Troublesome Word Pairs

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Grade Level
Elementary School
Length of Time
45 minutes to 1 hour

This lesson is on troublesome word pairs. Students have trouble understanding different word pairs such as their/there. This lesson will help students learn to distinguish between the words in each word pair. You also need to give worksheets to help increase their learning skills.


Students will learn to:
know the difference between the words in the troublesome word pairs
identify the words in sentences
write their own sentences using the correct word from the word pairs

Materials Needed

Here is a study sheet for you to use in teaching troublesome word pairs.

Troublesome Word Pairs

Word pairs can be confusing. Once you learn the difference between these word pairs, you will improve your grammar skills.

Here are some of the troublesome word

pairs: affect/effect; there/their;

two/to/too; its/it\'s; here/hear;

who/whom; accept/except;

desert/dessert; lay/lie; lose/loose;

set/sit, etc.


Affect - The word affect is used as a verb, which means to influence or to change.

Example: The weather affected our trip.

Effect - The word effect is used as a noun, which means a result.

Example: Studying our vocabulary words will have an effect on our writing.


There - There is similar to the word here. By thinking of the word here, you can remember which word to use. There means to place something somewhere

Example: Put the book over there. You could also say: Put the book over here.

Their - The word their is similar to the word heir. It shows possession.

Example: This is their book. You can remember the word their by thinking of the word heir.

Example: When his mother passed away, he was an heir. He inherited the house.


Two - Two means the number two.

Example: I have $2.00 (Two dollars) left until payday.

To - To is used as a preposition.

Example: We will go to the store.

Too - Too means also. We will go, too.

We will go, also.


Its - The word "Its" shows possession.

Example: The cat licked its paws.

It\'s - The word "It\'s" stands for the two words it is.

Example: It\'s time for me to concentrate on my writing.


Here - This word means a direction.

Example: Put the book here. Think of the word there (here).

Hear - This word means to listen with your ears.

Example: Can you hear me calling you? Think of the word ear (hear). Ear is the word in hear.


Who - Who is used as a subject?

Example: Who is coming today?

Whom - Whom is used as an object.

Example: Whom did he give the book to?


Accept - Accept is used when you are being given something and you take it.

Example: Will you accept this check?

Except - Except means everything but one or more things.

Example: I know my vocabulary words except for this one.


Desert - This word means a place.

Example: It is very hot in the desert.

Dessert - Dessert means something good to eat after a meal.

Example: This dessert was very good.

One way to remember these two words is to think of the two s\'s.

Dessert has two s\'s. You would want two desserts and only one desert.


Students have trouble with troublesome word pairs such as there/their. For this lesson, you will need to explain the difference between the words in each pair. In the materials section, I gave you some examples that would help explain the definitions of some word pairs.

After you explain the word pairs, then you need to give them worksheets to see if they understood your explanation. The worksheets will determine what areas students still don\'t understand so that you can explain those areas again.


100 to 90 = A

89 to 80 = B

79 to 70 = C

69 to 60 = D

Below 60 = F

You can grade the students on the total number correct out of the total number of problems. You can also keep a progress report on what areas each students has mastered and what areas they need to work on.

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