Easily Confused Words: Find vs. Fined

Find and fined are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Find has multiple forms.

  • As a verb, it means when a person locates or to discovers something he/she was looking for.
  • As a noun, it means the object that was discovered, or being sought out.
  • A similar word, findings, is a noun. It means information that was discovered in the process of research.

Fined  has multiple forms.

  • It is the past tense of the verb fine. To fine means to charge a fee for illegal or rule-breaking behavior. People are fined for late library books or using a metered parking space for too long for example.
  • It is an adjective describing something that’s been reduced in diameter or thickness.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Finola finds and blends pieces for her clients with finesse. She fined her sense of style at the New York Fashion Academy.


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