive verb: exhausting)

Tiresome (adj.: tedious and unpleasant)


Correct: Although it is tiring for him, that man works seven days per week to see that

his son has enough money to complete the degree course in engineering.

Correct: Some workers have to carry on with their tiresome routine every day.


Item 514

To (prep: in the direction of, expressing what is reached, aimed at, or affected)

Towards (prep.: indicates motion)

Too (adv: excessively or extremely)


Correct: He climbed to the top of the mountain.

Correct: The dogs run towards me.

Correct: You came too late for the meeting because it had been adjourned.


Item 515

Transcend (verb: to cross over to a higher level)

Transient (adj.: not lasting or permanent)

Transitory (adj.: brief)


Correct: Her performance at the concert transcends all of her teacher’s expectations.

Correct: We must accept the fact that money and reputation are transient things.

Correct: Life on earth is transitory.


Item 516

Tack (verb: fastening in a slight manner)

Tact (noun: skillful in saying or doing the right thing)


Correct: I cannot separate the two steel plates because they have been tacked.

Correct: Mr. John had to exercise his tact when the customers were complaining

about his supermarket.


Item 517

Tenant (noun: means a person who temporarily holds or occupies property like land,

buildings, equipment etc)

Tenet (noun: is an opinion or principle held by a person or organization, believing to

be true)


Correct: The tenant of that house did not pay up the rental for the final month of

the agreement.

Correct: The tenets of the ancient people cannot withstand scientific investigation.


Item 518

Three room flat


Correct: She lives in a three room flat.

Wrong: She lives in a three rooms flat.


Item 519

Talent (noun: a person or persons with special ability, e.g. creative natural ability)

Genius (noun: a person with exceptional natural capacity of intellect)


Correct: The foreign talents in a country will actually benefit the economy of that


Correct: A person may be a genius, but that does not mean people will definitely

like him.


Item 520

Tasteful (adj.: having or displaying good taste)

Tasty (adj.: good-tasting)


Correct: I find the curry of this restaurant tasteful.

Correct: You will also find tasty fried-rice from this restaurant.

Item 521

Tend (verb: to watch over and care for)

Attend (verb: to be present, also means to look after)


Correct: They have to tend the sick every day.

Correct: The children attend to the needs of their father.


Item 522

Terminus (noun: a place where trains begin or end their journeys)

Terminal (noun: a place where passengers, vehicles, or goods begin or end a journey)


Correct: I was told to meet him at the Terminus at Kota Kinabalu.

Correct :The politicians visited the Labuan Crude Oil Terminal.


Item 523

Thrash (verb: to defeat thoroughly)

Thresh (verb: separating grain or seeds from crops, e.g. thresh paddy)


Correct: During a boxing match, Ali thrashed his opponent triumphantly.

Correct: The farmers thresh the paddy in the field.


Item 524

Till (prep: up to the time of)

Until (prep: interchangeable with till, but it is more often used at the beginning of a



Correct: I did not see him till yesterday.

Correct: I did not see him until yesterday.


Item 525

Titbit (noun: a small tasty piece of food)

Tidbit (noun: American English, interchangeable with titbit )


Correct: She offered me a titbit for lunch.


Item 526

Toilet (noun: a small room containing a large bowl connected to a pipe, leading to the

sewers, for getting rid of urine or faeces from your body)

Lavatory (noun: interchangeable with toilet)

Loo (noun: informal word for toilet)


Correct: At this factory, the proportion of the number of employees to the

number of toilet is 20 :1

Correct: The lavatory must be cleaned many times per day.

Correct: The loo must be cleaned many times per day.


Item 527

Ton (noun: a unit of weight, in Britain 1 ton is about 1016 kilograms)

Tun (noun: a large cask)


Correct: The purchaser told the shopkeeper that he wanted to buy one ton of oranges.

Correct: The beer has been stored in the tun.


Item 528

Transcendent (adj.: going beyond ordinary limits, to excel, of supreme excellence)

Transcendental (adj.: being beyond ordinary experience, thought, or belief)


Correct: The development of the mind is a matter of transcendent importance.

Correct: After an hour of transcendental meditation, some practitioners actually

feel stronger and more tranquil.


Item 529

Transparent (adj.: easily seen through)

Translucent (adj.: semi-transparent)


Correct: The transparent water of the river was clear and I saw a lot of fish in that river.

Correct: I saw two people in the room through the translucent glass.


Item 530

Transport (noun: take or carry people, goods etc from one place to another place)

Transportation (noun: a system of conveying people, goods etc)


Correct: We transport our goods to the jetty by lorry.

Correct: Transportation of goods and people is our business.


Item 531

Tumult (noun: a lot of noise caused by a crowd of people)

Turmoil (noun: a state of anxiety, confusion and disorder)

Correct: His house is near the pub and he can hear the evening tumult from the crowd


Correct: When his country was in turmoil, Peter hired a small sailing boat and escaped to

another country.





Item 532

Treble (adj.: three times as much or many)

Triple (adj.: interchangeable with treble, but also means consisting of three parts)


Correct: The crude oil exporters are charging treble the normal price because of

the impending war.

Correct: The triple jump consists of a connected series of three jumps.


