Do you often get confused by words which sound similar but have different meanings? Just like the duo of “Principle” and “Principal”.  No need to worry! You are not alone! Many individuals get puzzled by such words which are pronounced similarly but have distinct meanings and spellings. These elements are referred to as homophones in the English language. Such confusing words can lead to errors in written and oral communication. So, to avoid these mistakes, it is important to have an accurate knowledge of these words and their meanings.

What are Homophones? 

Homophones are two or more words that have similar pronunciation but have different meanings and spellings. To illustrate, “right” and “write” are homophones. When we pronounce these words, they sound alike but have varied meanings and are spelled differently. ‘Right’ means correct or one way and ‘Write’ means to mark down words on a surface.

Example- Take a right turn.

You are absolutely right!

You should write your answer properly. 

List of 20 Frequently Used Homophones

1 . Weather / Whether

  • Weather– It refers to the atmospheric conditions of a place.

 Example- The weather is sunny today.

The weather might change tomorrow.

  • Whether– It introduces possibilities or alternatives 

Ex- I’m not sure whether he will come.

I am unable to decide whether to go shopping or to watch a movie.

 

2.  Peace / Piece

  • Peace- It denotes a state of harmony or absence of conflict 

Ex- We should make efforts to establish peace in this world.

Meditation is necessary for peace of mind.

  • Piece- It refers to a part or a portion

 Ex- Give me a piece of cake.

He ate only a piece of pizza.

 

3. Morning / Mourning

  • Morning- it is the early part of the day 

Ex- I go for a morning walk daily.

We should exercise daily in the morning.

  • Mourning– means when you’re sad or in grief, especially after a loss

Ex- She is mourning the death of her father.

The family is mourning the death of their beloved pet.

 

4. Hear / Here

  • Hear-  It means to listen a sound

Example-  Can you hear the music?

I can hear a noise in the background. 

  • Here-  It indicates a specific location 

Example – Come here, please.

We are going to meet here tomorrow.

5. Hole / Whole

  • Hole– it is an opening or a hollow place

 Example- There’s a hole on the wall.

There is a hole in your pocket.

  • Whole- means complete or entire 

Example- He ate the whole pizza.

I am going to use my whole salary for charity purposes.

 

6. Principal / Principle

  • Principal – refer to the head of a school or the amount of money

Example- The principal of this school is a very generous person.

 The principal loan amount is 1,00,000rs.

  • Principle- a fundamental truth, law, or belief 

Example- I always believe in the principle of non-violence..

We all should implement the principle of truth in our life.

 

7. Stationary / Stationery

  • Stationary-  It means not moving or fixed in place 

Example- The car remained stationary at the red light.

The pencil remained stationary on the desk, as the student listened attentively to the teacher’s instructions.

  • Stationery-  It refers to writing materials such as paper, pens, and envelopes 

Examples- She bought new stationery for her office.

He went to a stationery shop to buy some items for his project.

 

8. Cite / Site / Sight

  • Cite-  It means to refer to a source.

Example- Please cite some examples from the book.

She made sure to cite her sources properly in the research paper.

  • Site- It refers to a location or a place. 

Example- This is the site where the new building will be constructed.

This is the site for our new project.

  • Sight – the ability to see something. 

 Example- The sight of these mountains is very peaceful.

The sight of this waterfall is just wonderful!

 

9. Week / Weak

  • Week- It is a period of seven days 

Example- We have a vacation next week.

I want a week’s time to complete my assignment.

  • Weak- It means lacking strength or power.

 Example- He is feeling weak after the surgery.

Our body becomes weak, if we don’t intake proper diet.

 

10. Soar / Sore

  • Soar- to fly high in the sky.

Example- The eagle soared above the mountains.

  • Sore-  something which is very painful.

Example- My muscles are sore after exercising.

Her feet were sore after a long day of hiking.

11. Knew / New

  • Knew – past tense of “know” 

-To have a knowledge of something

Example: I knew your address already.

Do you know her best friend?

  • New – recently made or acquired

Example: I bought a new dress for the party tonight.

Rohit is my new classmate.

 

12. Complement / Compliment

  • Complement- Something that completes or goes well with something else. 

Example: Chocolate ice-cream was the best complement to the dinner.

The red flowers in the vase were a perfect complement to the blue curtains in the room.

  • Compliment- Praise or kind words. 

Example: She received a compliment on her artwork.

 

13. Allowed / Aloud

  • Allowed– Permitted 

Example: You are allowed to bring your own food.

No one is allowed to enter this room.

  • Aloud- Speaking audibly.

Example: She read the story aloud to the class.

He read the story aloud to the children.

 

14. Minor / Miner

  • Minor- Something that is not of legal age or something very small.

Example: She’s a minor, so she can’t drive yet.

It was just a minor mistake.

  • MinerA person who works in a mine.

Example: My grandfather was a coal miner.

He is working as a miner in the city.

15. Cell / Sell

  • Cell– A small unit, often referring to biological components.

Example: The human body is made up of cells.

The biologist used a microscope to study the tiny cell structures .

  • Sell- To exchange something for money. 

Example: She wants to sell her old bike.

We can sell old products and buy new products on this website.

 

16. Profit / Prophet

  • Profit- Financial gain 

Example: The company made a significant profit this quarter.

He is making profit gradually in his business.

  • Prophet– A person who is able to predict the future. 

Example: The prophet foretold the coming of a great leader.

The ancient prophet’s predictions about the future were often regarded as accurate.

 

17. Pray / Prey

  • Pray- To offer a prayer. 

Example: They pray every night before going to bed.

We should pray to god before going for some important work.

  • Prey– An animal hunted or captured by another for food. 

Example: The lion stalks its prey through the grass.

The eagle caught its prey and flew away.

 

18. Knight / Night

  • Knight – It is a title or honor given to an official at high post.

Example- The knight rescued the princess.

He is a brave knight.

  • Nightthe time when it’s dark

Example-  They went for a walk at night.

We had a party at our home the previous night.

 

19. Break / Brake

  • Break – to fracture

Example-  He managed to break the vase.

He apologized for breaking the glass of neighbor’s house.

  • Brake – a device to stop a vehicle

Example- Press the brake to stop the car.

The truck driver met with an accident because of brake failure.

20. Foul / Fowl

  • Foul – unpleasant or offensive

Example-  The smell in the room was foul.

This liquid is giving off a foul smell.

  • Fowlbirds raised for meat or eggs

Example- They raise chickens as fowl.

The farm had a variety of fowl, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys.

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