There are many verbs that sound similar and it’s easy to get confused between them. Here is a list of some of the most common confusing verb pairs, their meanings and examples of how they should be used in a sentence.
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|Verb||Meaning/ Use||The Verb in Context|
|borrow||To take a loan||Can I borrow $20 from you please?|
|lend||To give a loan||I will lend you $20.|
|do||To carry out activities or tasks||He needs to do his homework.|
|waste||To fail to use something valuable in an effective way||
|lay||To put, place or set down||
|bring||To carry towards someone or somewhere||He brings me flowers every week.|
|take||To carry away from someone or somewhere||He always takes his brother to hockey games.|
|adopt||To take or claim as one’s own||They adopted a child from Vietnam last year.|
|raise||to make higher||The government is raising the price of fuel.|
|emigrate||To leave a country||Joshua emigrated from the UK in 2001.|
|immigrate||To move to another country||She immigrated to Canada in 2002.|
Exercises – Confusing verbs
Choose the correct word from the parenthesis at the end of the sentence as in the example.
- As a child, I spent each summer in France with my grandmother. (spent/wasted)
- I have already ____ to the customs in this new country I live in. (adapted / adopted)
- Ed ______ Suzanne at a single’s party last month. (met / knew)
- The girls ____ money from their father to buy their mom a gift. (lent / borrowed)
- My father _______ the American flag on all US holidays. (raises / rises)
- He’s ________ down because he doesn’t feel well. (laying / lying)
- Cho left China and _______ to Australia in 1998. (emigrated / immigrated)
- I don’t know how to do it, but I’m sure the service department ________ help you. (can / may)
- I hope you will _______ your job well. (make / do)
- Anna parties every night. It has started _______ her work. (effecting / affecting)
- Please turn off the lights. We don’t like to _____ energy. (spend / waste)