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Confident vs confidant/confidante

  • Confident and confidant/confidante are words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. Confusables is a catch-all term for words that are often confused in usage. Two words or more than two words may be confused because they are similar in spelling, similar in pronunciation, or similar in meaning. These commonly confused words may be pronounced the same way or pronounced differently or may be spelled the same way or spelled differently, or may have different meanings or have almost different meanings; they may be homophones, homonyms, heteronyms, words that have a similar spelling, or words that have a similar meaning. Confusables often confound native speakers of English, and they may be difficult for ESL students and those learning English to understand. Confusables are misspelled, misused words and may be nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, or any other part of speech. Spelling rules in English are not dependable; there are many exceptions. Often, the best procedure for learning commonly misused words and commonly confused words in English is to make word lists of English words for the learner to study. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell and learn the definitions of words. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a confusable in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Confusables are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables confident and confidante/confidante, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.



     

    Confident means self-assured or certain. Confident is an adjective; the adverb form is confidently, the noun form is confidence. The word confident is derived from the Latin word, confidentem, which means bold, self-reliant.

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    Confidant/confidante are nouns that mean a person with whom you share a secret or a private matter. Strictly speaking, confidant is used when discussing a male, and confidante is used when discussing a female; however, the terms are increasingly used interchangeably. The words confidant/confidante are derived from the French word, confident, which means a trusted friend.

    Examples

    ‘Plastic is all around us’: Can Southern Utahns be confident their plastic is actually getting recycled? (The St. George News)

    Kolkata: Confident of the BJP coming to power in West Bengal next year, Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday ruled out the imposition of Article 356 (President’s Rule) in the state, a key demand by many BJP leaders, ahead of next year’s Assembly elections. (The Deccan Chronicle)

    One day after the influential, celebrity-loved Hillsong Church announced the termination of Lentz due to “moral failures,” Justin Bieber’s one-time spiritual confidant addressed his departure in a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday. (People Magazine)

    Giving her name as Miss Fayth, the confidante said that McKenzie had often vowed that he would slay his practical nurse partner, Suianne Easy, citing infidelity grievances. (The Jamaica Gleaner)


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