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Business Communications, Types of
The primary tools for communicating information in business include e-mail messages, memos, letters, reports, phone calls, meetings, and conversations. To determine which is the best to use in a given situation, start by asking yourself the following questions:
 
·       How much information do I have to pass along?
·       How many people will receive the message?
·       How quickly does it need to reach them?
·       How much time do the recipients need to respond to it?
·       How formal should the presentation be?
·       Is the message confidential?
·       How are people likely to respond to it?
 
 
E-mail Messages
Because of its speed and informality, e-mail is ideal for routine communication between coworkers. For instance, an e-mail message is usually the best means of announcing a new policy, introducing a recent hire, informing colleagues of a meeting time, and reminding an employee of an approaching deadline.
 
E-mail messages are also useful for day-to-day or extremely timely exchanges with people outside the company. Because of their low cost, they often are preferred for communicating with overseas contacts.
 
Memos
Although e-mail messages are now used instead of memos for most intercompany communication, memos are still suitable for notes sent to people higher in the company hierarchy, especially in conservative companies.
 
The memo is also appropriate for lengthy, formal communications to coworkers that may eventually be circulated to your supervisors or to contacts in other companies.
 
Letters
The letter is now used primarily for formal correspondence with clients, customers, and others outside the company, particularly people you have not met.
 
Imagine, for instance, that you need to ask for advice or information from someone you do not know personally. The person will likely give a letter more attention than an e-mail message because a letter conveys an added element of formality and courtesy.
 
Reports
A complex document of more than ten pages, especially one that will be shown to outside contacts, is best presented as a report. A routine report can be easily produced using a word processor and a laser printer. Important reports for potential clients, stockholders, or others you might want to impress usually should be professionally designed and printed, often in full color on heavy or glossy paper.
 
Phone Calls, Conversations, and Meetings
The main advantage of a phone conversation is that it allows both parties to respond to each other immediately. If you and a coworker have several questions for each other, asking them in a single phone call is usually less time-consuming than exchanging a long series of e-mail messages.
 
Personal matters or topics that might elicit a highly emotional response are best discussed in person. As common sense will tell you, sending an e-mail or memo reading “You’re fired!” is not the most delicate or responsible way of dealing with a difficult situation.
 
Face-to-face meetings are usually the safest way of communicating confidential information. Meetings are also useful when a quick group decision is needed on a particular problem or issue. Important side benefits of meetings are that they allow employees in different departments or divisions to become acquainted and can often foster a sense of shared mission among coworkers
 
Business Letters
Despite the growing popularity of e-mail, much of the communication between businesses still depends on the letter. Letters are usually written to people outside a company—such as customers, clients, and suppliers—and very often take the place of a face-to-face meeting.
 
Particularly when writing to an outside contact you have never met, you should strive to make your letters as thoughtfully phrased, well structured, and attractively formatted as possible. A hastily drafted e-mail message or memo may embarrass you among your colleagues, but a poorly written letter can result in lost business for your company.
 
Parts of a Letter
A business letter comprises the following elements, presented in the order listed:
 
1.      return address (optional)
2.      date
3.      recipient’s address
4.      salutation
5.      body (or text)
6.      complimentary close
7.      signature
8.      typist’s initials (optional)
9.      enclosures (optional)
10.     carbon copies (optional)
 
 
For information on the appropriate content and styling of these elements, see Business Letters, Addresses and Dates in; Business Letters, Salutations in; and Business Letters, Closings of.
 
For a discussion of the two basic formats used for business correspondence, see Business Letters, Formatting of.
 
Structuring a Letter
Most letters can be divided into three parts:
 
·       an introduction, which communicates your purpose in writing the letter
·       supporting information, which offers background on the topic of the letter, the reasons for a decision you have reached or recommendation you want to make, or the justification for a request you have of the reader
·       a conclusion, which restates your central point and, if necessary, reminds the reader of any action you want that person to take
 
 
A short letter may require only one supporting paragraph or even none at all. A long letter may include several introductory and concluding paragraphs and perhaps many pages of supporting material. If a letter is more than two pages long, consider organizing the supporting paragraphs under headings to make specific information easier to find.
 
