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Similar Sounding Confused Words: Conscience, Conscientious and Conscious

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The three words Conscience, Conscientious and Conscious are neither pronounced in the same manner, nor do they have the same meaning. Yet, they are three of the most confused word in everyday English!

1. Conscience is a noun.
Meanings: the word conscience basically does not refer to anything concrete, but generally means to have a sense of right and wrong. It also refers to one's scruples or principles.

2. Conscientious is an adjective.
Meanings: careful; thorough; meticulous, painstaking; diligent; reliable.
Antonym: careless

3. Conscious is an adjective which has multiple meanings.
(i) aware; mindful. Antonym: unaware
(ii) awake; wide awake; alert. Antonym: unconscious
(iii) deliberate; intentional; on purpose. Antonym: unintentional.

See the examples below and you will surely know the correct application of the words Conscience, Conscientious and Conscious in your text & words!

Sample Usage

Examples of Conscience
1. After Jacob cheated his friend, he had a troubled conscience for the rest of the day.

2. During the moral science class the Professor told his students, “You should never indulge in any deed which will prickle your conscience."

3. When your conscience alerts you to a wrongdoing, you should help prevent it.

Examples of Conscientious
1. The ISC Editor was very conscientious about her work, and would ensure that articles were posted in the correct category before final approval.

2. The Inspector did not make a haphazard search of the house, but did it conscientiously and was rewarded for his efforts with a vital clue to the murder.

3. The accountant received a quick promotion due to the conscientious manner in which he kept the audit books.

Examples of Conscious
(i) The actress was very conscious of the camera focusing on her during the reality TV show.

(ii) After nearly one hour, Madhav opened his eyes, much to the relief of his parents who were glad to see him conscious and well.

(iii) He made a conscious effort to do the project well.

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