GrammarPhile Blog

Easily Confused Words - Answers to Last Week's Quiz

Posted by Conni Eversull   Jan 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM


QandA-picture-frame.pngStill feeling exhausted from last week’s exhausting quiz featuring an exhaustive list of easily confused words? Then we’ll get right to the answers! But first, congratulations to Holly Hammond who was the first person to answer all questions correctly. Holly wins a $25 Amazon gift card.

This quiz stumped 91% of those who answered. 9% of respondents correctly answered all ten questions. Now onto the answers.


1. During the baby’s baptism, the priest blessed her with a __________ drop of water.

Correct answer: CEREMONIAL

Ceremonial means “with the proper ceremony or ritual,” while Ceremonious has somewhat of a negative connotation, and means “over-concerned with ceremony," or “pompous.”  91% of you knew the subtle but important difference between these two words.

2. The seminary sought an _____________ theologian to lead the new search committee. 

Correct answer: EMINENT

Eminent means “distinguished,” and is used to describe something of importance. Imminent means “about to happen,” and usually refers to an ominous event. Good job to the 97% that answered correctly.

3. The grad student showed up for every student conference in his attempt to __________ his famous professor.

Correct answer: EMULATE

Emulate has more positive overtones and refers to an attempt to “equal or outdo.” Imitate simply means “to copy,” for good or for bad. 91% outdid yourselves by giving the correct answer.

4. The happy ___________ celebrated his engagement with a bottle of expensive scotch. 

Correct answer: FIANCÉ

The difference in spellings is meant to clarify the gender of the partner. Fiancé is the husband-to-be. Fiancée is the wife-to-be. 88% of you said “I do” to the correct answer.

5. The rack of shirts at the department store offered many choices, __________, long-sleeve, bold colors, plain, and with designs. 

Correct answer: e.g.

73% of quiz takers knew their Latin on this one. The abbreviation e.g. from the Latin exempli gratia means “for example.” The abbreviation i.e. from the Latin id est means “in other words.” 

6. The angry waiter __________ slammed the dish down after the customer complained a third time.

Correct answer: PURPOSEFULLY

Purposely means intentionally, or deliberately. Purposefully describes a purposeful way of doing something, or “in a decided fashion.” Points to the 34% who knew this one.

7. During Halloween, the farmers built a ____________ corn maze and advertised that it had 10 acres of terrain. 

Correct answer: TORTUOUS

Tortuous means twisting or highly complicated. Torturous comes from torture and describes “causing severe physical or mental pain.” 60% of you weren’t at all tortured choosing the correct answer here.

8. Once the sun came out, the snowmelt created a __________ stream of water down the gully.

Correct answer: CONTINUOUS

75% of quiz takers refused to get hung up on this common error. Something that is continuous occurs without interruption. Continual refers to something that lasts over a period, but with interruptions. In other words, repeated.

9. As part of the officer’s training, he had to __________ a bomb in less than a minute.

Correct answer: DEFUSE

Defuse literally means “ to take the fuse out of a bomb.” Diffuse means to scatter or spread over a large area. The difference in the words is nearly impossible to hear, but when writing, it’s important to choose your words carefully! 85% of you chose carefully, indeed.

10. The jealous ex-boyfriend vowed to __________ vengeance on the man who’d stolen his girlfriend. 

Correct answer: WREAK

Wreak means to bring about harm. Wreck is a more severe version of destruction meaning destroyed. Reek is to give off fumes. 92% of you didn’t wreck your quiz score on this one.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!
Click here to download Common Grammar Rules

Topics: quiz answers, quiz

Subscribe to Email Updates

Sign up for our emails!

Sign Up

Search Our Blog

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all