The first paragraph of a letter is the most important because it encourages the reader either to read on or to set the letter aside. If you are writing the letter in response to a meeting, phone call, or another letter, mention this and include the date of the earlier conversation or correspondence. Similarly, if the recipient does not know you or is unfamiliar with the situation your letter discusses, identify yourself or summarize the circumstances moving you to write as early as possible in the letter.
 
Striking the Right Tone
An underlying goal of most business letters you write is to promote goodwill between you and your reader. Especially when writing to someone for the first time, you should use a tone that will encourage that person to listen to you and want to work with you now and in the future.
 
If your letter is primarily informational or contains good news, a direct approach is usually best. State your point or offer your news immediately and briefly, and then explain any other information the reader needs to know.
 
Finding the proper tone is more difficult if you are delivering bad news. In this case, taking an indirect approach may be a better strategy. In the first few sentences, for example, you could begin on a positive note by stating how much you want to work with the reader’s company or by reminding the reader of times you accommodated his or her requests in the past. When you do get to your point, try to minimize the reader’s disappointment or anger by delivering the message in carefully considered language that conveys your news clearly but tactfully.  
Business Letters, Addresses and Dates in
 
Above the salutation in a business letter, you should include (1) the return mailing address, (2) the date the letter is sent, and (3) the mailing address of the recipient. If you are using letterhead stationery printed with your complete mailing address, the return address should be omitted.
 
In the block letter format, all three elements are aligned with the left margin. In the traditional letter format, the recipient’s address is left-aligned, but the return address and date are indented to the middle of the page. See Business Letters, Formatting of, for more information.
 
Return Address
On non-letterhead stationery, begin your letter by typing on separate lines
 
1.      your company’s name
2.      the company’s street address
3.      the city, state, and ZIP code
 
 
Tailspin Toys
876 Maple Drive
Franklin Park, IL 60131-0443
 
In the street address, spell out words such as street, drive, and boulevard. Do not abbreviate cardinal directions unless they follow the street name.
 
26 North Hampshire Street
But: 26 North Hampshire Street NW
 
The state name may be spelled out or abbreviated using the U.S. Postal Service’s two-character codes.
 
If available, use the complete nine-digit ZIP code, placing a hyphen between the fifth and sixth digits.
 
Date
Place the date below the return address or, if you are using letterhead, at the top of your letter. You may write the date using either a month-day-year or day-month-year sequence (see Dates), but always spell out the name of the month.
 
Incorrect: 3/31/99
Correct: March 31, 1999
Or: 31 March 1999
 
Recipient’s Address
Below the date, insert the recipient’s address. There should be at least one line space between them, although using three line spaces is usually preferred if the letter is short.
 
Include the following items in the address, each on a separate line:
 
1.      the recipient’s full name preceded by a courtesy title
2.      the recipient’s title
3.      the company name (spelled and styled exactly as it appears in the company’s own publications)
4.      the company’s street address
5.      the city, state, and ZIP code
 
 
Mr. Henry Thomason
Personnel Manager
Lucerne Publishing
1002 Market Avenue
Kodiak, AK 99615-0037
 
If the recipient’s title is short, you may list it on the same line as the name, using a comma to separate them.
 
Mr. Henry Thomason, Manager
 
If you do not know the recipient and cannot tell from the name alone whether the person is a man or a woman, omit the courtesy title.
 
Chris Thomason, Manager
 
 
Business Letters, Closings of
Every business letter should end with a complimentary close and a signature with the sender’s name and title typed beneath. If needed, the typist’s initials, a list of enclosures, or the names of people who have received copies of the letter may also appear below the signature.
 
Complimentary Close
Two line spaces below the final paragraph of a business letter, you should insert a polite closing statement, known as a complimentary close. Only the first word in the close should be capitalized, and a comma should follow the final word.
 
