The spelling and pronunciation might be different but we still confuse these words sometimes. Read the information below and do a short quiz to remember the difference.
1. Lose and Loose
Lose [“z” sound] – (a verb) to not have something anymore or not to win. You can lose your cell phone, or you can lose your way while driving somewhere.
- I don’t want my football team to lose the game.
- She will lose her money if she gambles with it.
Loose [“s” sound] – (an adjective) free, unattached or not tight. It’s also a verb meaning to untie or let go of something.
- The door handle fell off because it was too loose.
- A loose sweater feels very comfortable.
2. Resign and Re-sign
Resign [“z” sound] – to quit your job.
- My boss didn’t want to increase my salary so I decided to resign. This will be my last week of work.
Re-sign [“s” sound] – to sign a contract again; it usually also means that you’ve decided to stay in your current job.
- I love my current job, so I happily re-signed for another year.
3. Advice and Advise
Advise [“z” sound] – (a verb).
- She advised me to invest my money more carefully.
- You can advise your friend to travel to Italy.
Advice [“s” sound] – (a noun).
- My father gave me one piece of advice – “Always be on time.”
- Can you give me some advice?
4. Compliment and Complement
Compliment (a verb and a noun) – saying something nice about someone.
- I complimented my sister on her delicious cooking (verb).
- I gave my sister a compliment on her delicious cooking (noun).
Complement – when two things go well together, or complete each other. This word is often used in food and in fashion to describe matching styles or ingredients.
- My blue tie really complements my white shirt (my blue tie and white shirt go well together).
- That wine complements the meat dish well.
5. Bear and Bare
Bear – (a verb) to hold up or support a heavy weight and to suffer or endure difficulties.
- Don’t stand on that old chair, it cannot bear your weight.
- I cannot bear to see my son in pain.
Bare – (an adjective, a verb) naked or uncovered, or a verb which means to uncover or reveal.
- Visitors to the temple must not have bare arms or legs, so wear long pants and a jacket (adjective).
- I bared my arm to show them my new tattoo (verb).
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