10 English Words That Are Often Confused With Each Other

There is a compelling range of words which are when put into any conversation have different meanings but they appear to be sort of same. Like the words ‘sympathy’ & ‘empathy’ are such words which have different meaning but are often used for the same purpose. Using of the words accordingly, attach a very different meaning to what you are trying to convey to someone.

People tend to fall in the trap of vivacious embarrassment when you stumble on such set of words. There would be those lucky times when your mistakes go un-noticed but count for those times when you would be faced with someone with upright English. Thus, lets go through such set of words to save yourself from such an embarrassing moment.

Antisocial vs Asocial

People often use antisocial to denote “unavailability of someone in social gatherings because he is an introvert or shy”. But, antisocial turns out to be a word which means  because of the presence of an anti-social person in a social gathering, there is a major threat to the people there because of the misbehaviour of that person. And, when you are referring to a person who is an introvert or likes to be with himself most of the time then you call that person a “Asocial”.

Envy vs Jealousy

These two words are always misinterpreted and used for simultaneous reasons. But, they are very different words. Envy is used when there are two people involved, whereby one has such a skill or something which the other person really desires but he lacks it. Whereas, jealousy requires a set of two or more people whereby one is jealous for a thing which he already possesses and feels threatened of loosing it to someone. For example, if your colleague gets a raise you would be envious of his success; And if you find your spouse flirting with someone you would be jealous.

Sex vs Gender

Sex refers to a biological distinction which means male or female. Gender refers to a social difference i.e. men and women. So, while filling your job application it may ask for your sex.

Symptom vs Sign

Symptom is a subjective concept while sign is an objective one. When a patient explains about his conditions about the doctor, those are the symptoms. Whereas, its the doctor who detects the signs of certain conditions.

Thus, fatigue is a symptom of depression whereas slowed movement is a sign of depression.

 Disease vs Illness

These two words are used very randomly and often for same reasons. But, they have different meanings attached to them. Disease means literally a kind of a disease like malaria or cholera which is diagnosed by doctors through the use of some medial tests and so forth. However, illness is more general in meaning whereby the person can be vocal about feeling low or dull.

Study vs Experiment

Study is more of an in depth psychological investigation. Whereas, an experiment is a very specific study which involves separation of the subjects into groups and then manipulating an independent variable.

Race vs Ethnicity

Race refers to the class of people which has been understood by biological differences like African or American. Whereas, ethnicity happens to involve more factors into consideration like caste, colour, sex, etc.

Prejudice vs Discrimination

Prejudice means a person’s thoughts or beliefs about someone or else something. While discrimination refers to someone’s actual behaviour. Someone is called prejudiced when his thoughts are negative or derogatory about someone or something while a person insulting other person for his abilities or work, that is discriminatory.

Repression vs Suppression

Repressing means unconsciously forgetting something while suppression is more on purpose. Suppression is done when you are conscious.

Empathy vs Sympathy

These two words differ with just a minute thread of polarity. Where empathy means keeping yourself in other person’s shoes and experiencing his pain, happiness or anger and then reacting. Whereas, sympathy is more specific where you show your compassion for someone who is in pain or bad shape but arn’t trying to put yourself in some else shoes.

Thus, these are the set of words which are often used simultaneously by the people, but have different meanings.

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