Item 533

Trend (noun: a general change in a particular direction in something like people’s

behaviour or attitudes)

Tendency (noun: a leaning or inclination)


Correct: Because of the higher basic pays introduced recently, there is an upward trend

in consumer spending.

Correct: There is a tendency for him to steal again because he was involved with

two thefts before.


Item 534

Triumphal (adj.: done or made to celebrate a victory or success)

Triumphant (adj.: feel very happy because of a victory or achievement)


Correct: They erected a triumphal arch because they had a one billion US dollars

profit during that year.

Correct: Our triumphant team returned home yesterday.


Item 535

Tyre (noun: rubber ring fitted round the wheel of a vehicle)

Tire (noun: US spelling for tyre)


Correct: I had one of my car tyres replaced.


Item 536

12 inch ruler


Correct: Please lend me a 12 inch ruler.

Wrong: Please lend me a 12 inches ruler.


Item 536.01

Terminate (verb: bring or cause to an end

Fire (verb: dismiss an employee from job)

Lay-off (verb: discharge workers temporarily or permanently because of a shortage of



Correct: Kumar was absent for three days without a valid reason and his service was


Correct: Alex was fired because he was not at the job site during working hours.

Correct: We will lay-off these workers from next week but will employ them again if we

successfully get the next project.


Item 536.02

Titillate (verb: excite pleasantly. tickle)

Titivate (verb: adorn, smarten up by dress or otherwise, make neat)


Correct: The majority of the readers were titillated by reports of rapes and other sexual


Correct: They must titivate themselves for the party tonight.


Item 536.03

Tolerance (noun: the capacity to tolerate, to endure)

Toleration (noun: the act of tolerating)


Correct: Most successful people have unlimited tolerance.

Correct: His toleration of the bad habits of others demonstrates his good nature.


Item 536.04

Transverse (adj.: placed, lying or built crosswise or at right angle)

Traverse (verb: travel or lie across, go across)


Correct: Because we have storms every year, we need to strengthen our workshop roof by

adding many transverse beams.

Correct: This river traverses many countries.


Item 536.05

Troop (noun: a military unit, e.g. a sub division of cavalry which correspond to a

company of infantry, also means a group of people)

Troops (noun: armed forces collectively, or soldiers)

Troupe (noun: a group of actors or performers)


Correct: The American troop went into the tropical jungle to hunt for the bandits.

Correct: The American troops in foreign countries are the targets of the snipers.

Correct: The troupe consists of actors, acrobats and other performers.


Item 536.06

Tsar, Czar, Tzar (noun: the title of former Russian emperors, also means a tyrant, all

three words are interchangeable, but most standard English speakers prefer tzar)


Correct: We leave it to the historians to record whatever bad deeds committed by the

Tzars of Russia.





Item 536.07

Temerity (noun: impudence, foolish boldness)

Timidity (noun: the state of being easily frightened or alarmed)


Correct: He had the temerity to interrupt the job of the referee while the soccer game was

going on.

Correct: Since he is shy and retiring we can say he exhibits timidity.


Item 536.08

Tornado (noun: usually spirals downward from the clouds to the ground with violent

and destructive whirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud that

progresses in a narrow path over the land)

Cyclone (noun: wind traveling between 50 and 250 MPH

Hurricane (noun: wind traveling above 75 mph, with torrential rain, thunder and lighting)

Typhoon (noun: a severe tropical hurricane of the western Pacific, the name was

translated from Chinese words, “ty” meaning great and phoon, meaning wind )


Correct: In some parts of the US, tornado is also called a cyclone.

Correct: A tropical cyclone brought heavy rain to the Philippines last month.

Correct: When I was in Florida, I was lucky to be indoor when a hurricane was

approaching and was creating damage.

Correct: Typhoons are tropical cyclones occurring in the region of Philippines or the

China Sea.


Item 536.09

Therefore (adj.: as a result, for that reason)

Therefor (adv.: for or in return for that)


Correct: The company did not have enough qualified engineers and therefore was not

awarded that project.

Correct: We return thanks, therefor.


Item 536.10

Treason (noun: the action of betraying a person, country etc)

Treachery (noun: violation of faith or betrayal of trust)


Correct: This guy was charged with treason when he returned to the country.

Correct: His concern to provide the clients with company secrets indicated his treachery.


Item 536.11

Tubercular (adj.: suffering from or relating to or causing tuberculosis)

Tuberculous (adj.: pertaining to, produced by, affected with or characterized by



Correct: He is a tubercular patient.

Correct: The tuberculous lesions have spread to both his lungs and the doctor confirmed

it was too late for this unfortunate patient.


Item 536.12

Treasonable (adj.: violation or betrayal of the allegiance that a person owes his sovereign

or his country)

Treasonous (adj.: interchangeable with treasonable)


Correct: Hassan told me the fact that he did not return to the country for compulsory

military service was treasonous.


Item 536.13

Town (noun: a large urban area with a name, defined boundary and local government but

not yet created a city)

City (noun: a large town, e.g. Cambridge was granted city status)


Correct: Our town council members were all elected by the people.

Correct: I don’t think I would enjoy living in New York City.


