There are some words that are similar in sound or in meaning that people have a tendency to mix up (famous writers and myself included!) So, I thought I would make a short post of a few pairs of words I often catch myself confusing, so that others can begin to notice if they are making the same mistakes.
Advice is the noun used to describe an opinion meant to help another person.
ex. "Even though I didn't want her advice, my mother kept giving it."
Advise is a verb, which describes the action of giving advice or counsel.
ex. "I wanted to advise her, but I didn't feel it was appropriate given our previous encounter."
Conscience is the feeling we get when we think we know what is right or what is wrong.
ex. "My conscience tells me that I shouldn't lie."
Conscious, on the other hand, is being awake and being aware.
ex. "Her family was overjoyed to see her conscious after being in a coma for over three days."
Compliment can be a noun or a verb, and it represents the expression of praise or admiration.
ex. "He complimented my outfit."
Complement means that something completes the whole, or makes up a whole.
ex. "Roast beef is a perfect complement to the rest of the meal."
Disinterested is an adjective that represents something as unbiased or impartial.
ex. As a disinterested party, she didn't bother to share her opinion.
Uninterested means, more directly, not interested. Not simply not caring, but not interested.
ex. "Jerry was uninterested in taking Pete's offer."
Discreet means that something is modest or prudent, so you might use it to describe a behavior needed when keeping things secret.
ex. "Please be discreet; we don't want her to find out about the surprise party!"
Discrete, on the other hand, means that something is separate or distinct.
ex. "When running a business, it is necessary to keep discrete accounts for both personal and business matters."