Confusing Words in English Part2

The English language is brimming with homophones OR words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Learning homophones will set you on the path to understanding this challenging aspect of the English vocabulary. In our previous blog entitled, “Confusing Words in English”, we briefly touched on a few homophones examples. We discussed there that using homophones properly will help you become an effective English speaker and writer. Knowing exactly the meaning of the word and when to properly use it will improve your English skills. Besides, misusing homophones will make your sentences sound awkward. There are many online resources available to help you, but let’s have some examples here.

Today, we will discuss three more sets of homophones:


Complement is something that enhances something else or a thing that completes another (noun). It also means to go well with something or to make something perfect (verb).

Examples:  Cheese complements any pasta.

        Her new hair color is a great complement to her complexion.

        Her shoes perfectly complement her dress.

A compliment is an expression of praise (noun) or to praise someone (verb). The forms it takes are a compliment, complimenting, and complimented.


  • My father complimented me for performing well in school.
  • A teacher must give sincere compliments to students to encourage them to do better.
  • He keeps giving me compliments in almost everything that already sounds insincere.

Try this:

  1. Jordan was jealous of me because he did not get any ___________ from our Dad.
  2. Black and white colors ___________ each other.


Lose means you no longer possess something or have less of something than what you had before. The forms it takes are lose, lost, and losing.


  • They lost their house in the fire last night.
  • Tess is working out every day to lose weight.
  • Losing a family is very painful.

Loose is something that’s not firmly fixed in place or clothes that are not fitting tightly to the body.


  • It feels nice to wear loose clothes when you’re at home.
  • The bananas were tied to a loose rope. That’s why they fell off the truck.
  • Wearing loose shirts during warm days will make you feel more comfortable.

Try this:

  1. Keep an eye on your bags at the train station, or else you’ll _________ them.
  2. Don’t wear ___________ shirts when you’re doing yoga stretches.


Brake: A brake is a device for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle (noun); to stop a vehicle (verb). The forms it takes are brake, braked, and braking.


  • Make sure your brakes work properly before you drive.
  • The taxi driver braked suddenly to avoid hitting the post.
  • You’ll crash if your brakes are not functioning.

Break: Break is to separate something into pieces or disobey (verb), a rest period (noun). The forms it takes are break, broke, broken, and breaking.


  • Let’s go to Starbucks for a coffee break.
  • The boy accidentally broke the window when he was playing with the ball.
  • You’ll be suspended if you break the rules three times.
  • Your harsh words are breaking the girl’s heart.

Try this:

  1. We just finished our lunch __________.
  2. Please be careful not to _________ the porcelain plates.
  3. Dan was sent home because he __________ the university’s rules.


You can ask your LingualBox teacher to help you use this material for vocabulary practice. You can also make your own sentences, and your teacher can check them.

I have a passion for the English language because it is such a powerful tool for creativity and personal development. I've been writing articles since I was in High School. I represented my school in English writing competitions in the city, regional, and national levels. When I was in college, I wrote a short story which was published in the University Literary Portfolio. In 2006, I worked as a call center agent in Cebu City. In 2007 up to 2008, I worked as an English accent trainer in a startup call center company. I have also been offering ESL lessons as a freelance tutor since February 2016.