For better or worse, the English language has a lot of words that sound the same. When words sound exactly the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings, like “your” and “you’re,” they’re called homophones. But there are also plenty of pairs of words that don’t sound exactly the same, but sound pretty darn similar. And they’re just as easy to confuse. Some, like “inhibit” and “inhabit,” are words that we don’t use very often in our everyday lives. But some are! For instance, have you mixed up “loose” and “lose,” or at least took a second to ponder which to use? These pairs of words can be frustrating and tricky to keep straight no matter how much you use them. Here’s the difference between “affect” and “effect,” “further” and “farther,” and more pairs of similar words.
Accept vs except
Here’s another perplexing one. Despite sounding the same, “accept” and “except” mean very different things, often leaving people wondering which is which. Well, wonder no more! “Accept” is a verb that means “to receive with approval or favour”. You “accept” a gift, and you also “accept” someone for who they are. “Except”, meanwhile, is most often a preposition, and it means “with the exclusion of”. You would say “I like all of these pizza toppings except anchovies.” There is a verb form of “except,” but it’s not very common. It means, unsurprisingly, “to exclude or leave out”.
Affect vs effect
This is one of the most common, trickiest ones. Not only do “affect” and “effect” sound the same, but they also have very similar meanings. They both have to do with producing a change or result. But it’s their parts of speech that make them different: “Affect” is a verb and “effect” is a noun. If you “affect” something, you produce a change; an “effect” is a change.