Sincerely yours,
 
In business correspondence, standards such as “Sincerely,” “Yours truly,” and “Best wishes” are usually the most appropriate. Avoid complimentary closes that are overly flowery (e.g., “Your humble servant,” “Wishing you the very, very best”) or informal (e.g., “Bye now,” “’Til next time”).
 
Depending on the letter format you use, the close should either be aligned on the left margin or indented to the middle of the page (see Business Letters, Formatting of).
 
Signature
Sign your name in ink below the complimentary close, and type your name and title on separate lines below your signature.
 
Christine Evans
Director of Sales
 
If the name of your department or division is not on your letterhead, you may insert it below your title.
 
Mitchell Holmes
Editorial Assistant
Textbook Division
 
Also consider adding your telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address if these are not printed on your stationery. Be sure to label clearly whether a number is for a telephone or fax line. For consistency’s sake, also place a label before your e-mail address when it appears with a telephone or fax number.
 
Hamilton Boyce
Production Manager
Phone: 901-555-6734
Fax: 901-555-6723
E-mail: hboyce@msn.com
 
For more information, see Telephone and Fax Numbers.
 
Typist’s Initials
If someone else types your letter for you, the typist’s initials should appear two line spaces below your typed name and title (or, if listed, below your telephone number, fax number, and/or e-mail address). The initials should be set in lowercase letters with no periods between them.
 
jlk
 
If one person writes a letter and another  types it, the writer’s initials, set in all capitals, should be inserted before the typist’s initials. Place a colon or slash between them.
 
NB:jlk
NB/jlk
 
If one person writes a letter, another types it, and a third person signs it, the signer’s initials, set in all capitals, should be inserted before the writer’s initials, also set in all capitals.  The typist’s initials should follow the first two.  Place a colon or slash between them.
 
FMR:NB:jlk
FMR/NB/jlk
 
Enclosures
If any materials are to be sent along with the letter, insert the word Enclosures or the abbreviation Enc. or Encl. two line spaces below the typist’s initials. To keep a record of what was sent, you can insert a colon after the word or abbreviation and either note the number of items enclosed or list a description of each.
 
Enclosures: 3
 
Encl.:  Job application
                “Working at Parnell Aerospace” (brochure)
 
Carbon Copies
If you send copies of a letter to anyone other than the person to whom it is addressed, insert the abbreviation cc. (for “carbon copy”) two line spaces below the enclosures line. Follow cc. with a colon and the names of everyone who received a copy. Use the same form for all of the names listed.
 
Incorrect:
cc:  Mr. Bennett
Josie Morris
Tom
 
Correct:
cc: Harold Bennett
Josie Morris
Thomas Peterson
 
If more than one person receives a copy, list their names either according to their rank in your company or in alphabetical order.
Business Letters, Formatting of
The elements of a business letter are usually arranged in one of two formats: full block style or modified block style.
 
In full block style, all parts of the letter are aligned along the left margin (see Alignment). In modified block style, the return address, date, complimentary close, and signature are indented to approximately the middle of the page. Everything else is left-aligned.
 
In business today, full block style is far more common—both because it is easier to type a letter in this format and because it gives a document a neat, clean look. Letters in modified block style have a more casual appearance. This style is often preferred for relatively informal business letters and personal correspondence.
 
For more information and samples of each letter format, see Full Block Letter Format and Modified Block Letter Format
 
Margins
One of the simplest ways of making a letter inviting to a reader is to set generous margins. Each margin should be at least one inch wide, but using one-and-a-half inch margins can make a letter both easier to read and more visually appealing.
 
If your letter is less than half a page long, your top margin should be even larger. As a general rule, begin the letter far enough down on the page that the signature falls below the page’s center point.
 
You may also need to add extra space to the top margin to accommodate an oversized logo on letterhead stationery. At minimum, you should always leave two line spaces between a logo and the beginning of your letter.
 
Line Spacing
A letter in either format should be single-spaced, with an additional line space inserted between paragraphs in the letter’s body.
 
One line space should also be placed between most of the components of a letter. Three line spaces are usually used to separate the return address from the date and the complimentary close from the name typed below the signature.
 
