Quick English: Homophones
The English language has many words that share the same pronunciation, but mean completely different things. They are easier to spot when written, since they are spelled differently. Once you know the difference between them, you can make your writing much clearer.
In grammar, we call these words homophones (homo – same; phone – sound). There is more than one type of homophone, but this post will focus on those that are spelled differently.
Here are 5 common sets of homophones in English:
break: (v.) to separate because of a blow, shock or strain
brake: (v.) to make a moving vehicle slow down or stop
heal: (v.) to become healthy again
heel: (n.) the back part of a foot or shoe below the ankle
through: (prep.) into one side and out the other side of something
threw: (v.) past tense of ‘throw’
they’re: contraction of ‘they are’
their: (pro.) belonging to more than one person, animal or thing
there: (adj.) in another place
waste: (n.) garbage, unwanted leftovers; or (v.) the unnecessary loss of something valuable
waist: (n.) the middle part of the body between the hips and chest
Once you know the difference between them, you can make your writing much clearer. You can also feel accomplished knowing you've mastered one of the difficult tricks of the English language! If you want to gain even more English mastery, take an Intensive English course with us.
Can you think of any other English homophones? Share them below and they could make it into a future blog post!