Easily Confused Words: Scents, Since, Cents, Sense

Homophones are fun, aren’t they?

Kathleen W Curry

Scents, since, cents, and sense are easily confused words. Spell-check in word processing software doesn’t catch these if each one is a word and it’s spelled correctly. A keen editor has to detect these situations and realize if the right word was used in a given situation.

Since is a conjunction that typically leads a dependent clause, as in: “Since Alyssa did not do her chores, she is not getting her allowance this week.”  or as Kelly Clarkson sings, “Since you’ve been gone, I can breathe for the first time.” When you hear “since” there’s more information anticipated by the listener or reader, and more information should be coming from the writer. Otherwise, that’s a fragment.

Sense is a noun meaning intellect, or a sensory ability, like the five senses–seeing, touching, feeling, smelling, or hearing.

Cents is the plural form of the noun “cent.” In the U.S., most coins, (i.e., pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters)…

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