CONFUSING WORDS / FALSE FRIENDS IN ENGLISH (PEOPLE)

STRANGER or FOREIGNER

A stranger is a person that you have never met before. Example: My mother always told me that I shouldn’t talk to strangers. A foreigner is a person who is not in their home country. Example: An Italian living in France is a foreigner. Pay ATTENTION to the pronunuciation of the word foreigner BrE /ˈfɒrənə(r)/

An acquaintance is person you don’t know very well. You might know their name and you might have spoken to them a couple of times. However, you do not know them well enough to consider them a friend.

EDITOR or PUBLISHER

An editor is a person who proofreads, edits and selects texts such as books and magazines.  Example:  The editor sent the magazine article back to the writer for revisions and changes.  The publisher is a person or company that publishes or issues the book in print.  Example:  Publishers such as Oxford, Cambridge and Macmillan all print editions of English Learner’s Dictionaries.

CONDUCTOR or DRIVER

The conductor is the person who is responsible for collecting or checking tickets on public transport.  Example:  The ticket conductor caught two teenage boys who were travelling without a ticket.  The driver is the person who drives the bus or train.  Example:  The bus driver asked all the students to fasten their seat belts.

PROTESTANT or PROTESTER

A protester is a person who publically opposes or fights against something. Example: On January 11, 2015 over 3.7 million protesters marched across France in support of free speech.

A PROTESTANT is a member of a Christian community other than the Roman Catholics (such as Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, etc.). Example: The Protestant movement began in the 16th century when rebel priest, Martin Luther opposed the teachings of the Catholic religion.

TENANT or LIEUTENANT

These two words are often confused by Italian students of English.  In English, Lieutenant is a rank or position in the military.  On the other hand a tenant is a person who rents or lets a house or apartment from a landlord.

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