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Here are more clusters of commonly confused words


Language Arts  


4, 5, 6, 7, 8  

Title – 2nd Cluster of Commonly Confused Words
By – J.D. Meyer
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 4th grade – College


      Once again, I’m writing about homonyms – those commonly confused words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings. I am answering my own call from the lesson on

Big Four Clusters of Commonly Confused Words

      to develop more clusters of such words. Actually most of this material was written over ten years ago and unearthed from storage. Instead of looking at common grammatical features, I am analyzing phonics. Like in the previous lesson, I give consideration for students whose first language is Spanish in the teaching methods.
    These example sentences have plays on words, particularly a lot of rhyming. I bet this technique will help in spelling the commonly confused words.
  1. This Hershey kiss is made of dark chocolate.

    “This” and “kiss” rhyme — short “-i” and “-s.”

  2. These keys seem to hide from me.

    Both “these” and “keys” have a long “-e” and “-z” sound, together with being plural. “This” and “these” seem to be particularly confusing for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Spanish-speaking students at least when saying those two words. The long “-e” sound in English is the long “-i” sound in Spanish.


  1. Lose the gloomy news.

    The “-s” in “lose” and “news” sounds like a “-z.” The “oo” in “gloomy” sounds like the “-o” in “lose;” furthermore, this sound is identical to the Spanish “-u.” Meanwhile, “news” has an English long “-u” sound. “Lose” is an unusually spelled word because long “oo” sounds almost always have spellings with two “o’s.” In fact, one could say, “Lose lost an ‘-o’.”

  2. My moose is loose.

    “Moose” and “loose” are rhyming words with a long “-oo” sound and an “-s” sound. “Lose” and “loose” seem to present confusion for Spanish-speaking, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students both in pronunciation and spelling. There’s an “-s” sound but not a “-z” sound in Spanish despite the presence of both letters in both languages.


  1. Whether or not you whistle makes no difference to me.

    “Whether” and ‘whistle” start with a “-wh.”

  2. They dread rainy weather.

    “Dread” and “weather” are words spelled with “-ea” that have a short “-e” sound.


  1. Last night’s argument is in the past.
    “Last” and “past” rhyme with short “-a” and “-s” sounds.
  2. The class passed the test.
    “Pass” can mean to get a satisfactory grade or to move past someone or something. “Class” and “passed” have short “-a” and “-s” sounds.
  3. We passed by a bass boat.
    “Passed” and “bass” (as in the fish not guitar) have a short “-a” sound and an “-s” sound together with a double “-s” spelling.

  1. He got fashion advice from watching Miami Vice.

    “Advice,” a noun and “vice” have the same spelling and sound pattern, despite dramatic differences in meaning.

  2. They advise the wise.

    Both “advise” and “wise” have a long “i” sound, an “-s” sound, and a “-z” sound.


  1. _____ (This/These) sermons are based on the book, Worship that Works , written by a husband-wife team of ministers from Ohio.
  2. _____ (This/These) big yellow cat is the most improved cat in the house.
  3. I enjoy _____ (whether/weather) that is clear, dry, and stays between 40 and 90 degrees.
  4. Darren Lewis ran ______ (passed/past) many would-be tacklers on his way to becoming the leading rusher in Texas A&M; history.
  5. They ________ (advice/advise) us to take our choice of electives seriously.
  6. Don’t____ (lose/loose) your notes for the upcoming guest lecture.
  7. Al Green sang that he’d stay with his lady “_____ (whether/weather) times are good or bad, or happy or sad.”
  8. My friend’s son _____ (passed/past) the THEA.
  9. Learn from your mistakes in the _______ (passed/past) .
  10. That career counselor gave me good ______ (advice/advise) : study prep books for the TAAS.
  11. Those jeans are too ______ (lose/loose) for wearing at school; get a belt!

Answer Key

  1. These
  2. This
  3. weather
  4. past
  5. advise
  6. lose
  7. whether
  8. passed
  9. past
  10. advice
  11. loose

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