9 Common Words You’re Probably Using Wrong

9 months ago

Take a closer look at the word “awful” — although you assume you can use it when talking about something “full of awe,” in reality, this adjective has a completely opposite meaning. That being said, sometimes we tend to use lots of other English words the wrong way without even realizing it.

9. Epilation vs depilation

  • Epilation is the way you’d remove an unwanted hair by tearing it out, usually with a pair of tweezers.
  • Depilation is the way you’d get rid of an unwanted hair at the level of your skin by shaving or trimming.

8. Farther vs further

  • When you’re talking about a physical distance, you can say, “This is farther from that.”
  • Further usually refers to a figurative distance, meaning “extra or more” as in the following sentence: “If you complain further, I’m going to stop this conversation and never return to it again.”

7. Flammable vs inflammable

  • Flammable means “capable of being set on fire.”
  • Inflammable means exactly the same thing, so there’s no difference between these 2 words.

6. Emoticon vs emoji

  • If you use characters such as punctuation marks, numbers, letters, etc. to express your feelings or mood, you use emoticons.
  • Emojis are actual graphical expressions that can refer to anything including faces, common objects, places, types of weather, animals, and so on.

5. Famous vs infamous

  • The word famous usually refers to people who are known for their great deeds, like heroes.
  • However, if you want to say “very famous,” you should never use infamous as it means “famous for a negative reason,” like bank robbers or other criminals.

4. Poisonous vs venomous

  • Poisonous is used to refer to something that is toxic if you eat it.
  • Venomous is used to refer to something that is toxic if it bites you.

3. Torturous vs tortuous

  • When something makes you feel bad or causes pain and suffering, it’s considered torturous.
  • Tortuous means “full of twists, turns, or bends.” You can also use this word when talking about something too lengthy or complex.

2. Bemused vs amused

  • Although most people think that bemused means “to be amused in a calm way,” it’s not actually true. The real meaning of this word is “to be bewildered, puzzled, or confused.”
  • So when you want to say that you’re having an enjoyable time, you should say that you’re amused.

1. Nauseous vs nauseated

  • Despite what you might think, nauseous doesn’t mean feeling sick to your stomach. What it really means is “causing nausea” like when you’re speaking about something smelly, spoiled, or rotten.
  • So if you feel unwell, you probably feel nauseated.

Which English words do you always confuse? Let’s continue the list together in the comments!

Please note: This article was updated in February 2023 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit Media Guru / Shutterstock.com


Flammable and inflammable do not mean the same thing. If something is flammable it means it can be set fire to, such as a piece of wood. However, inflammable means that a substance is capabble of bursting into flames without the need for any ignition
Oh so that's the difference between venom and poison. I thought it was like something is poisonous, while something might have venom

Related Reads