In English, there are a bunch of words that people totally mix up—some sound kinda alike and look similar, while others basically mean the same thing but you should use them in different situations. Today, we’ll go over 5 pairs in which it’s easy to get mixed up. 

To chill vs to rest 

Chill means enjoying yourself and relaxing, usually with good vibes. When you’re chilling, you’re doing something’ fun to take a break from your daily routine, enjoy the moment, and just unwind.

I like to chill with my buddies on the weekends.

Rest is when you give your body or mind a break to recharge. It’s like refueling after a long day or hard work. 

After busting my butt at work, I like to rest and relax at home.

To pick, to choose vs to select 

Pick means grabbing something, maybe from a bunch of choices, using your hands or fingers. 

I’ll pick an apple from that basket.

Choose is also about picking, but it’s like making a decision. You do it on purpose, thinking it through. 

I’ll choose the blue dress for the party.

Select is fancier, more formal, like carefully choosing based on certain rules. 

The judges will select the winner of the competition.

To seek, to search vs to look for 

Seek is like actively hunting for something, like putting’ in some effort and not giving’ up. 

He decided to seek advice from a professional.

Look for is just searching around, trying to find something. 

I’m lookin’ for my keys, can’t find ’em anywhere.

Search is when you’re seriously looking high and low, usually more organized than just looking. 

The police are searching for the missing child.

To tell, say, talk vs speak

Tell and can are interchangeable in most cases. Tell is for when you’re talkin’ straight at someone so it follows an object in a sentence. The verb say can be used in direct and indirect speech.

She told me to head home. 

She said (to me) that it’s time to hit the road.

Speak is used for physical abilities and one-way communication, and also for more serious or formal situations.

I need to speak to you after class.

Talk is used about a general topic. It cannot be used to report specific indirect speech. And this verb usually refers to two or more people exchanging or sharing information.

We talked about my big project.

To see, look vs watch 

See means spotting, noticing or becoming aware of (someone or something) by using your eyes.

Turn the light on so I can see.

Watch means to look at (someone or something) for an amount of time and pay attention to what is happening

He spent the entire afternoon watching a cricket match.

Look is pointing your gazers in a direction, sorta aiming them. 

Look, a shooting star!

Advice vs to advise

Advice is a noun. It’s what you get when someone tells you what to do. 

She gave me good advice on how to prepare for the interview.

Advise is a verb. It’is giving that advice, like telling someone what they should do. 

I would advise you to take a break and relax.

Drop a line in the comments if other words trip you up. We’ll sort them out together!