Item 536.14

Tragic (adj.: very sad because it involves death, suffering, or disaster)

Tragical (adj.: of or marked by a disastrous event or misfortune)


Correct: The tragic death of his father was the cause of his termination by the college

because he was not able to continue paying the tuition fees.

Correct: It was most tragical to find him wandering aimlessly on the streets and at times

fighting with the thugs.


Item 536.15

Thereafter (adv.: after that)

Thenceforth (adv.: from that time forward)


Correct: George left Washington, D.C. in 1996 and settled in Pennsylvania shortly


Correct: He left the army when he was 30 and thenceforth traveled the world.


Item 536.16

Tend (verb: to care for something or someone)

Trend (noun: a general development or change in the way people are behaving)


Correct: The gardener carefully tended all his plants.

Correct: Whatever the latest fashion may be, you can save some money if you don’t

follow the trend.




Item 536.17

Testimony (noun: spoken or written statements that something is true)

Evidence (noun: something that furnishes proof)


Correct: I doubt whether his testimony was true, because any consignment of goods

leaving the terminal must be approved by the superintendent.

Correct: The company wants to terminate the service of the superintendent for the

missing 8000 cubic metres of diesel fuel but the investigators did not come out

with concrete evidence.


Item 536.18

Titanic (adj.: of enormous size, strength, or influence)

Gigantic (adj.: extremely large, huge)


Correct: The titanic crane lifted the 4000- ton- jacket from the barge and lowered it on

the seabed.

Correct: We have completed loading the gigantic oil-tanker with 400 000 tons of crude



Item 536.19

Trilogy (noun: a group of three related literary or operatic works)

Trio (noun: a set of three things or people)

Trinity (noun: a group of three)

Triad (noun: a secret Chinese organization involved in illegal activity like selling drugs



Correct: The story of the trilogy was about an Indian lady who went mad because within

one day her parents passed away, followed by the death of her husband because

of snake bite, and the drowning of her two children.

Correct: The trio consists of three performers: a Chinese, an Indian and a Malay and all

of them are able to sing in three languages.

Correct: According to most Christian faiths, trinity is the union of three persons, the

Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in one God.

Correct: When you mention China Town of a country, most people would naturally

associate it with triad.


Item 536.20

Tumbrel (noun: a farm cart that can be tipped to empty its load)

Tumbril (noun: interchangeable with tumbrel)


Correct: The farmer left his tumbrel at a cowshed after he had used up all the dungs.


Item 536.21

Trig (adj.: neat, smart, in good physical condition)

Natty (adj.: refers particularly to clothing, indicating something extremely stylish or

over elegant)


Correct: His trig secretary, in her stylish suit, was with him during the conference this



Correct: He has always been a natty dresser.


Item 536.22

Touching (adj.: eliciting a tender reaction)

Poignant (adj.: refers to anything that arouses tender compassion or empathy, deeply



Correct: Her request had not seemed touching to him at that moment.

Correct: He was stricken with poignant sorrow every time he remembered that incident.


Item 536.23

Taunt (verb: insult in a defiant way)

Gibe (verb: to scorn or jeer with mocking remarks)


Correct: Some people taunted the author because they were jealous of his success.

Correct: During the briefing, some of the nasty people gibed at the author making up the

story that he was imitating Maupassant.


Item 536.24

Trespass (verb: refers to illegal use of or encroachment on the property of someone else)

Infringe (verb: the violation of a principle or a legal right)


Correct: The hooligans went into the farm to steal fruits and the police charged them on

stealing and trespassing.

Correct: If you have another person’s book printed without his permission, you infringe

on a copyright.


Item 536.25

Tyrannical (adj.: arbitrary or whimsical one-person rule)

Dictatorial (adj.: autocractic rule with strong disapproval for repressive tactics)


Correct: The tyrannical head of our department was terminated at last.

Correct: The kingdom came to an end because many of the kings were dictatorial.


Item 536.26

Torrid (adj.: very hot and dry weather)

Sultry (adj.: suggests humid heat)

Sweltering (adj.: oppressive heat associated with heavy sweating or fainting )


Correct: The torrid zone is the central belt of the earth between the Tropics of Cancer and


Correct: Some guys predicted another sultry summer within the next few years.

Correct: The sweltering noon day heat caused a few labourers to faint while still working

in the yard.


Item 536.27

Sleuth (verb: searching for clues)

Track (verb: to detect a trail of clues)


Correct: The police sleuthed out ever angle that could lead them to the rapist.

Correct: The natives of that country are good at tracking the spoor of a wounded animal.


Item 536.28

Task (noun: an undertaking but less specific about its duration)

Chore (noun: a short-term and arduous undertaking that requires a relative amount of



Correct: The new leader of that country will have to handle the task of political reform.

Correct: He said he hated the chore of washing his clothes every week.


Item 536.29

Tempestuous (adj.: forceful or disordered emotional intensity)

Stormy (adj.: violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds, thunder and rain)


Correct: Tempestuous love affair had caused the downfall of that politician from our

neighbouring country.

Correct: The stormy weather had run its course after two days.


Item 536.30

Thick (adj.: stupid or dull)

Dense (adj.: a weak mentality emphasizing an inability to understand simple facts or

remember clear instructions)


Correct: When you say someone is thick, you mean they are stupid.

