Don't Confuse

Don't Confuse

«Don't Confuse» - This is a series of short podcasts about words we may confuse.
Listen to this podcast and find out the difference!


Voiced by: Gregory Theiner

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Don't confuse these: Commonly confused adjectives

High - tall
Clean - clear
Further - farther
Fun - funny
Easy - light
Difficult - heavy

Hello, ladies and gentlemen =)
Today I'm going to tell you about some commonly confused adjectives.
Can you give me an example of an adjective? That's right, beautiful, nice, cool and so on. They describe nouns, don't they?
So let's start with our first confusing pair of adjectives. High and tall.
Which of them should I use if I want to talk about a person's height? How tall are you? – that's what I need to ask. Not how high are you, but how tall are you. We use “tall” to say the length of someone who is standing up. Tall means from top to bottom. I am six feet tall.
What about you? How tall are you? Are you taller than your friends?
So what about high? High actually means “distance from the ground to the object”. For example, airplanes fly high up in the air. They fly far away from the ground, high in the clouds. I can say that this book is very high on a shelf, I can't reach it. Is the book big? No. It's just far away from the floor.
How high is your apartment from the ground? Are you afraid of climbing high mountains?

Ready for the next pair of adjectives? Clean and clear.
Which of them is the opposite of “dirty”? That's right, clean. I like clean clothes. And I always leave the dishes clean after myself. Is your house clean right now? Do you need to clean it?
Clear is a little bit different. When you stand in clear water, you can see the bottom of the lake or river, and you can see your feet in the water. So clear is a synonym of transparent, not clouded by anything. When the sky is clear it is bright blue, there are no clouds in the sky. The water can be clean but not clear, and it can be clean and clear at the same time, too.
Do you like swimming in clear water?

So here is our next pair. Further and farther.
Which of them do we use to talk about distance? That's right, farther, with an A, is used to talk about distance. Your house is farther from the bus stop than I thought. I thought it was nearer. So farther is the opposite of nearer.
What is farther from your house than the bus stop? Is your favorite café farther from your work or from your house?
Further means next, future (far from now). Further meetings will take place in August. So some meetings have already happened, and further meetings, next meetings, future meetings, will be held in August.
Where did you celebrate last Christmas? Where will you celebrate further holidays?

Now I'd like to tell you about two more easily confused adjectives. Fun and funny.
Which of them means that you want to laugh? That's right, when something is funny you want to laugh. I heard a funny joke. She told me a funny story. This picture is very funny.
Can you tell me a funny joke?
When we say “fun”, we mean “interesting, not boring”. This evening was fun. Did I want to laugh all the time? No, I had fun, I wasn't bored, I liked the evening.
What is a fun place to go to?
And now it's time for another pair of pairs, actually =)

The first pair is light and easy, and the second – heavy and difficult.
Light is the opposite of heavy, and easy is the opposite of difficult.
When something is heavy, it weighs a lot. When something is light, it doesn't weigh a lot, you can lift it easily. For example, a big dictionary is heavy. A notebook is usually not heavy, it's light.
Is your bag light or heavy? What is the lightest thing on your desk?
Difficult and easy are connected with mental processes. The Chinese language is difficult to learn, but it's not heavy. Difficult is abstract. Heavy is connected with real objects.
This song is very easy to remember. I can remember it easily. It's not difficult to remember something. But the song isn't light. You don't lift the song.
What is easy for you?
What do you find difficult to do?
So now you know some tricky adjectives)
Be smarter than those adjectives =)
Good luck!