Special Report

People Get These Words Wrong All the Time

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16. Capitol and Capital

Congress meets in the United States Capitol, one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, which is located in the United States capital, Washington, D.C. — and people often mix up the two.

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17. Cite, Sight and Site

These three words are pronounced the same way but should be cited differently. Cite means quote or refer to; sight means vision or view; and site means place or location, and is also short for website.

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18. Compliment and Complement

Compliment is a verb and noun meaning praise. Complement means goes well with. “My compliments to the chef. The eggs complement the bacon.

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19. Comprise and Compose

These two words have different meanings depending on whether you are talking about the whole or the parts: “The pizza is composed of dough and cheese and comprises eight slices.” (Some people say “comprised of,” although the “of” is redundant.

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20. Continual and Continuous

These words look very similar and are used interchangeably, but there’s an important difference — continual means with interruptions, continuous means without interruptions.