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Homophones

Homophones and Homonyms

What Are Homophones?

Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings (ate and eight, for example).

Here is a list of the homophone-related resources you will find on this page:

 

 

 

 

The Homophone Machine

Type in any word, sentence, or paragraph and click the Convert button to see the homophones. If you need a suggestion, start with "I would like to show you my new horse." You'll probably get a good chuckle at the results of this Homophone Machine!

Tips for Teaching Homophones

Students often find homophones interesting and it can be fun teaching them! You may like to teach them as they come up in everyday spelling and reading, or you may prefer to teach them directly. The All About Homophones workbook provides 101 interesting worksheets covering sets of words taught in grades 1 through 8.

Here are some other ideas for teaching homophones:

  • When a spelling word has a homophone, point it out to your student and have him add it to his own personal list.
  • Take turns making up sentences that contain pairs of homophones—the sillier, the better. "The toad towed the car." "Wait here while I check the elephant's weight."
  • Concentrate on the most important pairs first. The ones needed most often in writing include ad/add, ant/aunt, ate/eight, be/bee, blew/blue, buy/by/bye, hear/here, hour/our, its/it's, know/no, one/won, their/there/they're, theirs/there's, to/too/two, who's/whose, and your/you're.
  • Point out a pair of homophones, such as rose/rows, and ask a question such as "Which word means a flower?"
  • Find two pictures that represent the homophones. Ask the student to match a picture with the WRONG word, instead of the right word. After the student has correctly matched each picture with the wrong word, ask him to match it with the correct one. Pictures add fun to the whole activity.

Short, interesting sessions teach more than long, boring ones, so make them memorable!

List of Homophones

Pair of bears - or pear of bares? Here are more homophone pairs than you can shake a stick at – just ask this pear of bares!

It's quite likely that you will find some pairs on this list that are not homophones in your region. For example, boy and bouy are pronounced differently in some dialects, while they are pronounced the same in others.

In order to make this list as useful as possible, words that are archaic, slang, naughty, or extremely uncommon have not been included.

 

acts/ax

ad/add

ads/adds/adz

aid/aide

ail/ale

air/heir/err

aisle/isle/I'll

all/awl

all ready/already

all together/altogether

allowed/aloud

alter/altar

ant/aunt

arc/ark

assent/ascent

assistance/assistants

ate/eight

aural/oral

away/aweigh

aye/eye

bail/bale

bait/bate

ball/bawl

band/banned

bard/barred

bare/bear

baron/barren

base/bass

bases/basis

bazaar/bizarre

be/bee

beach/beech

beat/beet

beau/bow

bell/belle

berry/bury

billed/build

berth/birth

bite/byte

blew/blue

bloc/block

boar/bore

board/bored

boarder/border

bode/bowed

bolder/boulder

born/borne

bough/bow

bouillon/bullion

boy/buoy

bread/bred

brake/break

brewed/brood

brews/bruise

bridle/bridal

broach/brooch

browse/brows

but/butt

buy/by/bye

cache/cash

callous/callus

cannon/canon

canvas/canvass

capital/capitol

carat/carrot/caret/karat

carol/carrel

cast/caste

cede/seed

ceiling/sealing

cell/sell

cellar/seller

censor/sensor

cent/scent/sent

cents/scents/sense

cereal/serial

cession/session

chance/chants

chased/chaste

cheap/cheep

chews/choose

chic/sheik

chilly/chili

choral/coral

choir/quire

chute/shoot

chord/cord

cite/sight/site

clause/claws

click/clique

close/clothes/cloze

coal/cole

coarse/course

colonel/kernel

complement/compliment

coo/coup

coop/coupe

core/corps

correspondence/correspondents

council/counsel

creak/creek

crews/cruise

cruel/crewel

cue/queue

currant/current

curser/cursor

cymbal/symbol

dam/damn

days/daze

dear/deer

defused/diffused

desert (abandon)/dessert

dew/do/due

die/dye

disburse/disperse

discreet/discrete

doe/dough/do (musical note)

