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Pair, Pare, and Pear

Commonly Confused Words


The verb pare means to remove, reduce, or cut back. The noun pair means a couple. The noun pear refers to the fruit.


  • Universities are trying to pare their budgets as funds from donors and the state shrivel.

  • Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes.

  • Pear trees are more tolerant of the cold than apples.

(a) On cold days I wear an extra _____ of socks.

(b) When you travel, try to _____ down your belongings to the essentials.

(c) A fresh, ripe _____ is intensely sweet.

Answers to Practice Exercises

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

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