Commonly confused words sound the same but have different meanings. Such word pairs can confuse you when you take the MAT. To properly prepare for the Miller Analogies Test, study these commonly confused word pairs.

For example, do you know when to use “affect” vs. “effect”? If you have trouble remembering which one of these commonly confused words to use, you’re not alone. Commonly confused words are notorious for tripping people up, like compliment and complement. The following list is designed to help you keep any troublesome words straight.

Word One Definition Word Two Definition
Accept Agree to receive Except Not including
Adapt Adjust Adopt Start to use
Advice Guidance Advise To give guidance
Affect Make a difference Effect The result
Altar Table used for rituals Alter Change
Allusion A reference Illusion A deceptive appearance
Appraise To assess the value of Apprise To inform
Ascent The journey up Assent Agreement
Capital The city where government is located Capitol The principal building where government is located
Cite To reference Site A location
Complement Goes well with Compliment Kind words of approval
Confident Assuredness Confidant A trusted person
Council A group that advises Counsel To give suggestion
Currant A dried grape Current Happening at the present
Dependant Someone who relies on another Dependent Contingent on
Desert Dry landscape Dessert The sweet course at the end of a meal
Discreet Careful, sly Discrete Separate
Elicit Draw forth Illicit Illegal
Ensure To make sure of Insure To arrange for compensation
Eminent Famous Imminent Very soon
Faint Barely perceptible Feint A deceptive move
Farther A larger distance away Further More
Foreword The beginning of a book before the first chapter Forward Ahead
Grisly Gruesome Grizzly A brown bear
Hoard A stockpile Horde A large group
Incite Stir up Insight Understanding
Ingenious Very smart Ingenuous Unsuspecting
Lie To rest horizontally Lay To put down
Loose Unsecured Lose To misplace
Palate The roof of the mouth Palette Colors used by an artist
Passed To have moved by Past From a time gone by
Pore Study carefully Pour Cause a flow from a container
Persecute To annoy and harass Prosecute Bring legal action upon
Principal Head of a school Principle A governing belief
Stationary Not moving Stationery Paper to write on
Vain Conceited Vane Device to measure wind direction
Venal Corrupt Venial Pardonable
Wreath Circular decoration of plants Wreathe To surround

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Vince Kotchian is a full-time standardized test tutor specializing in the MAT, SSAT, ISEE, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. He teaches a GRE prep course at the University of California, San Diego, and has an extensive understanding of analogies and the MAT.

Edwin Kotchian is a MAT tutor and freelance writer who has contributed to a variety of test-prep material.

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