Britlish

31 Confusables Activities

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 

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In a Row

To say that things are in a row means that they are arranged in a line next to one another either in space or time. By extension, the idiomatic expression, in a row, means that several events happen consecutively, one after the other. This lesson will help you to use this common expression. We need to be careful with the word row, however, as it has several meanings and even different pronunciation. The first meaning is a noun meaning an arrangement of objects side by side in a line as in a row of books on the shelf. The second meaning is a verb meaning to propel a boat using oars as in he rowed the rowing boat across the lake. The third meaning is a noun and verb meaning to have an angry dispute as in he had a row with his wife about his drinking.

Vocabulary | Confusables | Idioms

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 

Idioms

I am determined to make idioms as accessible for all students as any other part of the English language. Reading and memorising lists of vocabulary is not the most productive, interesting, or useful exercise in English language learning. I created these Activities to encourage you to not only learn and remember many English idioms, but also to have fun with them, as having fun is a great aid to learning and remembering. It is important that you know as many idioms as possible as native English speakers use them with alarming regularity. I hope that as you work your way through the Idiom Activities you will make some of the idioms your own and use them regularly like a native.


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Do or Make Revision

The lesson, Do or Make, will introduce you to the uses of the verbs do or make and this lesson will give you some revision of some common collocations with these verbs. The collocations include: a bad job, a comment, a confession, a degree, a fortune, a good job, a joke, a life, a list, a living, a loss, a noise, a point, a profit, a promise, a statement, a suggestion, a workout, an effort, believe, business, friends, good, gymnastics, harm, love, money, my homework, nothing, progress, some exercise, some work, the bed, the dishes, the effort, the hoovering, the housework, the ironing, the shopping, the washing up, the washing, well, your hair, your job, your job, your makeup, your nails, and yourself go to the gym.

Collocations | Confusables | Tests | Vocabulary

Collocations

Collocations are pairs or groups of words that are generally used together. Collocations sound natural to native English speakers, but when students of English get them wrong, they can sound unnatural and non-English. Like any vocabulary items, collocations must be learnt individually because they are difficult to guess from the words alone. These British English collocation Activities will help you to learn some of the most common collocations and avoid making mistakes that make it obvious you are not a native English speaker.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 

Tests

If you are preparing for one of the internationally recognised exams such as IELTS, or the exams from Cambridge Assessment English, or Trinity, then the Activities in this category will be very useful to your studies. If you simply want to test your English abilities in and see how you are progressing in your studies of English as a second or foreign language, then the tests in this category will help you. You can test your abilities in English by seeing if you make the same mistakes that advanced users of English or even proficient users of English make. There's also an English level test with a hundred questions to test your general level of English. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, as it's through mistakes that we improve in anything we do, including learning English.

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.


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Better than Nothing

There is a group of words in English which I will call the *thing words. These words are anything, something, everything, and nothing. If I’ve learned anything about them, I’ve learned that they cause confusion for students, so I thought I ought to make a lesson to tell you everything about them. Everything you want to know about the *thing words is here in this lesson, so if you do nothing else today at least do something about learning these words with this lesson.

Vocabulary | Confusables

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 


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Faults or Mistakes

If you have ever made a mistake or feel that you have faults, then this lesson is for you. You will learn how to use the words, blunder, error, failing, fault, faux pas, flaw, guilty, mistake, to blame, and weakness, without making any mistakes when you do so.

Vocabulary | Confusables

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 


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Unpredictability

Many English multisyllable words are made up of many parts including prefixes and suffixes, and if you learn the most common prefixes and suffixes, you can expand your vocabulary dramatically. The word unpredictability has two secondary stresses as well as the main stress that is found in all English words. It’s unusual for a word to have more than one secondary stress, but this is the result of unpredictability being composed of so many parts. There are several negative prefixes in English. The most common are: de, dis, il, im, in, ir, mis, and un. This lesson will introduce you to some of them as well as helping you to pronounce them. I also look at prominence for effect. 

