Homophones: Compliment vs. Complement

Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings. Sometimes, they’re also spelled differently: compliment vs. complement. Since homophones sound the same, they are often misspelled. Sometimes they’re misspelled because the writer doesn’t know there are two different spellings. In other cases, misspelled homophones are the result of typing too fast or failing to…Read More

homophones

Homophones: Its and It’s

Homophones confuse some people and annoy others. I often see people online complaining about other people who can’t differentiate between the spellings of homophones like your and you’re; they’re, their, and there, and of course, its and it’s. While I find these mistakes mildly annoying, I don’t know if I’d go so far as to…Read More

homophones hear here

Homophones: Hear, Here

When I see professional signs or business documents with words spelled incorrectly, it’s like someone’s dragging nails down a chalkboard, which is something I don’t want to hear. But I try not to get too riled up. I know that spelling isn’t easy for everyone. However, I do believe that with a little effort, anyone…Read More

homophones affect vs effect

Homophones: Affect vs. Effect

Homophones can be confusing. Luckily, there’s an easy way to remember affect vs. effect. I see it all the time: affect and effect mixed up as if they were completely interchangeable. But they’re not. These two homophones may sound exactly alike, but they don’t even belong to the same parts of speech! If you’ve ever…Read More

accept vs except

Homophones: Accept vs. Except

The English language is fraught with sound-alike words that look nothing alike on the page (or screen). These homophones have given many writers headaches as they agonize over word choice while composing poems, articles, essays, and stories. Accept vs. except is one such pair of words. Though not among the most commonly confused homophones, these…Read More

homophones

Homophones: They’re, There, and Their

Homophones are words that sound exactly alike when pronounced out loud but have completely different meanings. They’re such troublemakers. Homophones confuse kids, slip past spell check, and pop up all over the place as typos and misspellings. To make things worse, many homophones have different spellings, which means spell check ignores them, since alternative spellings…Read More

homophones homonyms and homographs

Homophones, Homonyms, and Homographs

They perplex us, confuse us, and make our heads spin. If you thought learning how to correctly spell words that sound alike was difficult, wait till you try to learn the terms for describing those words. Homophones Homophones are words that are pronounced alike but have different meanings. Some examples are accept and except, affect…Read More

what is a homophone

What is a Homophone?

Homophones are those annoying words that sound exactly alike but have different meanings and are often spelled differently. They give English teachers nightmares, cause headaches for students, and drive editors crazy. We writers need to be diligent about homophones because spell-check won’t catch them, and many readers cite misspelled homophones as pet peeves. And we…Read More

bass or base chord or cord

Homophones for Music Lovers: Turn up the Bass and Play a Chord

Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings. Many homophones also have different spellings, and all too often, people mix them up. The result is an onslaught of misspellings throughout the written universe. Although these mistakes are understandable, they are problematic since they are contagious. If someone sees a homophone used incorrectly or…Read More

homophones which witch

Homophones: Which witch?

A reader left the following comment inquiring about the spelling of two sets of homophones: “I have trouble with witch/which (and even so, I am not sure I have those right) and weather/wheather [sic]. any good ideas on how to keep them straight???” I’ve already written a post addressing the difference between weather and whether….Read More

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