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1.4: Homophones

This resource was written by Jaclyn M. Wells.
Last edited by Elizabeth Angeli, Allen Brizee on August 16, 2013 .

Summary:

This resource deals with homophones, or words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings.

Homophones

Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. The following table lists words that people commonly confuse. Become familiar with these words so you can be ready to correct homophone-related spelling errors. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the words you most commonly confuse; you may even keep a running list of these words as you prepare for the GED.

Word Example Sentences

accept
except

My insurance will accept the charges for the accident.
I like all vegetables, except for asparagus.
affect
effect
Changing the way you eat will affect your health.
I can’t see what effect these new laws will have on me.
board
bored
We put a board on the roof to fix the leak.
I am so bored because there’s nothing to do!
brake
break
Always keep your foot above the brake!
My dad is worried my mom will break our new television.
close
clothes
When you leave the room, always close the door.
I want to go shopping to buy new clothes.
desert
dessert
I thought you guys were going to desert me!
The cherry pie looks so good for dessert!
ensure
insure
John wants to ensure he will graduate next semester.
Mary will insure her new car.
fare
fair
I didn’t have money for the bus fare this morning.
It was only fair that the bus driver kicked me off the bus.
forth
fourth
I’m not sure I can go forth with the plan.
Allen was so proud to come in fourth in the pie-eating contest!
grate
great
We need to grate some cheese to put on the pizza.
If it has enough cheese, it will be a great pizza!
hear
here
The volume was turned down so low I couldn’t hear it.
Could you please bring the beef jerky over here?
hole
whole
If I eat one more doughnut hole, I will be stuffed.
I looked through the whole house, but I couldn’t find my umbrella.
know
no
I really have to know a lot to do well on my history test.
I am going to study until I have no time left.
led
lead
The dog led the police to the drug stash.
Pens are okay, but I prefer old-fashioned lead pencils.
lessen
lesson
The doctor gave me some stretches to do to lessen the pain.
I’m not sure if he’s learned his lesson yet.
lose
loose
I’m trying hard to not lose patience with her.
The knot might not hold, since it’s sort of loose.
male
mail
The kennel had both male and female puppies for sale.
I’m going to the post office to send my mail.
passed
past
I kept getting passed on the interstate today.
In the past, I drove a lot faster.
peace
piece
We all wish for world peace.
A piece of pie would be great right now.
principal
principle
My high school principal gave pretty good advice.
I don’t want to compromise my principles.
than
then
I am tanner than she.
We were both on the beach, but then she went inside.
there
their
they're
You can put your shoes over there.
Their shoes were dirty, so they left them outside.
They’re just walking around barefoot right now.
to
too
two
I am going to the mall.
Jesse said she wants to go too.
We are each looking for two new outfits.
weather
whether
The weather tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful.
I don’t know whether to go for a hike or a swim.
whose
who's
Whose scarf is this?
Who’s going to the movie with us?
your
you're
Your dog is bigger than my dog.
You’re going to have to keep him on a leash.

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