Some English words you may see frequently, such as ‘compliment’ and ‘complement’, ‘sympathy’ and ‘empathy’. Are you still mixing up their meanings? We have sorted out 8 groups of commonly confused words, and we will talk about the first 4 groups today.


1. Farther vs Further


Farther: emphasizing distance

How much farther is it to the office? I’m in a rush.


Further: emphasizing degree

Let’s meet again next week for a further discussion.


2. Lie vs Lay


Lie: to be in a position in which your body is flat on a surface; to be in a particular position/ranking

The football team is lying second in the Premier League table.


Lay: to put sb/sth in a flat position

The mother lays the baby carefully and gently on the crib.


3. Appraise vs Apprise


Appraise: to examine sb/sth to judge their qualities

The manager will appraise the performance of the employees regularly to provide well performers’ more opportunities as rewards.


Apprise: to notify

The security apprises us that there will be a power outage tonight.


4. Emigrate vs Immigrate


Emigrate: leave one’s own country in order to settle permanently in another

He emigrated from Singapore at the young age of 20, for the sake of studying abroad in America.


Immigrate: come to live permanently in a foreign country

She immigrated to Canada in 2010 but she will go back to Hong Kong once every year.