Easily Confused Words: Carat vs. Carrot

Carat and Carrot are homophones and easily confused words. The spell-check of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up among these three words. As long as it’s a word and it is spelled correctly, spell-check keeps on scanning the document.

Carat is a noun. It describes the quality and purity of gold. In gold jewelry, there’s usually a inscription saying “14k” or “24k”, and this is the karat number; internationally, carat is spelled and abbreviated with a “K”. Cut diamonds and gemstones also have carats, which describes their size. An example of a diamond size chart can be found here.

Carrot is a noun. It means a root vegetable, high in beta-carotene and orange in color (but it can be a deep red-purple). Carrots have a slender, semi-conical shape. A carrot’s chutes and leaves grow above ground. When a carrot is consumed, its remaining top can be used to grow a new carrot. Carrots are a favorite food of rabbits and horses.

The following sentence uses both words correctly:

Childebrand wondered how many bushels of carrots he’d have to sell to afford a 2-carat ring for his beloved Joveta.


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