The English language can be a real pain to learn and speak well, even for native speakers. There are many tricky English words, which may sound accurate, but really are not. These words are either difficult to understand or are misspoken to an extent when their actual meaning is lost. Even those of us with great confidence in our English have learned a thing or two with these words. So, give this blog a read if you are up for the challenge of learning some of the most difficult English words.
Ironic is one of the most confusing words in the English language. Mostly this word is used to describe coincidence or strange turn of events, it means a lot more. The irony is used to express the opposite of the literal meaning of a word.
Unlike sarcasm, the irony is not a word used to hurt. There can be situational irony, dramatic irony, or historical irony among others. The only way to escape the confusion is to avoid using this word. It’s not a work needed in typical conversations, anyway.
This word has a sneaky prefix ‘non’ which some people take to means as ‘not’. This causes people to misuse the word as ‘unfazed’ or ‘uninterested’. The word actually means ‘bewildered’ or ‘don’t know what to think’. This can be a difficult word to interpret in written English, which is why its best you avoid it.
The word is closely synonymous with ‘enormous’, at least that is what people think at first. However, they are wrong, because it means ‘grave evil or sin’. The correct context of enormity is more in the lines of ‘horrors and evils of war’, and not ‘the enormity of the situation’. So, don’t mix up the two words because that would be a big mistake!
Many people use ‘irregardless’ when the right word to use is ‘regardless’. Regardless refers to ‘despite something’ and can be used when speaking or writing. Do not use ‘irregardless’ because it is considered a nonstandard word even though it is mentioned in the dictionary. Anyone who wants to write or speak well in English can forgo this word in routine conversations.
The actual word ‘abash’ means to perplex or embarrass, but it is rarely used in modern times. In modern times, a prefix like ‘un’ has been added to an old word, ‘abash’ to give a negative meaning. Unabashed means “not embarrassed”. So, learn to practice English unabashedly!
This word can be confusing for even the native speakers. In English, ‘who’ is used for a subject in a sentence while ‘whom’ for its object. But, it can be tricky to determine which of the two words is needed in a sentence. Tip: try speaking a sentence with ‘him’ or ‘he’. ‘Him’ will be followed by ‘whom’ (Trick: both have ‘m’ at the end as well). For example, “Who are you going to the party with?” The answer would be ‘With him’. You cannot possibly say, ‘With he’.
This really is one of the most misused words ever. The word means ‘in a literal sense’, or ‘the things I’m saying truly happened and are not imagined’. Therefore, people saying stuff like ‘I literally died at his joke’ is incorrect. Avoid this word at all costs, especially in front of a ‘Grammar Nazi’.
English words have multiple meanings and contexts, but there are some absolutes as well. If you want to be a good English speaker and a writer, you need to learn the differences between these difficult words. These tips will ensure you don’t make the same mistakes the next time you converse with someone or write an essay.