Opossum vs Possum

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Opossum

Meaning:

An opossum is a marsupial native to North and South America.

Examples:

1. The mother opossum carried her five baby opossums in her pouch.

2. The opossum was seen scavenging for food in the nearby dumpster.

3. The opossum feigned death as a defense mechanism against the approaching canine.

Possum

Meaning:

A possum is a marsupial native to North and South America.

Examples:

1. We often see a possum scurrying around in our backyard at night.

2. The possum in our neighborhood has become a bit of a nuisance.

3. My cat was so scared when it came face-to-face with the possum!

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Opossum

1. Possum

2. Marsupial

3. Little Philander

4. Brushtail

5. Sly Rascal

1. Cat

2. Prey

3. Predator

4. Pursue

5. Cooperate

Possum

1. Opossum

2. Marsupial

3. Little Philander

4. Brushtail

5. Sly Rascal

1. Cat

2. Prey

3. Predator

4. Pursue

5. Cooperate

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Opossum", "Possum".

1. Oppossum is mostly used in North America.

2. Possum is mostly used in Australia.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word 'Opossum' be used?

Opossum should be used when referring specifically to the various species of marsupials found in the Americas. This includes species such as the North American opossum and the Virginia opossum.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word 'Possum'?

Possum should be used when referring to various species of marsupials found in Australia, New Guinea, and Sulawesi. These include species such as the Australian brush-tailed possum and the common ringtail possum.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words are pronounced differently. Opossum is pronounced 'oh-PAH-sum' and Possum is pronounced 'PAH-sum'.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One of the most common mistakes is mixing up the pronunciations. People also may mistakenly use the wrong word when referring to a species of marsupial, as Opossum is specific to North and South American species and Possum is specific to Australian, New Guinea, and Sulawesi species. Additionally, some people may use the word Opossum when referring to all species of possums.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. In the forests of North America, you might come across an _______ scavenging for food.

2. While camping in Australia, we were surprised to see a _______ hanging from a tree.

3. I read an interesting article about the nocturnal habits of the _______.

4. When I visited Sydney, I was told not to leave food out because a _______ might come by.

5. My friend from Texas showed me a picture of an _______ that frequently visits her backyard.

6. Its fascinating how the _______ carries its young in a pouch, similar to kangaroos.

1. Answer: opossum

Explanation: The clue North America indicates that the marsupial being referred to is the North American opossum.

2. Answer: possum

Explanation: The reference to Australia is a clear hint that the word should be the Australian version, possum.

3. Answer: opossum/possum

Explanation: Theres no specific regional clue in this sentence, so both opossum and possum are acceptable.

4. Answer: possum

Explanation: The mention of Sydney, a city in Australia, indicates that the term should be possum.

5. Answer: opossum

Explanation: The mention of Texas, which is in the USA, suggests that the correct term is opossum.

6. Answer: opossum/possum

Explanation: Theres no specific regional clue given, so both opossum and possum would fit in the context of the sentence about marsupials carrying their young in pouches.

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