Indenting Paragraphs
If you are formatting a letter in the modified block style, you may indent the first line of each paragraph (see Indentation). You should not indent paragraphs, however, if you choose the full block format.
 
Alignment
Most often, the body of a letter is aligned along the left margin only. For a more formal look, however, you can align it on the right margin as well—a style of alignment known as justification (see Alignment).
 
For the sake of appearance and readability, justified text often needs to be hyphenated to eliminate inconsistent word spacing. See Word Spacing for more information.
 
Letters of More than One Page
If a letter runs longer than one page, at the top of all pages after the first add a heading that lists the following:
 
·       the recipient’s courtesy title and full name
·       the page number preceded by the word Page
·       the date of the letter
 
 
Either center this material on one line with a uniform amount of space between each element
 
Mr. Thomas Tattinger   Page 4   December 13, 1997
 
or arrange the information on three separate lines, all aligned along the left margin.
 
Mr. Thomas Tattinger
Page 4
December 13, 1997
 
Use letterhead stationery for only the first page of a letter. For all subsequent pages, use blank bond paper of the same color and weight as the letterhead.
 
See also Line Spacing; Margins
Business Letters, Salutations in
A letter’s salutation is a brief greeting that appears before the body of a letter. In business correspondence, the salutation should begin with the word Dear, followed by a courtesy title and the recipient’s last name. It may end in either a colon or a comma, although a colon is the most common choice for business letters.
 
Dear Ms. Richards:
 
If you do not know the gender of the recipient, omit the courtesy title and replace it with the person’s first name.
 
Dear Leslie Richards:
 
For a relatively informal letter, you may use just the first name, but only if you know the recipient well.
 
Dear Leslie:
 
If you do not know the name of the person to whom you are writing, never use the salutation “Dear Gentlemen,” which is dated as well as sexist. Only slightly better is “To Whom it May Concern.” Because of its impersonal nature, this greeting if off-putting to many people.
 
Instead, when at all possible, try to find the name you need by consulting a phone directory or calling the person’s company. If you still cannot locate the name, consider using the person’s title in the salutation.
 
Dear Vice President of Financing:
 
  
Can, May, Might
In speech and informal writing, the words can and may are often used interchangeably. In formal writing, however, you should use can to indicate the capacity to do something and may to express permission or possibility.
 
I can play the piano. [means “I am able to play the piano.”]
I may play the piano. [means “I am allowed to play the piano” or “I will possibly play the piano.”]
 
Use may, not can, when making a request.
 
Incorrect: Can I borrow $20.
Correct: May I borrow $20.
 
Might is the past tense of may. Be sure to use it instead of may to express an action that occurred in the past.
 
Incorrect: If they had seen the red light, they may have stopped.
Correct: If they had seen the red light, they might have stopped.
 
See also Sequence of Tenses
Clauses and Phrases
A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb. A phrase is a group of words that work as a unit but do not include a subject-verb combination.
 
Inside her office, Maria sighed.
Clause: Maria sighed
Phrase: inside her office
 
Clauses are categorized as either independent or dependent. An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence, while a dependent clause cannot.
 
After Erika told the joke, Henry laughed.
Independent clause: Henry laughed.
Dependent clause: After Erika told the joke
 
A sentence may include a single independent clause; two or more independent clauses; or at least one independent clause and at least one dependent clause (see Sentences, Types of).
 
One independent clause: Betty went home.
Two independent clauses: Betty went home, and Lars arrived.
One independent clause and one dependent clause: Betty went home when Lars arrived.
 
When an independent and a dependent clause appear in the same sentence, the independent clause communicates the sentence’s main idea. The dependent clause functions as an adjective, an adverb, or a noun.
 
As an adjective: Terry enjoyed the movie, which starred her favorite actor.
As an adverb: Terry watched the movie because it starred her favorite actor.
As a noun: Terry enjoyed that the movie starred her favorite actor.
 
