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Letters Ii, Ll and Mm Vocabulary Mistakes that Bedevil English Speakers and Learners

Updated on September 26, 2012
Think about definitions before writing down words.  We're prone to English vocabulary errors.
Think about definitions before writing down words. We're prone to English vocabulary errors. | Source

10 Common Vocabulary Errors in Letters Ii, Ll and Mm

Users of English as a Second Language and native English speakers often commit vocabulary mistakes.

This is because the English language is full of words that are utterly confusing – those with very different meanings but similar pronunciations and spellings.

It is quite important to know the differences among these English words.

Knowing the differences in word definitions can help us choose the right words for our sentences and make our messages easy to understand.

Below is a list of ten vocabulary errors that start with letters Ii, Ll, and Mm. These errors bedevil both native English speakers and learners.

2. Imply versus Infer

Imply means to give a clue or suggestion. Infer means to conclude or bring to an end.

Example:

Wrong: She didn’t say it directly. She just inferred that, yes, they may be breaking up.

Right: She didn’t say it directly. She just implied that, yes, they may be breaking up.

1. Imminent versus Eminent

Somethingis imminent if it is about to happen or is in the offing. Somebody is eminent if he or she is important or well-known.

Example:

Wrong: The palace has been decked and invitations to imminent people have been sent out for the prince’s wedding.

Right: The palace has been decked and invitations to eminent people have been sent out for the prince’s wedding.

3. Incredible versus Incredulous

Someone is incredible if he or she is very great, does something that is extraordinary, or is absurd. Someone is incredulous if he or she is doubtful, unbelieving, or skeptical.

Example:

Wrong: Whoa! Incredulous! He just broke his own world record and set a new one!

Right: Whoa! Incredible! He just broke his own world record and set a new one!

4. Ingenious versus Ingenuous

A person is ingenious if he or she is imaginative, original, or creative. A person is ingenuous if he or she is honest, frank or even naïve.

Example:

Wrong: The producers think she is something else. She is ingenuous and sings to her own music style.

Right: The producers think she is something else. She is ingenious and sings to her own music style.

5. Later versus Latter

Later describes an action that happens afterward or soon after. Latter refers to the second of two subjects mentioned.

Example:

Wrong: Dolly and Molly are just so cute! The later one, though, is a little naughty.

Right: Dolly and Molly are just so cute! The latter one, though, is a little naughty.

9. Maybe versus May Be

Maybe is an adverb that means possibly. On the other hand, may be means possible.

Example:

Wrong: May be he’s right. He surely knows more about money than I do.

Right: Maybe he’s right. He surely knows more about money than I do.

6. Lightening versus Lightning

A thing is lightening if it can make something bright and clear. A lightning, on the other hand, is a flash of light that usually comes during storms.

Example:

Wrong: Hate pimple scars! Need products that have lightning ingredients just to clear up my face a bit.

Right: Hate pimple scars! Need products that have lightening ingredients just to clear up my face a bit.

8. Loose versus Lose

Something is loose if it is baggy, not tied up, relaxed, or wobbly. To lose something is to misplace it and be unable to find it.

Example:

Wrong: Just tie the lose ends and make sure that nothing would slip out of the open sack. We do not want to loose the grains.

Right: Just tie the loose ends and make sure that nothing would slip out of the open sack. We do not want to lose the grains.

10. Moral versus Morale

Moral refers to lesson, message, or being good. Morale refers to confidence and drive.

Example:

Wrong: We have to keep our moral up and never give up. It is always too early to quit.

Right: We have to keep our morale up and never give up. It is always too early to quit.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

7. Loath versus Loathe

Loath is an adjective that means to become unwilling or reluctant to do something. Loathe is a verb that means to hate or dislike doing something.

Example:

Wrong: I would loathe to speak ill of anyone I do not know very well. That would never be fair.

Right: I would loath to speak ill of anyone I do not know very well. That would never be fair.

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    • nemanjaboskov profile image

      Nemanja Boškov 

      6 years ago from Serbia

      Great job, krelynb!

      Can't wait for the next one :)

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