Have you ever wondered why so many English words sound the same? It’s a usual question from English language learners. The truth is that English sounds have the right to be make with various combinations of letters. Take into consideration this list of example words. What is similar about them? What is different?

bread / bredbreak/brakesea/see

Each pair that words has the same pronunciation, yet different spelling. These are homophone words. The meaning of each homophone is different. We eat ‘bread’ on a sandwich, but a horse is ‘bred’ top top the farm. We take a coffee ‘break’ in the morning, yet we fight the ‘brake’ to sluggish down the car. The ‘sea’ is a human body of water, but we ‘see’ the water through our eyes.

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The indigenous homophone chin is based on two Latin roots: homo definition ‘the same’ and phone meaning ‘voice’.While there room thousands the homophone words, you carry out not require to find out them all. Some words are not used much in modern-day English and also others room so particular that they space only used within certain industries. Regardless, homophones room really crucial for English speaking, writing and listening!

So what have to you know about homophones?

1. Misuse that homophones renders writing look bad

Have you ever noticed how civilization are fast to referee a person’s dispute by criticizing language errors? This happens It is conditioned that proper grammar and language intake somehow amounts to intellectual superiority. This is not true, that course. Grammar is one kind of knowledge which helps people accurately use language, yet it is not the end-all the intellect by any kind of means. In professional settings though, world expect suitable usage.

Everyone needs an editor.#SpellCheckCannotSaveYou pic.twitter.com/tLK0wWVUP0

— Madam Grammar (
MadamGrammar) September 13, 2020

At carolannpeacock.com, we think that accuracy is important yet understanding and also being taken is the utmost goal of communication. Our process will assist you understand comparable sounding words by utilizing them in context. One method to start finding out homophones is by using them in sentences.


Play this game below to discover some set of homophones. If you don’t know the an interpretation of few of the words, you have the right to use the Cambridge dictionary to understand the specific definition.


2. You’ve already learned many homophones

Think around the native sea and see. If you understand that sea is a noun and also see is a verb, girlfriend will recognize the definition based ~ above its usage. Think around a straightforward sentence favor Do you view the sea?

The trouble frequently results from no knowing exactly how or why to use contractions or pronouns. 2 of the greatest sets of criminal from the homophone civilization are: your / you’re and their / there / they’re.

Remember, pronouns space words like: I, you, we, they, he, she, it, me, us, them, him, her. The words you’re and also they’re space conjunctions of a pronoun and also the verb ‘to be’. You room = you’re, They are = they’re.


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Possessive adjectives are words like: my, your, his, her, their, our, and its. A possessive adjective explains to whom a noun belongs. Because that example:

Whose automobile is that? the is their car. Where is mine family? Your family members is at home.


If you desire a challenge, shot this hearne practice. The five sentences will use a pair the homophones. Your job is to effectively write the sentence using the homophones properly.


3. Homophones are regularly used as examples in puns or simple jokes

As many civilization think of indigenous in compartmentalized ways, aboriginal English speakers rarely take into consideration that one group of sounds might have different spellings. This creates simple setup for a basic joke that plays into the usage of homophones. If the jokes are simple, lock are an excellent for to teach English language learners (native or not) exactly how the different spellings can impact the an interpretation of the word. Here are some straightforward jokes. Have the right to you identify the matching homophone?


4. Some homophones come from local pronunciation

Yes, accents really heighten the occurrence of homophones regionally. Because homophones exist largely because of the together of vowels (a, e, i, o, u, y and varying combinations), sport of collection pronunciation can unexpectedly develop a set of homophones. For example, American pronunciation of words choose do / due, front / foreword are homophonous. This is no true through British pronunciation. If friend are ever in doubt about pronunciation though, the easiest way to examine is to use a thesaurus like Cambridge.org which permits you to hear multiple pronunciations of a word v a note about its origin.

If two words have the exact same pronunciation except for one sound, they are referred to as minimal pair. This are really important because that language learners to exercise in stimulate to improve pronunciation. Typical mistakes may vary relying on the indigenous language, but generally the soft vowel sounds develop confusion. Think around the differences in these words: ban, ben, bin, bon, bun. Questioning yourself, have the right to I correctly say these words by separating the vowel sounds? If you room uncertain, climate you might want to execute some job-related with minimal pair practice.

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5. Sentence pronunciation have the right to create brand-new sets that homophones referred to as ‘oronyms.’

In a typical conversation, most world would not mistake ‘I watch the sea’ because that ‘I sea the sea’ or ‘I watch the see’. This instance sentence is an extremely clear about the meaning of each word. A much more common trouble comes once the together of a group of words in unclear. This incident can produce oronyms which aregroups the words that sound like an additional group of words. Over there are plenty of possibilities because of infinite combinations of words. Take a watch at this examples:

Ice cream or i scream?This guy or the sky?Four candle or fork handles?

So, what have the right to you perform to prevent miscommunication with oronyms? The ideal solution is come ask world to repeat themselves. You deserve to ask, ‘Could friend repeat that?’ or what did you median by…?’ Usually, world will repeat themselves in a slow and much more enunciated way, allowing you come hear the difference between two words.