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Words That Sound alike but have different meanings: Homophones


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I used to love learning about this when I was growing up. These are words that sound exactly the same, but have completely different meanings. I thought I would give a few examples and that you all could give a few examples too. I'll start us off with these:

I, aye and eye

butt and but

bare and bear

Alright, now that we have a few of the easier ones out of the way, let's try for some harder ones!

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Homophones are really challenging when used in listening tests. It could prove difficult if you are asked to spell the word without being given some context clues.

Here are a few examples. Still easy examples, though.

stair - stare

sole - soul

waist - waste

piece - peace

cent - scent

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Cord and chord would be a good example of this. I myself had a bit of confusion when I was younger and only starting to learn about the different English words and meanings, and since we are a musical family I learned about chords earlier on but at the start I was thinking it  was called that because of the strings on instruments being called cords.

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Here's some of mine  :smile:

go - goal (not sure about this one, but I think it works!)

I can see why you'd think this since a lot of the time when a person watches an English sports game, the 'go' in the word 'goal' is stressed. However, goal is pronounced differently. The 'al' on the end makes an 'all' sound. So it's pronounced 'go' and then 'all'.

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Here are some simple ones:

bee - be

sea - see

tea - tee

Actually these may seem alike or confusing only when they stand alone. When they are used in sentences, the chances of being doubtful about which meaning is alluded to, is near zero.

For example, you are not likely to be confused by these sentences:

I want to be like a bee, busy all day.

When I look out to sea, I can see sails on the horizon.

Before the golfers tee off, they usually have tea in the club house first.

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Weather and whether. As in, "Can you whether the weather?". Now it is a bit of a tongue twister too. Feet and feat. As in, "It is a feat that he can find shoes big enough to fit his feet". Break and brake. Example: "The brakes are there to ensure you got no breaks". There are so many in the English language. I could post a novel here. Great topic.

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  • 1 month later...

A very common homonym error that is being used in sentences that I read online are the words LOSE and LOOSE. I really don't know how it became that popular. I'm thinking in my head. "Are people nowadays not smart enough to distinguish that LOSE means to be defeated and LOOSE means not tight?

Apart from that rant, some words that I can contribute are:

weary - wary

horse - hoarse

base - bass

write - right

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These are some of my favorites simply because I like how they sound, haha.

ascent - the climb

assent - to agree

canvas - rough cloth

canvass - to examine thoroughly

stationary - not moving

stationery - writing paper

I always have a problem with counsel and council though!

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  • 3 weeks later...

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