Correct: This guy is so dense that you have to repeat the simple instructions many times

in order for him to understand what you are talking about.


Item 537

Unaware (adj.: do not know about it)

Unawares (adv.: happen when you are not expecting it)


Correct: I was unaware of all the changes they had made in the workshop.

Correct: While I was walking towards Philadelphia Downtown Marriott hotel,

my classmate from Singapore caught me unawares.


Item 538

Undue (adj.: more than is reasonable or acceptable)

Unduly (adv: things being done or felt more than is necessary)


Correct: Allowing all the company employees to vote for the next company president

would give the employees undue influence.

Correct: Just because there were few Sars cases, some people were unduly worried.


Item 539


Upward (adv.: towards what is higher, or larger in amount)

Upwards (adv.: interchangeable with upward)


Correct: Because the fire was burning from the lower storey of the building, the poor

employees had to run upward to higher floors.


Item 540

Urban (adj.: to do with town and city)

Urbane (adj.: sophisticated, courteous)


Correct: Most people prefer to live in the urban areas because facilities there are better.

Correct: Urbane and serene, he was at ease in front of all the foreign dignitaries.


Item 541

Unconscious (adj.: lacking awareness, sensation, or cognition temporarily)

Subconscious (noun: the part of the mind which is not fully conscious but influences

our actions)


Correct: An unconscious person’s airway is in constant danger.

Correct: Whatever you have in your subconscious can influence your

behaviour though you may not be aware of it.


Item 541.01

Unscrupulous (adj.: willing to do anything for their own gain)

Unprincipled (adj.: refers to more rapacious attitude)


Correct: These unscrupulous people are so ferocious because they are willing to do

anything to get what they want.

Correct: You are now working in a market where people can be very unprincipled and



Item 541.02

Undulate (verb: to cause to move in a wavy or flowing manner)

Sway (verb: lean or cause to lean unsteadily in different directions alternately)


Correct: As the waves move with a smooth regular rising and falling motion, we are able

to see the small sailing boat undulating in the sea.

Correct: I shall not sway my belief because I know whatever karma I create, whether

good or evil, that I shall inherit.


Item 541.03

Unmoved (adj.: emotionally unaffected)

Indifferent (adj.: a complete lack of feeling)


Correct: People have become indifferent to the suffering of all animals on this planet.

Correct: The chairman gave an emotional speech but many of the employees remained



Item 541.04

Undying (adj.: not dying, immortal, perpetual)

Immortal (adj.: interchangeable with undying)

Deathless (adj.: interchangeable with immortal and undying)


Correct: A Buddhist believes that when he attains Nirvana, he attains the undying state.


Item 541.05

Unstable (adj.: untenable position, emphasizing impermanence and likely to change or


Unsteady (adj.: not uniform or regular)


Correct: This building was built on a unstable foundation.

Correct: Because the lorry was overloaded, it was running in a very unsteady condition.


Item 541.06

Uproot (verb: pull up by the root, also used figuratively as well as literally)

Eradicate (verb: to eliminate completely, e.g. pull out weeds by the roots)


Correct: When the hurricane came in last night, many of the trees were uprooted.

Correct: I hope Sars will be eradicated in the near future.


Item 541.07

Unintelligent (adj.: deficient in intelligence, stupid)

Dull (adj.: not sharp, blunt, causing boredom)


Correct: He was an unintelligent guy and that was the reason he had to use corrupt

means to get a promotion.

Correct: He wrote dull articles for the local weekly.


Item 541.08

Unspeakable (adj.: a violation of decency beyond the power of words to describe)

Scandalous (adj.: public disgrace, outrage, shame)


Correct: The malicious acts of his terminal superintendent are unspeakable.

Correct: His scandalous acts are not taken seriously by the company director.


Item 541.09

Underprivileged (adj.: refers to people who, because of economic oppression and

illiteracy are deprived of many of the basic necessities)

Disadvantaged (adj.: refers to those lacking full civil rights, and also effective schooling

for the young, who are victims of poverty and racial discrimination)


Correct: These are the children of the underprivileged people and naturally only a few of

them could pass the GCE examinations.

Correct: David was from the disadvantaged class but he was able to pass all his GCE

examinations with flying colours.


Item 541.10

Upright (adj.: an inner moral strength)

Decent (adj.: having an outgoing ethical concern for others)


Correct: When an upright man looks at beautiful women, he appreciates the beauty

without desire for some kind of contact or possession.

Correct: This guy is the decent type because he has been working for us during the past

two years without any problem.


Item 541.11

Undaunted (adj.: interchangeable with dauntless)

Dauntless (adj.: bravery under exceptionally trying circumstances with refusal to be

disheartened, intimidated or discouraged)


Correct: The young scientists pursue their experiments with dauntless determination to

find a cure for Sars.


Item 541.12

Unbeliever (noun: one who does not believe in any religion, an incredulous person)

Freethinker (noun: one who has rejected authority and dogma in religious matters, but

picks and chooses the beliefs which are worthy)


Correct: Unbelievers are still welcome in our temple because we encourage people to

investigate properly before they believe in anything.

