Home > The Editor's Corner > Editor’s Corner Grammar Quiz 2: Commonly Confused Words

Most Commonly Misused Words - Can You Find Them?

After our numerous Editor’s Corner articles on commonly confused words, do you have what it takes to spot the mistakes below? Give it a try and see how much you’ve learned!



1.    As the rain continued to pour outside, Professor Higgins sat at his desk, poring over the  students’ tests.

2.    Walking further down the road, she thought farther about her past.

3.    The Capital Building is located in our nation’s capitol.

4.    It’s difficult to look at a platypus and understand its origins.

5.    She peaked through the window, where the pique of the mountain was  just visible, peaking her  interest in geology.



1.    No correction here!

Explanation: To pour means to flow. To pore over something means to study it.

2.    Walking farther down the road, she thought further about her past.

Explanation: Farther indicates a literal distance, while further denotes depth of  conversation or contemplation (e.g., to delve further into something).

3.    The Capitol Building is located in our nation’s capital.

Explanation: Capitol refers to a building in which a governing body meets. Capital refers to a city or town that is a seat of government.

4.    Again, no correction!

Explanation: It’s is a contraction meaning “it is.” Its is a possessive pronoun.

5.    Correction: She peeked through the window, where the peak of the mountain was just visible, piquing her interest in geology.

Explanation: To peek is to look; a peak is the top of a mountain; and to pique means to excite curiosity.

Other examples:

·       You set a book on a table, then sit down in the chair.

·       You passed a stop sign yesterday—a mistake that is now in the past.

·       You advise a friend when he asks for advice.

·       When bullies taunt, it makes for taut nerves.