Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but have different definitions and spellings. Learning homophones can help you recognize when a word isn’t actually the word you think it is.
The expression “wine and dine” means something entirely different from “whine and dine.” Drinks and dinner sounds a lot more appealing than complaints and dinner! There are many, many homophones in English, so here are some to start learning.
Ad / Add
- There was a rather witty ad in the newspaper today.
- The boy couldn’t add two and two together.
- You can add that ridiculous ad to the list of things I find insulting.
Ant / Aunt
- Whenever she sees an ant, she steps on it.
- He received many gifts from his aunts and uncles at his graduation party.
- At the picnic, my aunt’s unattended pie became covered in the ants.
Blew / Blue
- He blew out all fifty candles with just one breath.
- My school colors were orange and blue.
- The weather was perfect; the skies were blue, the sun was bright, and a gentle wind blew.
For / Four
- What do you need all those pencils for?
- In a stressful situation, take a deep breath and slowly count to four.
- She still needs four more sources for her term paper.
Hear / Here
- The restaurant was so noisy I couldn’t hear the person next to me.
- Please put the box here, not there.
- When you come here in the spring you can always hear baby birds chirping.
Hole / Whole
- Someone should repair that big hole in the wall.
- Without thinking, I ate the whole cake in ten minutes.
- He didn’t notice the hole in his shirt the whole day he wore it.
Hour / Our
- The smartest students finished the test in under an hour.
- We seldom want to share our dessert with others.
- It took the designer an hour to decorate our friend’s house, but two hours for ours.
Pair / Pear
- Her favorite pair of shoes were pink, suede, and in need of repair.
- Pears are grown all over the world.
- The pair of friends shared a sandwich, a pear, and a bag of chips.
Right / Write
- Following our GPS we turned right, but apparently that wasn’t the right way.
- She likes to write letters by hand instead of typing them.
- There’s no right or wrong way to write a journal.
Son / Sun
- The father and son play catch in the park every Saturday.
- You’ll hurt your eyes if you stare at the sun.
- She told her son to turn the TV off and play outside in the sun.
Steal / Steel
- If you try to steal something, be prepared to face the consequences.
- Cars, ships, and appliances are made from steel and other materials.
- The thief tried to steal the steel pots and pans, but they were too noisy.
Their / There / They’re
- The children walk their dog every day after school.
- Please put this book over there with the others.
- The students have a big test on Monday so they’re going to study all weekend.
- They’re going to walk all the way there to burn off the calories of their heavy lunch.
To / Too / Two
- I’m going to the store to buy groceries.
- If you eat too much food you’ll get sick, too!
- Do you want one slice of pizza or two?
- I’m taking the bus to school, but we’ll need two tickets if you go, too.
Weak / Week
- Though she excelled at pull-ups, she was too weak to climb the rope in gym class.
- They had taken two tests a week for the past month and were tired of studying.
- After running a marathon last week, the runner felt too weak to run another.
Wear / Where
- It’s a good idea to wear a hat and gloves when it’s cold oustide.
- Where is the best place to study English?
- When I wear these shoes people often ask where I got them.
Whine / Wine
- Students usually whine when they get too much homework.
- While he loves to drink wine, his wife doesn’t.
- Some people whine when their wine isn’t the right temperature.
ate/eight, bare/bear, be/bee, board/bored brake/break, buy/by/bye, dear/deer, feat/feet, flour/flower, hair/hare, heal/heel, hour/our, knew/new, knight/night, knot/not, leak/leek, made/maid, mail/male, meet/meat, one/won, pour/poor, role/roll, sale/sail, sew/so, soar/sore, stairs/stares, waist/waste, way/weigh, who’s/whose