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At first sight, these words seem to be jumbled, misspelled, or belong to the part of speech that you can easily guess without looking them up in the dictionary. Actually, they are words that may cheat you and lead you to mistakes once you are too confident to consult your dictionary...

Felt (n)
This is a homograph that resembles the past form and past participle form of the verb "feel". It denotes a type of soft and thick cloth from wool or hair.

Timely (a)
Not all words ending in "-ly" are adverbs, and "timely" is one of those words. It is in the same group with adjectives like "lovely", "costly", "manly", etc. It refers to something that happens at the right time or at the time people expect it to come.

Damages (n)
You may think this is the plural form of the noun "damage". It is. Still, that is just half of the truth. When taking the plural form, "damage" does not mean "physical harm to something", but it is an amount of money decided by the court as a compensation for harm or injuries.

Learned (a)
This word breaks the rules of pronouncing "-ed" in English as it is read as a two-syllable one: /'l3:nId/. It is an adjective that refers to someone with a rich knowledge. On the outside, it shows no difference with the past form of the verb "learn", doesn't it?

Svelte (a)
Starting with "s" and "v", this appears to be a jumbled word as one may not find many entries in an English dictionary with "sv-" at the beginning. Strange though it may look, this word has it own meaning: attractively thin and graceful.

Bespoke (a)
With "spoke" as part of it, this word can create a fallacy that it has some connection with "speak". However, this is a British word for "custom-made", and without checking its meaning in a dictionary, one may misunderstand it when trying to make a guess.
Uniform (a)
When "uniform" takes it role as a noun, it means a set of special and identical clothes typically for people in a company, an organization, or for students at schools. Looking further into its entry in a dictionary, one will discover that it is also an adjective to describe something wholly invariable.

These are just a humble group of many tricky words in English that can cause troubles to learners of English. Certainly, we cannot look up words at anytime or any places, and guessing is considered as a skill in language learning. Yet this calls our attention to the fact that the meanings of words sometimes cannot be guessed correctly by just a quick glance at their forms.

Theresa T.

Keywords: dich thuat