Spelling Confusing Words

Have you ever wondered if you should write apart or a part? How about anyone or any one? English contains so many confusing words. Often students wonder if they should use one word or two. These activities provide practice with six sets of confusing word pairs using Google Apps.

FREE Ideas & Activities for Teaching Confusing Word Pairs from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

Begin by having students type the definitions for each of the twelve words. Next, have students type an example sentence using the words. These Google Slides include charts for completing this assignment. The answer key may be used as a completed example for students to follow or for students who were absent during instruction.

Get the handout for this post here. This link takes you to the Google Slides practice slides. On one slide you will find the links to the Google Forms practice exercises.



FREE Ideas & Activities for Teaching Confusing Words from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

Two versions of the quizzes are provided. Students can complete the practice using Google Slides. If you prefer, the same quizzes are provided through Google Forms. These self-grading quizzes provide immediate feedback for the students. Six ten-question quizzes are included so that practice may be divided into small mini-lessons.

  1.  Apart vs A Part 
  2. Everyone vs Every One
  3. Altogether vs All Together
  4. Anyone vs. Any One
  5. Someday or Some Day
  6. Maybe vs. May be


If you want to check these Google Forms out later, you can get the links in the pdf handout.



One Word or Two

Apart vs. A Part

apart – adverb meaning separated by distance or besides paired with from

We are living apart from one another.

a part – noun phrase meaning a piece of something – paired with of

I want a part of your pizza.

Everyone vs Every One

everyone – all the people in a group – substitute “everybody”

Is everyone going to the carnival?

every one – each individual – substitute “each”

Every one of the flowers is blooming.

Altogether vs All Together

altogether – completely, totally

This work is altogether too difficult.

all together – an entire group – meaning “all here”

Our family will be all together this Christmas.

Anyone vs. Any One

anyone – pronoun meaning an unspecified person

Has anyone seen my glasses?

any one – noun used to emphasize singularity

Any one of the cars could be in an accident.

Someday vs. Some Day

someday – adverb meaning an action or event at a vague point in the future

I will buy a laptop someday.

some day – adjective and noun that refers to an unspecified 24-hour period or at some point in the future

Let’s go skiing some day next week.

Maybe vs May Be

maybe – adverb meaning perhaps or possibly

I’m having a party; maybe no one will come.

may be – verb phrase

We may be going to the fair tonight.

English is full of confusing words. These activities will help clear up six confusing word pairs.

English is full of confusing words. These activities will help clear up six confusing word pairs.

One Word or Two Tips

  1.  Adjectives coming before nouns are usually one word or hyphenated.
  2. Words that makeup verb phrases are usually two words.
  3. Words that are used as nouns may be one or two words. Look up words used as nouns in a dictionary.

One Word or Two Word List

Have your students enjoyed learning the differences in these confusing word pairs? Here’s a list to keep you busy for a while. 

always vs. all ways

anytime vs. any time

backup vs. back up

backyard vs. back yard

bedpost vs. bed post

breakdown vs. break down

checkout vs. check out

checkup vs. check up

childcare vs. child care

cleanup vs. clean up

everyday vs. every day

healthcare vs. health care

layout vs. lay out

leftover vs. left over

lifetime vs. life time

makeup vs. make up

oftentimes vs.  often times

overnight vs. over night

overtime vs. over time

pickup vs. pick up

setup vs. set up

something vs. some thing

sometimes vs.  some times

standalone vs. stand alone

underway vs. under way



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