Pronunciation | Confusables | Vocabulary | IPA Symbols

Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

IPA Symbols

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation that was devised in the 19th century as a standardised way of representing the sounds of speech in written form. The British English IPA chart consists of 44 symbols representing the pure vowels (monophthongs), the gliding vowels (diphthongs), and the consonant sounds of spoken British English. The Britlish Library contains a wealth of Activities to help you to learn, remember, and use the British English IPA symbols efficiently whether you are a student or a teacher.


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Plum Plumb Plume

Words that begin with plum* have some radically different pronunciations which confuses a lot of students. This lesson came from a request by Spyridon, a student of mine in Australia, who was perplexed by the pronunciation. I created this lesson to make sure that nobody need ever be confused by these words again. The lesson contains the most common plum* words including, plum, plumage, plumb, plumber, plumbery, plumbic, plumbing, plume, plumed, plummet, plummy, plumose, plump, plumper, plumule, and plumy. Listen to me pronouncing each word and do the exercises to make sure you learn, remember, and use them correctly from now on.

Pronunciation | Vocabulary | Confusables

Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 


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Million or Millions

Words like hundred, thousand, million, billion, and trillion cause confusion for students who are not sure if they should use hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, and trillions instead. This lesson will help you to avoid this mistake. It gives you the simple rules to follow and some exercises to help you practice using them. If you have asked a hundred times how to use these words, this microlearning lesson is for you. You should not have to do it hundreds of times before you stop making this common mistake.

Vocabulary | Confusables

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 


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A Few - Few | A Little - Little

The two confusable quantifiers, few and little, are not as difficult to master as you might think. This microlearning lesson gives you plenty of examples of the use of few, a few, little, and a little, and plenty of practice to help you get them right. You can also watch a video explaining how whether a noun is countable or uncountable determines which of the words we use.

Vocabulary | Confusables

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 


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Attracted to or Attracted by

Prepositions are difficult for students of English and when they are used with two very similar expressions they can be especially difficult. This lesson will show you how we use the two expressions attracted to and attracted by and will give you practice using both. I have selected real examples of the expressions from the British National Corpus, and have included several activators to help you with the use of the two expressions and the pronunciation of sentences which use them.

Vocabulary | Confusables | Phrasal Verbs

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are like idioms and have to be learnt individually. They are an essential part of your English vocabulary, and without them you will not be able to say that you have any degree of fluency in English. These Activities have been designed to make learning, remembering, and using phrasal verbs as easy and enjoyable as possible. English speakers use phrasal verbs all the time, so you need to at least be able to understand what they mean. Use them yourself and you will sound much more like a native speaker and your English will sound much more natural.


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Fur or Fir - Homophones

The two words fur and fir are homophones in English and cause a lot of pronunciation confusion for students. I mean, how can two words that are radically different have exactly the same sound? There are many homophones in English and this lesson is designed to help you master these two. Not only does it deal with the words fir and fur, but it also deals with words like furred, furry, furlike, furl, furlong, furlough, furnace, furniture, furore, further, fury, fire, firkin, firm, first, fifth, and firth. This lesson will help you to pronounce all of these words perfectly.

Pronunciation | Confusables | IPA Symbols | Speaking

Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 

IPA Symbols

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation that was devised in the 19th century as a standardised way of representing the sounds of speech in written form. The British English IPA chart consists of 44 symbols representing the pure vowels (monophthongs), the gliding vowels (diphthongs), and the consonant sounds of spoken British English. The Britlish Library contains a wealth of Activities to help you to learn, remember, and use the British English IPA symbols efficiently whether you are a student or a teacher.

Speaking

It's not easy to teaching speaking skills remotely through a website, however good the site is. To really practice your speaking skills, you need someone to speak to who can correct your mistakes as you go. The Activities here will go some way to helping you to improve your speaking skills by helping you to mirror the speech you hear in the lesson. In this way, you can notice how your speech differs from that in the Activities and, by recording your own speech, you can adjust your pronunciation to more accurately match that in the Activities.


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