HOMOPHONES & MORE: Using Proper Grammar

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There are too many homophones around—words that sound and are pronounced alike, but have different meaning.  It’s just too easy to choose the wrong one. Check out this list I’ve compiled. Ever write one, but meant the other? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

new, knew

hear, here

dear, deer

see, sea

know, no

to, too, two

tow, toe

tea, tee

doe, dough

do, dew

die, dye

I, eye

since, sense

be, bee

wail, well

sale (n), sell (v), cell, sail

sill, ceil

site, cite, sight

write, right

wait, weight

way, weigh

grate, great

so, sew, sough, sow

but, butt

teem, team

sum, some

click, clique

reel, real

reed, read

alter, altar

tow, toe

bare, bear

wine, whine

wear, where

soul, sole

lye, lie

reign, rain

their, there

hi, high

you, ewe

hare, hair

sink, sync

by, bye

don, done

air, heir

ate, eight

pair, pear, pare

stair, stare

sike, psych

Then there are those tricky little words that tend to trip you up more often than not. They are confusing enough to make you seriously question which is the correct usage? Yes, they can leave you scratching your head.

choose, chose, choice

loose, lose

loss, lost

affect (v), effect (n)

dessert, desert

apart, a part

ashamed (adj), a shame (n)

own, on

pass, past, passed

re-sign, resign

raise, rise

lay, lie

awhile, a while

set, sit

If we native English speakers find ourselves confused by certain aspects of this language—like these type words—just imagine how those learning English as a second language must feel.

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