 
Frequently Confused Words
 
The word pairs listed below are often confused, either because their pronunciations are similar or because there is only a shade of difference in their meanings. (For more examples of sound-alike words that frequently cause confusion, see Homonyms.)
 
accelerate, exhilarate
accelerate: to move faster
exhilarate: to invigorate
 
accept, except
accept: to receive
except: to exclude
 
adapt, adopt
adapt: to change in response to a situation or circumstance
adopt: to take on or make something one’s own
 
adhere, cohere
adhere: to stick to or by something
cohere: to stick two or more things together
 
adverse, averse
adverse: antagonistic
averse: disinclined
 
advice, advise
advice: an opinion about how to deal with a problem or situation
advise: to offer such an opinion
 
affect, effect
affect: to have an influence on; an emotion, sensation, or feeling
effect: to bring about; a result, outcome, or consequence
 
aggravate, irritate
aggravate: to make worse
irritate: to annoy
 
allusion, delusion, illusion
allusion: an indirect reference
delusion: a false belief
illusion: a misperception of reality
 
amoral, immoral
amoral: neither moral nor immoral
immoral: not moral
 
anxious, eager
anxious: worried
eager: impatiently expectant
 
arbitrate, mediate
arbitrate: to make a judgment in a dispute
mediate: to settle a dispute by helping the parties reach a decision
 
ascribe, subscribe
ascribe: to credit to a specific cause
subscribe: to endorse or approve something
 
assume, presume
assume: to take for granted without any evidence
presume: to take for granted without evidence to the contrary
 
assure, ensure, insure
assure: to remove doubt (used with reference to a person or animal)
ensure: to make certain
insure: to make certain, or to guarantee against risk
 
avocation, vocation
avocation: a hobby
vocation: a profession or calling
 
avoid, evade
avoid: to stay clear of
evade: to elude
 
beside, besides
beside: next to
besides: in addition
 
biannual, biennial
biannual: twice a year
biennial: every two years
 
blatant, flagrant
blatant: conspicuously offensive
flagrant: extremely offensive or reprehensible
 
burglary, robbery
burglary: breaking into a building with the intent to steal
robbery: taking property from a person by threat or force
 
childish, childlike
childish: immature
childlike: innocent
 
compose, comprise
compose: to constitute
comprise: to be composed of
 
continual, continuous
continual: recurring frequently
continuous: continuing without interruption
 
credible, credulous
credible: capable of being believed
credulous: capable of believing
 
definite, definitive
definite: clearly defined
definitive: authoritative
 
denote, connote
denote: to indicate
connote: to suggest
 
discover, invent
discover: to find something that already exists
invent: to create something new
 
disinterested, uninterested
disinterested: neither interested nor not interested
uninterested: not interested
 
distrust, mistrust
distrust: to have a lack of confidence
mistrust: to regard with suspicion
 
effective, efficient
effective: producing or having a desired effect
efficient: working properly and in an economic manner
 
emigrate, immigrate, migrate
emigrate: to leave a place
immigrate: to go to a place
migrate: to move from one place to another
 
eminent, imminent
eminent: prominent
imminent: impending
 
evoke, invoke
evoke: to call to mind
invoke: to call on for assistance
 
explicit, implicit
explicit: directly stated or indicated
implicit: implied
 
feasible, possible
feasible: capable of happening
possible: capable of happening under the right conditions
 
flammable, inflammable
flammable: capable of burning
inflammable: capable of burning
 
flaunt, flout
flaunt: to exhibit ostentatiously
flout: to scorn
 
flounder, founder
flounder: to move clumsily
founder: to fail or collapse
 
fortuitous, fortunate
fortuitous: happening by chance
fortunate: lucky
 
gender, sex
gender: femaleness or maleness in a social context
sex: femaleness or maleness in a biological context
 
hung, hanged
hung: suspended
hanged: executed by hanging
 
healthy, healthful
healthy: having good health
healthful: conducive to good health
 
historic, historical
historic: having an influence on history
historical: relating to past events or the study of history
 
illegible, unreadable
illegible: indecipherable
unreadable: not able to be read for any reason
 
