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Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different meanings. Sometimes the spelling is different, and sometimes it's the same. In speaking, you can only tell what a person means by the context of their sentence


Compliment = Praising someone/something

Complement = Goes well with

Flower = A fragrant, pretty plant

Flour = Baking ingredient

Vein = Blood vessels in the body

Vain = Only cares about appearances

Weak = Frail, delicate

Week = Time period of 7 days

Can anyone think of any more?

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Yes, homophones are fascinating, but can be frustrating when learning the language.  Here are a few I thought of. 

peace = the absence of war

piece = a part or portion of something larger

fisher = someone who fishes, or catches fish

fissure  = a long, narrow opening

carrot = a vegetable

carat = a unit for weighing precious stones and gems

wry  = dry humor, sarcastic, mocking, ironic

rye  = a grain

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In the country where I was born, British English was and still is the standard and the basis of our vernacular speech. I grew up listening to English accents and regarding them as normal while an American accent would be very strange and sound like something out of a Hollywood movie.

In most parts of the UK which are non-rhotic, meaning they do not pronounce the "r" at the ends of syllables, so "pawn" and "porn" are pronounced in the exact same way.

There is a popular American reality TV series called "Pawnstars". The UK spin-off trailers had the cast say lines like "I'm a pawnstar" which when pronounced in a London accent, sounds just like "I'm a pornstar"!

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Too = an excessive amount (You have too many toys)

Too = also (Its too cold in Winter)

Two  = The Number 2

(I have two cats)

To = MANY meanings. Here are some examples

1.  Direction between or towards something (I am going to the store)

2.  Part of a verb infinitive ("to be", "to go")

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  • 2 weeks later...

Aloud, Allowed

Aloud mean to say something verbally. To say something "out loud" rather than thinking it

"Oops. Did I say that aloud?"

Allowed means something is permitted.

"Seeing-eye dogs are allowed on the bus."

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One that causes a lot of anger in online discussions is the incorrect use of any of these homophones:

  • They're, short for "They are". Example: "They are coming to see us" / "They're coming to see us"
  • Their, meaning 'from them'. Example: "Their cat is very furry"
  • There, often referring to a place. Example: "They live over there"
    Or used with the verb 'to be'. Example: "There is something about Mary"

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Kernel: The body of a seed within its husk

Colonel: Military rank

Sleigh: A sled

Slay: To murder

Collar: Anything worn or placed around the neck

Caller: One who calls

Lyre: Ancient Greek musical instrument

Liar: One who lies

Raze: To tear down or demolish

Raise: To elevate or bring to higher position

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Mary = a woman's name; the mother of Jesus

marry = to wed someone, become husband and wife

merry = happy, joyous (mood)

Interestingly, though, these are only homophones to some speakers of English (as they are for me-- I'm from the southwestern United States, not sure to what extent it's dialectal).  Any speakers of other English dialects beg to differ about them being homophones?

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Thanks the the "they're/there/their" one, Daedalus. I was going to post that, as its a pet peeve of mine!

Wander vs Wonder (this one annoys me too, because my mom always gets it wrong)

Not exactly the same, but pronounced close enough that it counts:

Both are verbs. 

To "Wander" means to walk about aimlessly"

"All who wander are not lost"

"To Wonder" means to "ponder or question"

"I wonder why the sky is blue?"

Both in a sentence together

"I wandered about the field, wondering how long the warm weather would last"

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I think Homophones are funny words because they can cause someone to stumble while writing. I use to make mistakes with homophones, with time and experience I learned that consciously I have to be aware of these common words that sound the same but spell differently!

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Praise: The expression of approval, commendation

Preys: To seize and devour as an animal does

Hokes: Alters or manipulates to superficially improve quality

Hoax: Something intended to deceive or defraud

Tier: A layer or level

Tear: Drop of liquid secreted by the eye

Whirled: Rotated rapidly

World: The earth, the globe

Descent: The act of moving to a lower position

Dissent: To differ in opinion

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