Choose Your English (iii)

assure / ensure / insure
Although these three often show up at the same party, mostly while giving hugs, they are by no means the same: to assure is to tell someone everything is in order, to ensure is to make certain, and to insure is to protect financially.

bare / bear
Bare means naked, but to bear is to carry something. The noun bear is also a brown furry mammal of the Ursidae family.

capital / capitol
A capital is either a stash of money or the government headquarters of a state. A capitol on the other hand is simply a building.

climactic / climatic
Climactic describes the high point, the most intense part of a film, play, song, et cetera. Climatic refers to the climate, like the current climatic changes we can observe at the North Pole for instance.

complement / compliment
Both are very welcome on a first date — a complement means to complete something, but a compliment is flattering. If you feel you and your new friend complement each other, maybe it’s because he or she has been giving you so many compliments, like for instance when he or she says you look like Roger Waters or Anna Chlumsky.

See other: Choose Your English

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