Some words are often confused by language learners – because they are similar to another word or because they look like a word in your own language but have a different meaning. Here are some words that often cause confusion.

sensible and sensitive

sensible means ‘practical’ or ‘having good judgement’
sensitive means ‘easily affected by the things people say or do
• Come on darling, be sensible and put a coat on. It’s freezing outside.
• Don’t be so sensitive - he didn’t say you were fat, it was just a joke.

Sympathetic and nervous

Usually we are sympathetic when someone has a problem or is in trouble.
我们通常对某人遇到麻烦或者有困难的时候表现的 sympathetic(同情的)。
• They were very sympathetic when our house was burgled but they couldn’t do much to help.
We don’t use it to mean ‘nice’ or ‘pleasant’
• My uncle is a very sympathetic man.
We are nervous in a particular situation, like an exam. We don’t generally use nervous to describe someone’s character.
• I’ve never been as nervous as the time I had to give a speech to 500 people.
• My sister is very nervous. She’s always shouting at me.

journey and travel

Journey is countable. Travel is uncountable and refers to the general idea of travelling.
• Did you have a good travel?
• Travel is something I recommend to all young people.
• The journey took about 8 hours.

recipe, receipt and prescription
recipe, receipt和prescription

A recipe is a set of instructions for cooking something.
A recipe是菜谱
A receipt is a piece of paper you are given after you pay for something.
A receipt是收据
A prescription is a piece of paper a doctor gives you to get the medicine you need.
A prescription是处方