When you want to appreciate your friend, what do you say – you are having a positive affect/effect on me.

Do not go about scratching your head in confusion! There are many words in English that sounds the same, but that is the only similarity between them. If you wish to speak fluent and correct English, it is important that you learn these words with meaning and understand how to use them correctly.

Here is a quick guide to some of the confusing words:

Affect-Effect: These two words are close in meaning and therefore people often use them without realizing that they are making a mistake. Affect is used in reference to ‘having an influence’. For example, traffic was affected due to the heavy rain. Effect, on the other hand denotes a consequence – The effects of corruption are widespread.’

Access-Excess: When pronouncing these words, they sound almost same. However, do not make a mistake of using them as same. Access implies having something in your proximity. “Even villages today have access to the internet”. Whereas excess means abundance, surplus, or more than required. You can say, “this credit card bill is in excess to the amount I used!”

Weather-Whether: These words are so easy to distinguish. Weather refers to the climate, like ‘The weather in Mumbai is always nice.’ Whether is used to denote ‘in case’ – “I can’t make up my mind, whether I should go to Mumbai or not.”

Advice-Advise: The only difference between the two words is that ‘advice’ is a noun while ‘advise’ is a verb. ‘He gave me an advice’ and ‘he advised me’ means the same, but the words have to be used in reference to the sentence structure.

Waist-Waste: There is no difference when you pronounce both these words, but there is a vast difference in their meaning and the way they are used. Waist refers to the body part above the hips. When complimenting a thin girl, you say, “You have a nice and toned waist.” Waste is a word for useless stuff. ‘Wastebasket’ is a perfect example of using the word. “You already have a thin waist. Don’t waste time exercising uselessly!”

You cannot learn English completely on your own!

There are online English learning programs easily available to help you improve pronunciation and become fluent in the language as well. Learning English online is truly beneficial for people who cannot devote time for classroom learning, but wish to improve their English. Online English tutors are a handy and convenient tool for learning and improving spoken English.

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