imply, infer
imply: to suggest
infer: to surmise
 
in behalf of, on behalf of
in behalf of: for the benefit of
on behalf of: on the part of
 
incredible, incredulous
incredible: unbelievable
incredulous: unbelieving
 
ingenious, ingenuous
ingenious: inventive
ingenuous: naively candid
 
learn, teach
learn: to gain knowledge
teach: to pass on knowledge to another person
 
libel, slander
libel: a false, malicious statement in writing
slander: a false, malicious statement in speech
 
moral, morale
moral: virtuous
morale: frame of mind
 
nauseated, nauseous
nauseated: afflicted with nausea
nauseous: causing nausea
 
obligate, oblige
obligate: to bind
oblige: to make indebted
 
occasional, periodic
occasional: occurring from time to time
periodic: occurring at regular intervals
 
oral, verbal
oral: relating to speech
verbal: relating to words
 
persistent, insistent
persistent: unwilling to give up
insistent: unyielding
 
prescribe, proscribe
prescribe: to establish a rule
proscribe: to prohibit
 
query, inquiry
query: a question
inquiry: an investigation
 
quote, quotation
quote: to repeat another’s words
quotation: quoted words
 
rare, scarce
rare: uncommon
scarce: in short supply
 
rebut, refute
rebut: to argue against
refute: to disprove
 
regrettably, regretfully
regrettably: deserving of regret
regretfully: with regret
 
rend, render
rend: to tear into pieces
render: to give or make available
 
repel, repulse
repel: to inspire disgust or aversion in
repulse: to drive back or away
 
seasonable, seasonal
seasonable: appropriate to a season
seasonal: occurring during a season
 
sensual, sensuous
sensual: relating to physical (especially sexual) pleasure
sensuous: relating to sensory experience
 
stamp, stomp
stamp: to trample, put one's foot down forcibly
stomp: to trample
 
venal, venial
venal: corruptible
venial: easily forgiven
 
wreak, wreck
wreak: to cause
wreck: to destroy
 
 
Frequently Confused Words
 
The word pairs listed below are often confused, either because their pronunciations are similar or because there is only a shade of difference in their meanings. (For more examples of sound-alike words that frequently cause confusion, see Homonyms.)
 
accelerate, exhilarate
accelerate: to move faster
exhilarate: to invigorate
 
accept, except
accept: to receive
except: to exclude
 
adapt, adopt
adapt: to change in response to a situation or circumstance
adopt: to take on or make something one’s own
 
adhere, cohere
adhere: to stick to or by something
cohere: to stick two or more things together
 
adverse, averse
adverse: antagonistic
averse: disinclined
 
advice, advise
advice: an opinion about how to deal with a problem or situation
advise: to offer such an opinion
 
affect, effect
affect: to have an influence on; an emotion, sensation, or feeling
effect: to bring about; a result, outcome, or consequence
 
aggravate, irritate
aggravate: to make worse
irritate: to annoy
 
allusion, delusion, illusion
allusion: an indirect reference
delusion: a false belief
illusion: a misperception of reality
 
amoral, immoral
amoral: neither moral nor immoral
immoral: not moral
 
anxious, eager
anxious: worried
eager: impatiently expectant
 
arbitrate, mediate
arbitrate: to make a judgment in a dispute
mediate: to settle a dispute by helping the parties reach a decision
 
ascribe, subscribe
ascribe: to credit to a specific cause
subscribe: to endorse or approve something
 
assume, presume
assume: to take for granted without any evidence
presume: to take for granted without evidence to the contrary
 
assure, ensure, insure
assure: to remove doubt (used with reference to a person or animal)
ensure: to make certain
insure: to make certain, or to guarantee against risk
 
avocation, vocation
avocation: a hobby
vocation: a profession or calling
 
avoid, evade
avoid: to stay clear of
evade: to elude
 
beside, besides
beside: next to
besides: in addition
 
biannual, biennial
biannual: twice a year
biennial: every two years
 
blatant, flagrant
blatant: conspicuously offensive
flagrant: extremely offensive or reprehensible
 
