As we all know, English has some words and phrases that confuse us more often than others. These words may sound the same, look the same but have totally different meanings. It’s necessary for us as learners to distinguish between these to improve our English accuracy. Below are two pairs of common confusing words in English that you should definitely know the difference! Let’s dive right in!
Empathy and sympathy
Sympathy is (an expression of) understanding and care for someone else’s suffering.
She said that she was deeply moved by all the letters of sympathy she had received.
They had great sympathy for the flood victims.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, which means you’re able to put yourself in their shoes.
Having begun my life in a children’s home I have great empathy with the little ones.
Grateful and thankful
We use grateful to talk about how we feel when someone is kind to us or does us a favour.
I’m so grateful (to you) for all that you’ve done.
We are all profoundly grateful for your help and encouragement.
We usually use thankful when we are relieved that something unpleasant or dangerous didn’t happen.
I was thankful that the meeting didn’t last long, because I had to get home.
Most of the time I’m just thankful that I’ve got a job.
What would you choose to complete the following sentences?
1. I’m very ______ for all the help you gave me when I was in New York.
2. It was nice to get ____ cards from so many friends when Uncle Mike passed away.
3. It looks like all flights to Austin are delayed due to bad weather. I’m really _____ we’re not going today.
4. Having been raised in an orphanage, I have great ____ with those little kids.
What is your most confusing word in English? Share with us in the comments below!
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