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Cel, Cell, and Sell

Commonly Confused Words


Cel, Cell, and Sell

The noun cel (short for celluloid) means a transparent sheet on which figures are drawn in the making of animated cartoons.

The noun cell means a small room or enclosed space. In biology, cell refers to the basic structural unit of all organisms. The noun cell may also refer to a cellular (or mobile) phone.

The verb sell means to exchange something for money, to promote or persuade, or to trick or betray.


  • In early character animation, artists drew outlines of figures on the front side of a cel, while color fills were applied to the back.

  • Until the age of 16, Kaspar Hauser lived alone in a small, dark cell.

  • Each cell in the body is made up of several specialized parts.

  • My aunt needs to sell her house as soon as possible.

  • After coming up with an idea for a new product, you need to find ways to sell that idea to a company.


(a) The Barrows had to _____ all the animals on their ranch.

(b) Peter was photographed, fingerprinted, and then led to a _____ filled with hardened criminals.

(c) Little Joe tried to _____ me a story about monsters in the basement, even though both of us knew it wasn't true.

Answers to Practice Exercises

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

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