Correct: Freethinkers are harmless unless they spend time running down the name of



Item 541.13

Umpire (noun: a person selected to rule on the plays in a game, e.g. cricket or baseball)

Referee (noun: an official who enforces the rules in certain sports, e.g. football or



Correct: The referee started the football match later than as scheduled.

Correct: During a cricket match, the spectators rushed unto the field to assault the



Item 541.14

Unorganized (adj.: not organized, without organic structure, not formed into systematized

whole, haphazard)

Disorganized (adj.: badly planned or arranged)


Correct: Since these workers are not represented by a labour union, they are unorganized.

Correct: I am a bit disorganized this week and I hope you are not laughing at me.


Item 542

Vindicate (verb: to clear from criticism or blame by evidence)

Vindictive (adj.: revengeful in spirit)


Correct: The young engineer vindicates all the accusations item by item and the

director was convinced that the engineer was blameless.

Correct: This man has a vindictive attitude which is the reason why others

are avoiding him as much as possible.


Item 543

Venal (adj.: able to be bribed or corrupted)

Venial (adj.: excusable)

Venerable (adj.: worthy of respect, honour or praise)


Correct: Those countries remain backward because of their venal leaders.

Correct: The youth committed a few venial crimes.

Correct: I visited those venerable monks at the temple.

Item 544

Vigor (adj.: active physical strength or energy)

Vigorous (adj.: strong and active, forceful)


Correct: To be a good athlete, one must have vigor and determination.

Correct: Smith was the most vigorous student of the class.

Item 545

Via (prep: by way of)

Viable (adj.: practicable, workable)


Correct: I visited India via Sri Lanka.

Correct: The proposals are not viable at the moment.


Item 546

Veracious (adj.: truthful, honest, credible)

Voracious (adj.: exceedingly eager, insatiable)


Correct: Since none of the witnesses are veracious, the investigation into the

incidenct would be terminated.

Correct: He is the only voracious reader I have ever met.


Item 547

Visitor (noun: a person who visits another person or a place)


Correct: A 50 year-old woman visitor from China fell ill yesterday.

Wrong: A 50 year old woman visiting from China fell ill yesterday.


Item 547.01

Vaccinate (verb: inoculate with a vaccine to produce immunity from disease)

Inoculate (verb: treat a person or animal with a small quantity of the agent of a disease,

usually by injection to promote immunity against that disease)


Correct: The government made it mandatory that all children were vaccinated against

the major childhood diseases.

Correct: During the war the soldiers were inoculated against diseases because of fears

that biological weapons might be used.


Item 547.02

Vain (adj.: overly concerned with one’s looks)

Vane (noun: flat piece of metal or other material set to swing with the wind to show

which way it is blowing)

Vein (noun: blood vessel carrying blood back to the heart)


Correct: This lady was so vain that she refused to be seen in public without her make-up.

Correct: Our weather vane was made of polyethylene.

Correct: The blood from the veins is dark red.


Item 547.03

Vacant (adj.: empty, not filled or occupied)

Vacuous (adj.: lacking expression)


Correct: During the Sars epidemic, most of the hotel in Asia had a lot of vacant rooms.

Correct: She cast a vacuous stare at me while we were in the train.


Item 547.04

Verve (noun: forceful enthusiasm, vigour, spirit)

Dash (noun: a mixture of stylishness, enthusiasm and courage)


Correct: Although she was old, she was writing with great verve.

Correct: When we say someone cut a dash, we mean they have attractively stylish

appearance or bold manner.


Item 547.05

Vial (noun: small bottle for holding liquids)

Vile (adj.: sinful, offensive)


Correct: I pour out my cough mixture from that vial.

Correct: If you use vile language often, people tend to avoid talking to you.


Item 547.06

Veracious (adj.: habitually speaking the truth)

Truthful (adj.: interchangeable with veracious)


Correct: The editor presented a veracious remark although he personally did not like this



Item 547.07

Vicious (adj.: having an intention or desire to hurt very badly)

Viscous (adj.: of a liquid, thick and sticky, not flowing easily)


Correct: That vicious thug was hanged this morning.

Correct: The lubricating oil for the car engine must not be in thick and viscous form or

your car engine will be damaged.


Item 547.08

Vertex (noun: the highest point, the peak or summit, vertexes and vertices are the plural)

Vortex (noun: plural are: vortexes or vortices, a whirlpool or whirlwind, any whirling

mass or motion, a situation where all surrounding people or things are helplessly

and dangerously drawn)


Correct: The height from the vertex to the sea level is 13 455 feet.

Correct: The common people were sucked into a vortex of despair because the war

between those two countries would only benefit the politicians.

Item 547.09

Verbal (adj.: pertaining to or associated with words, expressed in speech, unwritten)

Oral (adj.: spoken, or written, of or used in the mouth)

Aural (adj.: of the ear and hearing)


Correct: Verbal abuse must be taken seriously.

Correct: His college entrance examination consists of one written section and one oral


Correct: Some educationalists believe the college entrance examination must consist of

an aural section.


Item 547.10

Vicinity (noun: the immediate surrounding area)

Vicinage (noun: interchangeable with vicinity)

Neighbourhood (noun: a residential grouping in towns or cities)


Correct: No one was seen in the vicinity at the time of the accident.

Correct: We are lucky to have a friendly neighbourhood.


