Words at Play : Top 10 Commonly Confused Words, Vol. 2

#9: Persecute/Prosecute

Question:

Does the manager persecute or prosecute the employees?

Answer:

persecute

How to remember it:

To prosecute someone you need a legal process, something most managers don't have.

To persecute is to harass people or treat them unfairly or cruelly.

Not surprisingly, given these words' similar meanings and spellings, persecute and prosecute share an ancestor: they both come from a Latin word meaning "to pursue."

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