Commonly Confused Words: Amnesty vs. Amity vs. Enmity

Since our goal here at ProfessorWord is to make it easier for you to improve your vocabulary, we thought it would be fun to kick off a blog series on commonly confused words.

Here's a trio of words that may sound alike, but trust me, you don't want to mix them up in your SAT or ACT essay! Not unless you want your essay reader scratching his or her head in confusion.

Here are a few tricks to keep them straight:


Amity is how you feel towards your "ami" or "amigo" - which of course is French and Spanish respectively for friend. The words are derived from the same Latin word - amicus - which means friendly.

Enmity is the exact opposite - it's how you feel towards your enemy - which should be easy to remember since enemy and enmity sound so similar.

As for Amnesty, I like to think of Amnesty International - the organization that works to free wrongly imprisoned political prisoners whose human rights have been violated.

So in other words, granting amnesty is a great way to stop the enmity and promote amity.

Hope this helps!

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