Item 547.11

Vocation (noun: one’s occupation, work or employment)

Avocation (noun: distraction, the condition of having one’s attention diverted, or an

occupation especially followed for pleasure or one of minor importance)


Correct: Teaching is a vocation because it requires dedication.

Correct: Engineering was his vocation, but his avocation was conducting first aid classes.


Item 547.12

Variegated (adj.: exhibiting diverse colours, diversified)

Varicoloured (adj.: consisting of or having many colours, also means varied and diverse)


Correct: The Chinese are proud of their variegated dialects.

Correct: This is a varicoloured leaf and I intend to have it framed and use it to decorate

my office.


Item 547.13

Verbiage (noun: superfluous, tedious prose without much meaning)

Verbosity (noun: the state of being wordy)


Correct: He uses so much technical verbiage that the students were not able to understand


Correct: He spent three hours telling us all about his methods to disassemble a car

engine, with his usual verbosity.


Item 547.14

Vault (noun: a cellar usually beneath a building)

Crypt (noun: an underground chamber, especially one beneath a church that is used as a

burial place)


Correct: The ancient people who were rich, buried the corpses in vault because the

corpses were decorated with gold and jewellery and naturally the thieves

would take them away if ordinary graves were used.

Correct: I would not expect the modern church to be equipped with a crypt.


Item 547.15

Violate (verb: disturb a person’s privacy etc, assault sexually)

Invade (verb: enter a country etc under arms to seize it)


Correct: Many women were violated by Japanese soldiers during the Second World War.

Correct: When the Iraqi Armed Forces invaded Kuwait, the Kuwaiti Government

requested immediate assistance from U.S.A.




Item 547.16

Vilify (verb: to speak evil of, to defame)

Asperse (verb: to utter highly critical or derogatory remarks)


Correct: When his book was published, the thugs vilified him by calling him a lier.

Correct: The reviewer aspersed her on her latest novel.


Item 547.17

Voluble (adj.: liable to change, inconstant, variable, speaking vehemently)

Glib (adj.: fluent but insincere and shallow)


Correct: She became very voluble and told us every thing about her past.

Correct: Some glib people think they have a solution to everything.


Item 547.18

Venomus (adj.: full of poison, poisonous, also refers to persons with great bitterness and

illwill towards others)

Splenetic (adj.: marked by bad temper, malevolence or spite)


Correct: This woman is venomous.

Correct: His latest boss is a splenetic woman.


Item 547.19

Void (verb: not binding, useless, render invalid)

Abrogate (verb: to abolish, to set aside, to nullify)

Cancel (verb: withdraw or discontinue)

Invalidate (verb: bring an end to the effectiveness of documents or claims)


Correct: We may void disputed clauses in the contract.

Correct: The next government may abrogate a certain law for the sake of the future


Correct: They’ve cancelled their order for the ten generators.

Correct: The industrial court invalidated his claim because he presented a false



Item 548

Waste (noun: useless consumption or expenditure)

Wastage (noun: loss by use, wear or decay)


Correct: It is a waste of money to buy aeroplane unless you really need one.

Correct: If your employees are well trained and sincere, the wastage of material

in the manufacturing plant will be negligible.





Item 549

Wage (noun: payment for labour rendered)

Wages (noun: salary paid to employee by employer, subject to withholding tax)


Correct: The wage for the labourer was twenty dollars per day.

Correct: The wages paid to the employees were less than what appeared

on the pay slips because the employer was deducting the tax for the

Income Tax Department.


Item 550

Wagon (noun: four wheeled vehicle for heavy loads, often with a removable tilt)

Waggon (noun: interchangeable with wagon)


Correct: We bought a wagon to transport our bulky goods.


Item 551

Wit (noun: intelligence, the ability to make unusual connections, to be aware of)

Humour (noun: the ability to perceive, and enjoy what is amusing)


Correct: Krisnan does not have the wit to understand that honesty is still the best policy.

Correct: It is good to have a sense of humour.


Item 552

Who (pron.: means which person?)

Whose (pron.: is the possessive form of who, refers to people or other living things,

or objects)

Whom (pron.: is the object of a verb, e.g., the girl whom we saw was a foreigner)

Whom (is also the object of preposition: to, e.g., the people to whom I was talking

to yesterday)


The following prepositions may be followed by whom:

to, from, for, with & among


When you are writing a sentence, and you cannot fit in correctly with, to whom,

from whom, for whom, with whom or among whom, then just use the word “who”.


For example: “The Prime Minister is a man with whom I enjoyed conversations. He’s got good advice, and I’m proud to call him “friend”.” Mr Bush, about PM Goh on May 7, 2003.


Correct: The people who are rich are able to buy more expensive things.

Correct: The cars whose wheels were made of expensive alloys were all stolen.

Correct: The people, whose cars were burnt, sued the workshop owner.



Item 553

Waive (verb: giving up of a claim or right)

Waver (verb: to hesitate)


Correct: She waived her rights to the inheritance, leaving it to all her brothers and sisters.

Correct: Although majority of the directors wanted to carry on with the project, all

of them wavered later on and thus the project was terminated at a loss.


Item 554

Who lives


Correct: That’s the lady who lives besides us.

