English is not an easy language. We’ve done several lists already that show just how hard it can be for beginners. Aside from all of the strange spellings and funky pronunciations, it also has a lot of words that sound very similar to one another. From homonyms (words that sound alike but have different meanings) to homographs (words that are spelled the same but have different meanings), learning English involves a lot of memorization and patience. In this list we are going to go over some very basic differences, but to satisfy even our native speakers, we are going to have some very advanced distinctions. If you know every difference on this list, then congratulations! You are better at English than 99% of English speakers. Which should be encouraging for those of you who are beginning to learn. Just because you don’t know something doesn’t mean you should give up. There are several items on this list that not even advanced native speakers would know. English is just one of those languages that is extremely easy to pick up but very hard to perfect. Don’t give up though. Keep practicing as much as possible. These are 25 confusing word pairs that seem to be similar but aren’t.
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Complement vs Compliment
To complement something means to supplement it. To compliment somebody means to praise them.
Pills vs Tablets
Pills are small, round, and you take them orally. Tablets encompass all pills plus medicines of other shapes.
Dual vs Duel
Dual means having two parts whereas a duel is a fight between two people.
Crocodile vs Alligator
This is a bit of a simplification, but crocodiles have v-shaped snouts and alligators have u-shaped snouts.
Effect vs Affect
An effect is a change which is the result of an action, to affect something means to make a difference to it (an affect can have an effect)