done/dun

draft/draught

dual/duel

earn/urn

ewe/you/yew

eye/I

faint/feint

fair/fare

faun/fawn

faze/phase

feat/feet

find/fined

fir/fur

flair/flare

flea/flee

flew/flu/flue

flour/flower

flocks/phlox

for/four/fore

foreword/forward

fort/forte

forth/fourth

foul/fowl

friar/fryer

gait/gate

gene/jean

gild/guild

gilt/guilt

gnu/knew/new

gored/gourd

gorilla/guerilla

grate/great

grease/Greece

groan/grown

guessed/guest

hail/hale

hair/hare

hall/haul

halve/have

hangar/hanger

hay/hey

heal/heel/he'll

hear/here

heard/herd

heed/he'd

hertz/hurts

hew/hue/Hugh

hi/high

higher/hire

him/hymn

hoard/horde

hoarse/horse

hole/whole

holey/holy/wholly

hoes/hose

hold/holed

hostel/hostile

hour/our

idle/idol

illicit/elicit

in/inn

insight/incite

instance/instants

intense/intents

its/it's

jam/jamb

colonel/kernel

knap/nap

knead/kneed/need

knight/night

knit/nit

knot/not

know/no

knows/nose

laid/lade

lain/lane

lay/lei

leach/leech

lead/led

leak/leek

lean/lien

leased/least

lee/lea

lessen/lesson

levee/levy

liar/lier/lyre

lichen/liken

lie/lye

lieu/Lou

links/lynx

load/lode

loan/lone

locks/lox

loot/lute

low/lo

made/maid

mail/male

main/mane/Maine

maize/maze

mall/maul

manner/manor

mantel/mantle

marry/merry/Mary

marshal/martial

massed/mast

maybe/may be

meat/meet/mete

medal/metal/mettle/meddle

might/mite

mince/mints

mind/mined

miner/minor

missed/mist

moan/mown

mode/mowed

moose/mousse

morn/mourn

muscle/mussel

mustard/mustered

naval/navel

nay/neigh

none/nun

oar/or/ore

ode/owed

oh/owe

one/won

overdo/overdue

overseas/oversees

pail/pale

pain/pane

pair/pare/pear

palate/palette/pallet

passed/past

patience/patients

pause/paws

pea/pee

peace/piece

peak/peek/pique

peal/peel

pearl/purl

pedal/peddle/petal

peer/pier

per/purr

pi/pie

plait/plate

plain/plane

pleas/please

plum/plumb

pole/poll

pore/pour

pray/prey

presence/presents

prince/prints

principal/principle

profit/prophet

rack/wrack

rain/reign/rein

raise/rays/raze

rap/wrap

rapped/rapt/wrapped

read/red

read/reed

real/reel

reek/wreak

rest/wrest

retch/wretch

review/revue

right/rite/write

ring/wring

road/rode/rowed

roam/Rome

roe/row

role/roll

root/route

rose/rows

rote/wrote

rough/ruff

rung/wrung

rye/wry

sail/sale

scene/seen

scull/skull

sea/see

seam/seem

seas/sees/seize

serf/surf

sew/so/sow

shear/sheer

shoe/shoo

shone/shown

side/sighed

sighs/size

slay/sleigh

sleight/slight

slew/slue/slough

soar/sore

soared/sword

sole/soul

some/sum

son/sun

staid/stayed

stair/stare

stake/steak

stationary/stationery

steal/steel

step/steppe

stile/style

straight/strait

suite/sweet

surge/serge

tacks/tax

tail/tale

taught/taut

tea/tee

team/teem

tear/tier

tern/turn

their/there/they're

theirs/there's

threw/through

thrown/throne

thyme/time

tic/tick

tide/tied

to/too/two

toad/towed

toe/tow

told/tolled

trussed/trust

vain/vane/vein

vale/veil

vary/very

vial/vile

vice/vise

wade/weighed

wail/whale

waist/waste

wait/weight

waive/wave

want/wont

ware/wear/where

way/weigh/whey

ways/weighs

we/wee

weak/week

we'll/wheel

weather/whether

we'd/weed

we've/weave

wet/whet

which/witch

while/wile

whine/wine

who's/whose

wood/would

yoke/yolk

yore/your/you're

you'll/Yule

What's the Difference Between Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs?

Homonyms, Homophones, HomographsIf you are confused about the differences between homonyms, homophones, and homographs, you're in the right place to get it straightened out!


Homonyms

This is the big category—the umbrella—under which we find homophones and homographs.

 

Homophones

Homophones are words that sound alike, but have different meanings and spellings. They are the sets of words that you probably learned in elementary school, though your teacher may have used the broader category of homonyms.

Examples of common homophones include:

  • their and there
  • deer and dear
  • hear and here
  • to, too, and two

Regional accents may affect whether words are homophones. For example, in certain parts of the country, weather and whether sound the same. For those of us in the U.S., due and do are pronounced alike, but in most British accents, they sound different.


Homographs

Homographs are words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings and may have different pronunciations.

Examples of common homographs include:

  • does and does
    He does like to run.
    Does are female deer.
    (Same spelling, different pronunciation.)
  • wind and wind
    I can feel the wind in my hair.
    Wind up the string before it gets tangled.
    (Same spelling, different pronunciation.)
  • well and well
    Sam doesn't feel well today.
    Our neighbors are digging a new well.
    (Same spelling, same pronunciation.)

One way to remember the difference between the terms homophone and homograph is by looking at the derivation of the words:

HOMO ("same") + PHONE ("sound")
HOMO ("same") + GRAPH ("writing")