Wrong: That’s the lady whom lives beside us.


Item 555

Was (verb: refers to a past condition)

Were (verb: refers to a contrary condition)


Correct: If Kelly was honest, she wouldn’t have stolen the money.

Correct: If I were you, I wouldn’t have given up the project so easily.


Item 556

Whom we saw


Correct: He was the man whom we saw yesterday.

Wrong: He was the man who we saw yesterday.


Item 556.01

While (conj.: during the time that, or at the same time as)

Whilst (conj.: interchangeable with while when it is used as a conjunction)

While (noun: a length of time)


Correct: I did not want to stay at the college hostel whilst I was studying in England.

Correct: The tourists stayed only for a short while because they had to rush home to

report for duty.


Item 556.02

Weal (noun: a raised mark on the skin caused by being hit or injured in some other way)

Wheal (noun: interchangeable with weal)

Wheel (noun: circular object connected at the center to a bar which is used for making a

vehicle to move)


Correct: His forehead was covered with weals because the thugs repeatedly punched him

at the same spot.

Correct: My friend went for a short holiday and was shock to find out, when he came

back, that the four wheels of his car were stolen.

Correct: The thief was stealing the money while the house owner was shopping at a mall.


Item 556.03

Wiggle (verb: to move with short irregular motions from side to side)

Wriggle (verb: to turn or twist with sinuous motions)


Correct: They wiggle their hips, believing it to be a good exercise.

Correct: We had to wriggle under a fence to reach the seafront.


Item 556.04

Whiskers (noun: the unshaven hair on a man’s face that forms the beard and mustache)

Moustache (noun: hair left to grow on a man’s upper lips)

Mustache (noun: US spelling for moustache)


Correct: Since he was going for a job interview, he shaved off his whiskers.

Correct: James was very proud of his moustache.


Item 556.05

Welding (verb: to unite metallic parts or plastic parts by heating and allowing the parts to

flow together)

Wedding (noun: a marriage ceremony usually with its accompanying festivities)


Correct: The engineer stopped all welding jobs in the yard because it was going to rain

and the water would damage the welded joints unless those joints have already

cooled down.

Correct: The wedding of June and David would be carried out this Sunday.


Item 556.06

Waver (verb: undecided between two alternatives)

Vacillate (verb: mental activity that veers between extremes with wild swings of choice)


Correct: He was wavering on the two alternatives of handing in or not regarding that

letter of resignation.

Correct: While he was in front of the personnel office, he vacillated and decided to crush

that letter and drop it into a dustbin.


Item 556.07

World (noun: our solar system consisting of a sun, a moon and other heavenly bodies)

Globe (noun: interchangeable with earth)

Earth (noun: the planet on which we dwell, including the land and the seas)


Correct: Many physicists believe there are countless major world systems in the universe.

Correct: We only have one earth and we must make sure its environments will be

conducive to life for the future generations.




Item 556.08

Wan (adj.: unnaturally pale, weak and faint)

Pallid (adj.: pale especially from illness)


Correct: When the child dropped a coin into his begging bowl, the old man gave him a

wan smile.

Correct: The pallid face of the child shows that he needs medical attention.


Item 556.09

Whirl (verb: turning rapidly)

Spin (verb: continuous turning motion)

Twirl (verb: to twist or wind around)


Correct: The car whirled around out of control for many seconds before it landed inside a

drain leaving Alex shivering with fear as he rushed out from the driver’s seat.

Correct: Mutu’s top was spinning for two minutes but the best performer’s top was

spinning for more than two minutes.

Correct: He twirls the coin and covers it with his palm, asking me to guess the side of the

coin which is facing upward.


Item 556.10

Wrong (noun: giving of hurt or injury to someone)

Misdeed (a crime, an evil deed)


Correct: The evil people would not feel guilty when they do a wrong to others.

Correct: The misdeed of the criminal cannot be forgiven because otherwise the good

people will have no chance to live peacefully.


Item 556.11

Widespread (adj.: occurring widely)

Rife (adj.: widespread, prevalent, refers more to unchecked or unregulated spread of



Correct: Bribery and corruption were rife in that poor country.

Correct: Aids will be widespread if we don’t educate the general public on how to avoid



Item 556.12

Whopping (adj.: very big, e.g. whopping lie, refers to anything that seems decisive)

Thumping (adj.: big, prominent, suggesting ripeness, or perfection)


Correct: His party won a whopping landslide election victory.

Correct: Quite surprisingly, she was elected with a thumping majority.




Item 556.13

Weigh (verb: to consider carefully, estimate the worth or advantages of)

Ponder (verb: to consider or think over)


Correct: I have to weigh that proposal before I can give them the reply.

Correct: She pondered for a while and then confirmed that she would accept the



Item 556.14

Wreak (verb: to cause damage)

Reek (verb: to stink)


Correct: The recent dry spell has wreaked havoc.

Correct: Why did you reek this room with disinfectant ?


Item 556.15

Wail (noun: a prolonged unbroken high-pitched cry of pain, grief etc)

Blubber (verb: weeping noisily)


Correct: The wails of the children whose parents were burnt to death in this building

attracted our attention.

Correct: The kid stood there blubbering when he saw his mother rushing toward him with

a cane in her hand.

