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07/17/2015
There is no dearth of similar and confusing words in the English language. Here are some examples with devices for helping to remember how to use these words correctly.

Beside vs Besides

"Beside" means next to. "Besides" means except. When someone says, "besides the point," what they actually mean is "beside the point," because the statement has missed the mark.

Biannual vs Biennial

These words do not mean the same thing. "Biannual" means twice per year while "biennial" means every two years.

Censor vs Censure

To "censor" is to remove negative material, as in to bleep curse words from a music video. To "censure" means to disapprove of or to criticize strongly. "MTV censured the musician for having to censor so much indecent content from his music video."

Cereal vs Serial

"Cereal" is what you eat in the morning. "Serial" means in a series, a story told in installments.

Device vs Devise

A "device" is an invention. To "devise" means to invent. Remember that the "c" is pronounced as "s" and the "s" is pronounced as "z". Say the word out loud if you are confused about which to use.

Disburse vs Disperse

"Disburse" means to distribute money while to "disperse" means to distribute anything else. Remember that if you are talking about anything financial to use "disburse".

Dual vs Duel

"Dual" means two of something, having two parts. A "duel" is a fight between two people. "Duel" has an "e" because it involves two "enemies".

Overdo vs Overdue

To "overdo" is to do something excessively. "Overdue" means something that is late. For more help with vocabulary, contact The Tutoring Center in Milpitas, CA. We have one-to-one tutoring programs in reading, writing, math, and test preparation. Take a look at our academic programs and call 408-263-5377 for a free diagnostic assessment.

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