Here are the answers to the quiz we set on Friday. The correct sentences are in bold.
- economic / economical
a) I have a hybrid car. It’s very economical.
b) The economical situation in the UK has declined since Brexit.
Economic means connected to industry, trade and money. We use economical when we talk about something that does not use a lot of fuel, money or other resources.
So, sentence b) should be:
The economic situation in the UK has declined since Brexit.
- take over / overtake
a) We plan to take over one of our small European competitors.
b) I couldn’t take over the car in front because the road was very narrow.
Take over means to get control of something like a company. When you overtake something, you go past such as passing another car by driving faster.
So, we need to change sentence b) to:
I couldn’t overtake the car in front because the road was very narrow.
- special / specific
a) Can you go to the shops for me? This recipe requires a special type of cheese and I don’t have any.
b) This is a very special whisky. You can only buy it directly from the distillery.
Special is the opposite of ordinary or normal. We use specific when we are talking about one thing in particular.
Therefore, sentence a) should change to:
Can you go to the shops for me? This recipe requires a specific type of cheese and I don’t have any
- summarise / resume
a) Before I finish, I’d like to resume the main points of my presentation.
b) Let’s have some lunch. Don’t forget, lessons resume at two o’clock.
We use summarise when we briefly give the main points of a meeting or a presentation. Resume means to start an activity again after a pause.
So let’s change sentence a) to:
Before I finish, I’d like to summarise the main points of my presentation.
- profit / benefit
a) Last year we made a big benefit from selling our UK division.
b) The main benefit of moving our company headquarters to Ireland is the low corporation taxes.
Profit is the money a company has after it pays all its costs and taxes. Benefit is a general way of talking about a good or useful effect.
Therefore, we should change sentence a) to:
Last year we made a big profit from selling our UK division.
How many did you get right?
It is important to focus on those you didn’t get right. The best way to learn vocabulary is to think about when you can use the words and write some example sentences you could use in those situations.
Look out for the next Easily confused words quiz.