Item 556.16

Whimper (noun: the act of crying feebly, especially refers to defenselessness)

Sob (verb: weeping with audible convulsive catches of breath and the heaving of

one’s chest)


Correct: With a slender rod in her hand, the mother told the little boy she did not want to

hear another whimper from him.

Correct: The girl was sobbing on her way to the hospital to collect the corpse of her



Item 556.17

Waver (verb: refers to indecisiveness or purposelessness)

Fluctuate (verb: refers to an irregular up-and-down motion or an uncertain or erratic



Correct: As far as my religious beliefs are concerned, I’ll never waver.

Correct: The stock certificate’s value depends on the currency exchange rate which

fluctuates daily.


Item 556.18

Wonted (adj.: commonly used or done, accustomed, usual)

Habitual (adj.: acquired by or resulting from habit or repeated use)

Customary (adj.: conforming to or established by custom)

Conventional (adj.: established by convention or custom, agreed)


Correct: He would drop into the office every morning at his wonted hour.

Correct: Jack is a habitual smoker.

Correct: It is customary for Chinese to take tea without sugar.

Correct: He led a quiet, and conventional life until he went to the university.


Item 556.19

Wager (verb: to stake something on an uncertain event)

Bet (noun: to stake or pledge money etc in support of an opinion)

Gamble (verb: taking a risk to obtain a desired result)


Correct: For a wager, he walked from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

Correct: I did not put a bet on which horse would come first.

Correct: He gambled on completing the project on time and fortunately it turned out as he

had expected.


Item 556.20

Wander (verb: to walk around slowly in a relaxed way or without any clear purpose or


Wonder (verb: to ask yourself questions or express a desire to know about something)


Correct: The Japanese tourists spent the morning wandering around The City Hall in


Correct: I wonder if all my former classmates are doing well today.


Item 556.21

Whisky (noun: alcoholic drink distilled in Scotland)

Whiskey (noun: alcoholic drink distilled in US or Ireland)


Correct: I don’t enjoy drinking whisky / whiskey.


Item 556.22

Wind (noun: a current of air moving approximately horizontally especially one strong

enough to be felt)

Air (noun: mixtures of gases which surrounds the earth and which we breathe)


Correct: The strong wind blew his hat away.

Correct: We breathe in air.


Item 556.23

Wounded (verb: damaged area of the body such as a cut or hole in the skin or flesh made

by weapon)

Injured (adj.: caused physical harm to people or animals)


Correct: Thousands of US soldiers were wounded during the Vietnam War.

Correct: He was hospitalized because of an injured leg.


Item 557

1970s (means from the year 1970 to 1979)


Correct: As early as the 1970s, asbestos workers in the United States were all told to

wear surgical masks.


Item 557.01

Yardstick (noun: a fact or standard by which you can judge the success or value of


Touchstone (noun: an established standard or principle by which something is judged)


Correct: You can measure a company’s success by two yardsticks: the amount of profit

earned since the company was started, and the number of employees under the

company now.

Correct: In real life, having a large amount of money is often assumed to be the

touchstone for success.


Item 557.02

Young (adj.: having lived, existed, or been made or known for a relatively short time)

Youthful (adj.: fresh, vigorous, or active)

Youthfulness (noun: being youthful, a youthful quality)


Correct: Singapore is a young country.

Correct: This old man is youthful for his age.

Correct: Youthfulness can still be found in this old man as he is able to run fifteen miles

per day and also to attend martial art classes.


Item 557.03

Yoke (noun: a frame fitting the neck and shoulders of a person for carrying a pair of

buckets or the like, a bond that keep people together, e.g. the yoke of marriage)

Yolk (noun: the yellow part of an egg)


Correct: The old woman carried two buckets of water on a yoke, one at each end.

Correct: I don’t enjoy eating the egg yolk.


Item 558

Wordy expressions (Don’t use many words if one word can express the idea or meaning.)


Frequently = it is after the case that

If = in the event of

Believe = be of the opinion that

Have = be in possession of

Since = owing to the fact that

Because = owing to the fact that

His arrival = the fact that he had arrived

About = on the order of

Before = in advance of

Although = in spite of the fact that

Occasionally = every so often

Now = at the present time

Indicate = is indicative of

Was = had occasion to be

Appeared = put in an appearance

Consider = take into consideration

Forgot = did not remember

Was absent = was not present

Ignored = did not pay attention to

Obstinate = very stubborn

Bullheaded = very stubborn

Frail = very weak

Feeble = very weak

Fragile = very weak

Astonished = very surprised

Astounded = very surprised

Amazed = very surprised



Item 559 Confusing tenses:


table<>. <>. |<>.
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. Present tense |<>.
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. Past tense |<>.
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. Past Participate | <>. |<>.

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  



Item 560: Prefixes of words


|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |





Good English Guide

This book is intended for those students who are appearing for the GCE “O” Level English Language examination, or any other examination of equivalent standard like SPM or High School Diploma. If you work sincerely through the whole book and understand every word in it, you cannot fail your GCE “O” Level English paper. If you do, just return this book to me for a full refund of the cost of this book.

  • Author: Stanislav Baiov
  • Published: 2016-06-09 10:20:25
  • Words: 43770
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