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Generally Confused Words

The words steal and steel are homophones: they sound alike however have totally different meanings.

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The verb steal means to take someone else’s property with out proper or permission. Steal also means to come back or go secretly, with out being seen.

As both a noun and an adjective, steel refers to a tough alloy of iron and carbon. Used figuratively, steel means arduous, sturdy, and tough. As a verb, steel means to strengthen.


– “The number one rule of thieves is that nothing is just too small to steal.”
(Jimmy Breslin)

– “He was too shiftless to go out and look for an additional job; he didn’t have the initiative to steal, and after she had informed him three or 4 times to do a thing, he did it; however he by no means told her a couple of sick cow till it was too late soffe cheerleading to name the veterinarian, and if her barn had caught on fireplace he would have referred to as his spouse to see the flames before he started to place them out.”
(Flannery O’Connor, “Greenleaf.” The Kenyon Assessment, 1957)

– “As I lay on my mattress for hours, watching darkness steal into the room, I let my ideas wander uninterrupted: the days ahead, places I had traveled, folks I had recognized.”
(Susan Allen Toth, Leaning Into the Wind: A Memoir of Midwest Weather. College of Minnesota Press, 2003)
– Blues singer Brownie McGhee performed with a steel decide on a steel guitar.

– “His hair fell down in black curls, and my head was lined with black steel wool.”
(May Angelou, I know Why the Caged Fowl Sings. Random House, 1969)

– “Curling his arms into fists, Luca tried to steel himself for a struggle, but already he knew it was pointless. Rifle or not, Stang was an enormous of a man and Luca wouldn’t stand an opportunity in a fistfight.”
(Patrick Woodhead, Beneath the Ice. Random House, 2015)

Idiom Alerts

– The expression steal away means to move quietly and secretly.
“The prime minister of Bayern, the kingdom on the opposite side of the mountains, had been visiting at the time, and all cautious-eyed parties were so busy entertaining street-weary dignitaries that Ani had been able to steal away to the stables a number of times to carry to go a childhood want.”
(Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl. Bloomsbury, 2003)

– The expressions steal the present and steal the highlight both mean to be the focal point at an event.
“People in Hollywood all the time stated, ‘By no means act with kids or animals. They’re unimaginable to work with, and then they appear so cute onscreen that they steal the show.'”
(Arnold Schwarzenegger, Whole Recall. Simon & Schuster, 2012)


(a) “The gym was hung with orange and black crepe paper in honor of Halloween, and the pennants of all the competing faculties were fastened to the partitions, and a twelve-piece band pumped away blissfully on the year’s sad tunes–‘Heartaches,’ ‘Close to You,’ ‘That is My Want.’ An amazing cloud of balloons gathered in the _____ girders was launched. There was pink punch, and a local lady sang.”
(John Updike, “Flight.” The Early Tales: 1953-1975. Alfred A. Knopf, 2003)

(b) “She appreciated to drag her fingers alongside the chain-link fences we passed, and to cease at Maverick Market to buy Eating regimen Cokes and _____ candy bars. I waited exterior, worrying she’d get caught.”
(Bret Anthony Johnston, “Soldier of Fortune.” Glimmer Prepare, Winter 2011)

Solutions to Practice Workout routines

Glossary of Utilization: Index of Generally Confused Words

200 Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs

Solutions to Practice Workout routines: Steal and Steel

(a) “The gym was hung with orange and black crepe paper in honor of Halloween, and the pennants of all of the competing schools had been fastened to the partitions, and a twelve-piece band pumped away blissfully on the 12 months’s sad tunes–‘Heartaches,’ ‘Near You,’ ‘That is My Want.’ A great cloud of balloons gathered in the steel girders was released. There was pink punch, and a local girl sang.”
(John Updike, “Flight.” The Early Tales: 1953-1975.

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