The English language. It’s confusing, you know? There’s something about all the synonyms, antonyms, homographs, and homonyms. It can befuddle the most literate minds. So here are a few homonyms I frequently come across that are used in the wrong sense by diligent writers.

While it may seem like a small thing, getting these words right can make your writing look more professional and intelligent.

Accept: to take or agree to something
Except: to exclude or leave out; also other than

Amused: if you’re having a good time, you’re amused
Bemused: if you’re befuddled or confused, you’re bemused

Complement: to complete, to round out, or to bring to perfection; to make whole
Compliment: to praise or admire

Compose: to make up, to form the substance of something
Comprise: to include or contain

Disinterested: impartial or neutral
Uninterested: bored or lacking interest

Ensure: to make certain of something
Insure: to insure commercially, as in insurance

Farther: referring to physical distance
Further: to a greater extent or degree; referring to abstract ideas

Imply: to suggest
Infer: to conclude or take a suggestion

Loath: adjective describing someone who’s unwilling or reluctant
Loathe: verb describing hate

Nauseated: to be made sick by something
Nauseous: something sickening

Principal: a leading figure
Principle: a rule or standard

Stationary: fixed or still
Stationery: paper

Than: comparing or contrasting things
Then: if one thing follows or results from another thing

*With special thanks to Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English and The Chicago Manual of Style for providing the definitions.