Please note the differences:
HOMOPHONES are words that sound the same but have different meanings.
wait (the verb) and weight (how heavy something is)
they’re (they are) and their (belonging to them) and there (adverb of place)
HOMONYMS are a kind of homophone, words that are written and said the same way but have different meanings.
Examples of HOMONYMS are:
- book – something we read and . . .
- book – to schedule something.
- Spring – the season and . . .
- spring – to jump up.
- club – somewhere to dance and . . .
- club – large, heavy object that people get hit with.
HOMOGRAPHS are words that are written the same way, but pronounced differently.
Examples of HOMOGRAPHS include:
- to wind a clock but blowing wind.
- rose, the flower and rose, past tense of the verb to rise.
- book – something we read and book – to schedule something
Included here are sets of commonly used and sometimes confused sets of HOMOPHONES. To help you improve spelling skills, for each word listed, I have included the most common meanings focusing on:
- part of speech (sometimes)
- a very brief definition
- a sentence to strengthen your understanding of the homophone word/s.
Please note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!
- Its means belonging to it: The cat chased its tail.
- It’s means it is: It’s very hot in Florida in August!
- Passed is the past tense of to proceed without pause: I passed the old school on the way to my grandmother’s house.
- Past means no longer current or over: Dinosaurs roamed the earth in the past.
- Quiet means an absence of noise: The students were all quiet.
- Quite means entirely or completely: That is not quite the right thing to do.
- Quit means to stop, especially a job: He quit after three months.
- Forbear is to refrain, abstain, desist: Tad could not forbear a smile.
- Forebear is an ancestor: A generation of my forebears have lived here.
- Freeze is to turn to ice: The water will freeze over night.
- Frieze is a decoration along a wall: It was the best frieze ever.
- Grisly is gruesome, revolting: We were shocked by the grisly crimes.
- Grizzly is a type of bear: The grizzly bear was angry.
- Hoard is a store, a collection: Pearl came back to rescue her little hoard of gold.
- Horde is a large crowd of people: There was a horde of rugby fans.
- Imply is to suggest indirectly: Do you imply passing by or not?
- Infer is to draw a conclusion: From the data provided, we can infer that all is not well.
- Loath is being reluctant, unwilling: I was loath to leave.
- Loathe is to hate, intense dislike: She loathed him on sight.
- Militate is to be a powerful factor against: These arguments will militate against us coming together.
- Mitigate is to make less severe, serious: The drainage schemes have helped to mitigate this problem.
- Pour is to flow or cause to flow: The water poured off the roof.
- Pore is a tiny opening, a hole; to study something closely
- Practice is the use of an idea or method; the work or business of a doctor, dentist, etc.
- Practise is to do something repeatedly to gain skill; to do something regularly
- Prescribe is to authorize use of medicine; to order authoritatively: Her doctor prescribed sleeping tablets.
- Proscribe is to officially forbid something: Strikes remain proscribed in the armed forces.
- Principal is the most important; the head of a school: The principal ideas were there for all to talk about.
- Principle is a fundamental rule or belief: The basic principles of justice are important for us all.
- Stationary means unmoving: The bus was stationary.
- Stationery refers to writing materials, eg: papers, pens, eraser, etc: We went to the stationery shop.
ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the HOMOPHONES mistakes.
Good luck in all your endeavours.