Words that sound alike or nearly alike but have different meanings can often cause writers difficulties. Here is a list of some of the most commonly confused words with correct definitions and examples.
ACCEPT: to receive
Example: He accepts the reward.
EXCEPT: to take or leave out
Example: Please move all the boxes except the one labeled fragile.
AFFECT: to influence
Example: Lack of rain can affect crop growth.
EFFECT: (noun) result; (verb) to accomplish
Example: The pain medication had an immediate effect on the patient’s pain.
Example: The new director effected positive changes in the program.
A LOT (two words): many
ALOT (one word): not the correct form
Example: Bobby has a lot of Lego blocks.
ALLOT: to give out as a share or portion
Example: The talk show host will allot twenty minutes to each guest.
ALLUSION: an indirect reference
Example:The English teacher made an allusion to Mark Twain’s work.
ILLUSION: a false perception of reality
Example: Margaret indulged in the illusion that the captain of the football team was her boyfriend.