affect / effect / effort
A) In an __________ to avoid any bodily harm, Thomas quickly dove under his desk, and covered the back of his neck with his hands and arms.
B) Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation can have detrimental __________ on human skin.
C) In the United States, a high school student’s cumulative GPA greatly __________ his or her chances of being admitted to a reputable university.
all ready / already
A) When asked to make a public apology for his disrespectful comment, the president-elect refused to comply, claiming that he had __________ made amends for his mistake on multiple occasions.
B) __________ for “family fun day” at the beach, Renee pushed her husband and three children to get their stuff together and to be hasty about it.
brake / break
A) Stacey felt uneasy about leaving her car in the dark alley; She had it in her head that someone would __________ into her car and steal her valuables.
B) The mechanic estimated that it would take her one full workday—about 8 hours—to fix the recreational vehicle’s __________.
course / coarse
A) Lydia’s advisor explained to her that although the __________ would be difficult, it would also be extremely rewarding.
B) A shark’s skin is comparable to sand paper: it is __________ to the touch.
here / hear
A) Amber couldn’t believe what she was __________. She just couldn’t accept that her dad wasn’t coming home for the holiday.
B) “Where are you? When are you going to get __________?!” Erik yelled angrily into his phone.
whole / hole
A) Derek refused to look into the __________; he kept imagining a ghost or some hideous creature staring back at him from the other side of the wall.
B) Jennifer Lawrence performed flawlessly throughout the _________ film.
it’s / its
A) On the first day of school, the principal made it clear that “__________ never acceptable to bully or mistreat another student.”
B) Then, the dragon descended upon the battalion, setting most of __________ attackers ablaze.
their / there / they’re
A) It was eerily quiet; __________ wasn’t a creature or living soul in sight.
B) We’ve looked everywhere for them; __________ not on campus.
C) __________ noisy, heated argument developed into a physical altercation quickly.
knew / new
A) Adele’s __________ song pairs her phenomenal voice with a haunting beat; the song is sure to be a chart topper.
B) Jamie couldn’t tell his parents the truth. He __________ for a fact that they would be extremely disappointed in him and possibly even disown him.
passed / past
A) The __________ five years have been the best and worst of my life. I’ve hit rock bottom on several occasions, but I’ve also had some of the best experiences of my life in this city.
B) A stream __________ slowly through the valley year-round, providing a stable source of fresh water to the valley’s inhabitants.
plain / plane
A) Many people believe that meditation is an easy and efficient way to connect oneself with the spiritual __________.
B) Elaine is definitely a picky eater. At fast food restaurants, she almost always orders a __________ cheeseburger or two.
principal / principle
A) The nation’s __________ cities are cultural melting pots and hubs of international and economic activity.
B) In this dog-eat-dog, unsympathetic system, many people find themselves losing sight of their original __________.
then / than
A) First came a bizarre moaning noise from right outside of the front door; __________ came a scratching sound from around the kitchen window.
B) The last film in the series enjoyed considerably more financial success __________ its predecessors did.
threw / through
A) Before Liane could capture it, the mouse had run __________ a tiny hole in the wall.
B) Tom crumpled up the piece of paper and then __________ it in the direction of the recycling bin; unfortunately for Tom, he missed the bin by about a foot.
weather / whether
A) Talking about the __________ is risky: it could either liven up a conversation or completely kill it.
B) The headmistress was conflicted; she did not know __________ to support the rule or reject it.
who’s / whose
A) “__________ joining us for dinner tonight?” My mother asked cheerfully as we drove toward the grocery store.
B) To almost everyone’s surprise, Jane, __________ qualifications for the position were much more impressive than those of any of the other candidates, was not offered the job.
accept / except
A) Everyone __________ Tommy seemed distraught because of the election results. Some people had even called in sick.
B) The candidate could not __________ his rejection; he demanded to know why he had been rejected.
a lot / allot
A) Maureen is nervous about becoming a mother because her family and friends keep reminding her that __________ of hard work and responsibility comes along with having a child.
B) At the debate, each presidential candidate was __________ an equal amount of time to share the highlights of his or her plan for the country.
allusion / illusion
A) The district’s name is an __________ to the nation’s first president.
B) The magician’s __________ made it seem as though his assistant was actually standing on water.