Easily confused words – Quiz 2 – the answers

Here are the answers to the quiz we set on Friday. The correct sentences are in bold.

lastly / at last

a) At last, I’m going to talk about some of our plans for the new year.

b) You’re here at last! We’ve been waiting nearly an hour!

We say at last to show that we have been waiting for someone or something that is late. On the other hand, lastly means the final item in a list.

So, sentence a) should be:

Lastly, I’m going to talk about some of our plans for the new year.


large / important

a) This is an important step. If you get it wrong, the recipe won’t work properly.

b) I work for an important food company. We employ nearly 10,000 people.

If something is important, it is very necessary or has a high value. It does say anything about size. Large only means the size of something.

So, sentence b) should say:

I work for a large company.


actually / currently

a) I’m not actually an employee of the company. I’m a freelance contractor.

b) He usually plays for Manchester City but he’s actually on loan to Ipswich Town.

Currently talks about time. It means happening now. Actually is used to talk about something which is real or a fact.

We need to change sentence b) to:

He usually plays for Manchester City but he’s currently on loan to Ipswich Town.


assure / insure

a) In this part of the country, it’s important to assure your house against flooding.

b) I can assure you that your order will be delivered tomorrow.

When you insure something, you buy insurance to protect yourself from the financial risk of damage to your house or car. When you assure someone, you tell them that something is true or you make a promise.

That means sentence a) should be:

In this part of the country, it’s important to insure your house against flooding.


personal / personnel

a) It’s a personal problem. I don’t want to talk about it.

b) We have a big personal problem. It’s difficult to recruit skilled people in this region.

Personal is an adjective we use to show that something is yours, that it is private. On the other hand, personnel is a noun and means all the people who work for a company.

So, sentence b) needs to change to:

We have a big personnel problem.

Make sure you listen to the difference in pronunciation between personal and personnel.

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.

Watch our presentation about learning vocabulary.

Look out for the next Easily confused words quiz.


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