burglary, robbery
burglary: breaking into a building with the intent to steal
robbery: taking property from a person by threat or force
 
childish, childlike
childish: immature
childlike: innocent
 
compose, comprise
compose: to constitute
comprise: to be composed of
 
continual, continuous
continual: recurring frequently
continuous: continuing without interruption
 
credible, credulous
credible: capable of being believed
credulous: capable of believing
 
definite, definitive
definite: clearly defined
definitive: authoritative
 
denote, connote
denote: to indicate
connote: to suggest
 
discover, invent
discover: to find something that already exists
invent: to create something new
 
disinterested, uninterested
disinterested: neither interested nor not interested
uninterested: not interested
 
distrust, mistrust
distrust: to have a lack of confidence
mistrust: to regard with suspicion
 
effective, efficient
effective: producing or having a desired effect
efficient: working properly and in an economic manner
 
emigrate, immigrate, migrate
emigrate: to leave a place
immigrate: to go to a place
migrate: to move from one place to another
 
eminent, imminent
eminent: prominent
imminent: impending
 
evoke, invoke
evoke: to call to mind
invoke: to call on for assistance
 
explicit, implicit
explicit: directly stated or indicated
implicit: implied
 
feasible, possible
feasible: capable of happening
possible: capable of happening under the right conditions
 
flammable, inflammable
flammable: capable of burning
inflammable: capable of burning
 
flaunt, flout
flaunt: to exhibit ostentatiously
flout: to scorn
 
flounder, founder
flounder: to move clumsily
founder: to fail or collapse
 
fortuitous, fortunate
fortuitous: happening by chance
fortunate: lucky
 
gender, sex
gender: femaleness or maleness in a social context
sex: femaleness or maleness in a biological context
 
hung, hanged
hung: suspended
hanged: executed by hanging
 
healthy, healthful
healthy: having good health
healthful: conducive to good health
 
historic, historical
historic: having an influence on history
historical: relating to past events or the study of history
 
illegible, unreadable
illegible: indecipherable
unreadable: not able to be read for any reason
 
imply, infer
imply: to suggest
infer: to surmise
 
in behalf of, on behalf of
in behalf of: for the benefit of
on behalf of: on the part of
 
incredible, incredulous
incredible: unbelievable
incredulous: unbelieving
 
ingenious, ingenuous
ingenious: inventive
ingenuous: naively candid
 
learn, teach
learn: to gain knowledge
teach: to pass on knowledge to another person
 
libel, slander
libel: a false, malicious statement in writing
slander: a false, malicious statement in speech
 
moral, morale
moral: virtuous
morale: frame of mind
 
nauseated, nauseous
nauseated: afflicted with nausea
nauseous: causing nausea
 
obligate, oblige
obligate: to bind
oblige: to make indebted
 
occasional, periodic
occasional: occurring from time to time
periodic: occurring at regular intervals
 
oral, verbal
oral: relating to speech
verbal: relating to words
 
persistent, insistent
persistent: unwilling to give up
insistent: unyielding
 
prescribe, proscribe
prescribe: to establish a rule
proscribe: to prohibit
 
query, inquiry
query: a question
inquiry: an investigation
 
quote, quotation
quote: to repeat another’s words
quotation: quoted words
 
rare, scarce
rare: uncommon
scarce: in short supply
 
rebut, refute
rebut: to argue against
refute: to disprove
 
regrettably, regretfully
regrettably: deserving of regret
regretfully: with regret
 
rend, render
rend: to tear into pieces
render: to give or make available
 
repel, repulse
repel: to inspire disgust or aversion in
repulse: to drive back or away
 
seasonable, seasonal
seasonable: appropriate to a season
seasonal: occurring during a season
 
sensual, sensuous
sensual: relating to physical (especially sexual) pleasure
sensuous: relating to sensory experience
 
stamp, stomp
stamp: to trample, put one's foot down forcibly
stomp: to trample
 
venal, venial
venal: corruptible
venial: easily forgiven
 
wreak, wreck
wreak: to cause
wreck: to destroy
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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