For aupairs

Aupairfect blog

Confusing word families in English

There are a series of English words which are frequently confused by students.
This article aims to identify them and correct those mistakes.  

1. bring vs. take vs. carry vs. fetch

TO BRING (like "come") has the idea of movement towards the speaker.
TO TAKE (like "go") has the idea of movement away from the speaker.
TO CARRY has the idea of going somewhere with sth. in your arms or on your back, transporting it.
TO FETCH implies going somewhere, collecting sth./s.o. and bringing it/him/her back to the place you started from.

e.g. Bring the book here.
e.g. Take the cat there.
e.g. Two African girls were carrying food on their heads.
e.g. We should offer to fetch uncle Tony from the station.

2. critic vs. critique vs. review

A CRITIC is a person who writes about films, books, etc.
A CRITIQUE is a text which criticizes s.o. else's ideas or policies.
A REVIEW is an article (by a critic) which evaluates a book, film, etc.
e.g. The film critic wrote a damning review about the movie.
e.g. I have just read an excellent critique of Shakespeare.

3. kill vs. murder vs. assassinate

TO KILL is the general word for taking the life of a person or animal.
TO MURDER is to kill deliberately and unlawfully.
TO ASSASSINATE means to murder s.o. who is famous.

e.g. A body-guard was killed when the terrorists tried to assassinate the President.

4. wait vs. expect vs. hope

TO WAIT means to stay in a specific place until sth. happens.
TO EXPECT means to believe that sth. is going to occur.
TO HOPE means to want sth. to occur.

e.g. I'll wait for you here until eight o'clock.  
e.g. I expect my team will lose the match.
e.g. I hope my team will win.

5. fault vs. blame vs. accuse

However, we don't say "to have fault" but "to be to blame"
"To find fault" means "to criticise".

e.g. It's my fault and I only can blame myself for what happened.
e.g. Joe is to blame for the failure of the project  =
e.g. I blame Joe for the failure of the project  =
e.g. The failure of the project is Joe's fault  =  
e.g. I accuse Joe of causing the project's failure.