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Getting to Know Homonyms

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If you're still learning the ropes of speaking English, then homonyms/homophones might be a source of confusion. For instance, I don't know whether it's deliberate or not but people tend to mix up "their" and "there." The former connotes plural ownership while the latter points out a location.

Common homonyms to watch out for (be careful not to interchange them when typing):

  • to, too and two
  • fair and fare
  • poor and pour
  • your and you're

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It definitely is a source of confusion especially for people who learn the language by ear including native speakers. Since native speakers learn the language as a child by listening to their environment and not really reading it, it's so easy to misspell them when you write them down (same reasoning for would of/would have). Obviously, there is negligence in learning the language itself. Somehow unrelated but sometimes I get confused by closely sounding names but are not necessarily homonyms. For example, instead of typing later I type letter :laugh:

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If you're still learning the ropes of speaking English, then homonyms/homophones might be a source of confusion. For instance, I don't know whether it's deliberate or not but people tend to mix up "their" and "there." The former connotes plural ownership while the latter points out a location.

Common homonyms to watch out for (be careful not to interchange them when typing):

  • to, too and two
  • fair and fare
  • poor and pour
  • your and you're

Thank you for sharing information homonyms. 

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On 10/11/2015 19:35:03, foolsgold said:

It definitely is a source of confusion especially for people who learn the language by ear including native speakers. Since native speakers learn the language as a child by listening to their environment and not really reading it, it's so easy to misspell them when you write them down (same reasoning for would of/would have). Obviously, there is negligence in learning the language itself. Somehow unrelated but sometimes I get confused by closely sounding names but are not necessarily homonyms. For example, instead of typing later I type letter :laugh:

That is true. If you're not a native English speaker, it's easy to confuse homophones/homonyms or words with similar sounds. Word to the wise: when in doubt, get a dictionary or thesaurus and double check the meaning of the word you intend to use before putting it in a sentence or paragraph.

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Its and it's is another homonym to watch out for.  The former is a possessive pronoun, while the latter is a contraction of it is.  Oftentimes, when people transcribe the spoken words, they pay attention to the speaker while focusing less on the grammar, but those who don't frequently use English as a second language will have greater difficulty transcribing the words than those who frequently speak English.  It's all a matter of checking and re-checking the transcribed message over and over, proofreading the text until the mistakes are reduced, if not eliminated.

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On 11/24/2015, 11:33:05, xTinx said:

That is true. If you're not a native English speaker, it's easy to confuse homophones/homonyms or words with similar sounds. Word to the wise: when in doubt, get a dictionary or thesaurus and double check the meaning of the word you intend to use before putting it in a sentence or paragraph.

Browsing twitter will tell you that even native English speakers have trouble with homophones/homonyms. They are so confusing that I always have to stop and think and even consult google sometimes when I'm writing.

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Lots of people actually get homophones wrong. A few more of the common ones that can be confusing: than - then, affect - effect, accept - except, bare - bear . . . and complement - compliment.

Embarrassing thing is I once used thanks for the complement instead of thanks for the compliment in a work-related email and boy, did I feel dumb when I realized that I'd made a mistake (just after I'd hit send).

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I think some like their, there, or they're are really hard.  You just have to remember that to go there you have to start here.  If you can replace they are in that spot, then use they're.  And it's possessive use their.  With bear, bare, pear, pare, and pair remember that the nouns have ear in the word, verbs have are in it, and the odd one has air in it.

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