Confusing Vocabulary 3 | 10 P6 Word Pairs that Students Need to Know!

The P6s have not been forgotten! In this third blog post on ‘Confusing Vocabulary’, I will be sharing and explaining ten more pairs of words that students will find relevant to the PSLE.

Confusing Vocabulary 3 | 10 P6 Word Pairs that Students Need to Know!


Some of you might ask, how are the words for the P6 list selected? While there isn’t a fixed list, I would say that the words are selected based primarily on functionality. Do you realise that the passages found in Paper 2 sections such as Vocabulary Cloze, Grammar Cloze and Comprehension Cloze are based on science, geography and history topics? Such topics are selected to expose students to a variety of subject matters and text types that they will need to navigate in the real world and will see more frequently in secondary school English curriculum. As such, most of the word pairs I have chosen for the P6 list often appear in these types of passages.

Also, the word pairs that are listed below are high-frequency words that have appeared in many P6 English exam papers. They often appear as synonyms in the Vocabulary Cloze section. The words in each pair have subtle differences between them, depending on the context in which they appear. Hence, do take note of the different ways in which they are used.

Aggravate vs. Deteriorate

Aggravate vs. Deteriorate. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Alleviate vs. Ameliorate

Alleviate vs. Ameliorate. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Arduous vs. Gruelling

Arduous vs. Gruelling. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Belligerent vs. Aggressive

Belligerent vs. Aggressive. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Modest vs. Humble

Modest vs. Humble. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Apprehensive vs. Doubtful

Apprehensive vs. Doubtful. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Appalled vs. Aghast

Appalled vs. Aghast. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Dwindle vs. Diminish

Dwindle vs. Diminish. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Intermittently vs. Sporadically

Intermittently vs. Sporadically. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Vulnerable vs. Susceptible

Vulnerable vs. Susceptible. Confusing Vocabulary 3

Just like the other two lists, I hope that students will see how a good understanding of these word pairs will help them be more confident in attempting the Vocabulary MCQ, Vocabulary Cloze and Comprehension Cloze sections of Paper 2.

Wish to revise vocabulary in an interactive manner? Use the tool below to do so and you can even transform spelling into interesting activities! Happy revision!


Well, this concludes the first P6 Word List blog. If there are any words that you’ll like me to explain, do drop us a note in the comments below. Let’s walk this path to PSLE together!


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