A homophone is defined as one of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning, such as too (also) and two (the number).
Homophone List A – E
affect – effect
affect – verb -> to act upon or cause a change in someone or something
affect –The moon phases affect the ocean tides.
effect – noun -> change or direct result of an action or influence
The effect of the medicine was almost immediate.
aisle – isle
aisle – noun -> a common passageway between rows of seats
Everyone turned to watch the bride walk up the aisle.
isle – noun -> small land form surrounded by water (typically smaller than what we call an island)
Dry Tortuga Island in Florida is made up of seven small isles.
allowed – aloud
allowed – verb -> permitted to do something or be somewhere
I was allowed to play outside until dark.
aloud – adverb -> verbally, audibly
I hadn’t realized I was thinking aloud.
ate – eight
ate – verb -> “eat” in the past tense, consumed
I ate right before I left the house.
eight – the written presentation of the number 8
There were eight children at the party.
ball – bawl
ball – noun -> a formal dance
The story is about a girl who isn’t permitted to attend the Annual Ball.
bawl – verb -> to shout, usually in a loud, aggressive manner
I just know my boss is going to bawl me out over my mistake.
bear – bare
bear – verb -> large, dangerous mammal
I wanted to leave the campsite after we saw a bear walking in the woods nearby.
bare – adjective -> undecorated or basic
We took all the decorations down to paint, so the walls are bare.
base – bass
base – noun -> the foundation, or bottom of something
We built the model volcano using a cardboard base.
bass – noun -> a spiny fish
Bass fishing is my favorite hobby.
billed – build
billed – verb -> request for payment past tense, requested payment of money owed
I was billed for services I never even used!
build – verb -> made something by assembling parts
We tried, but we failed to build a treehouse.
blew – blue
blew – verb -> exhaled, moved air
He blew gently on the kindling when he started the fire.
blue – adjective – melancholy or sad feeling
You seem a bit blue today, is everything okay?
board – bored
board – noun -> group chosen to make decisions
The school board voted to allow tutoring during class times.
bored – verb -> made deep holes in something
The drill bored easily through the panels.
break – brake
break – verb -> disobey rule
I try not to break the law, but sometimes I catch myself speeding.
brake – noun -> a machine used to bend or fold metal
We used a brake to fabricate our ductwork.
buy – by- bye
buy – verb -> to believe something
If scientists prove aliens are real, I’ll buy it, but not until then.
by – preposition -> used to express something passively
Sara was intimidated by Erin.
bye – noun -> said in parting, an informal form of “goodbye”
I’ll call you tomorrow, bye.
capital – capitol
capital – noun -> Material wealth in assets, money or property
It was a bad year, we made very few capital gains.
capitol – noun -> A building where the government meets
The US Congress meets at the Capitol Building in Washington DC.
cell – sell
cell – noun -> microscopic organic structure
During biology class, I was able to study my own skin cell under a microscope.
sell – verb -> to persuade someone of something
Can you believe he was able to sell that idea to the boss?
cent – scent – sent
cent – noun -> a penny/ the smallest division of a dollar
You can’t buy anything for one cent anymore.
scent – noun -> perfume
Lancome just released their newest scent.
sent – verb -> commanded
I sent Dave to the store for milk.
chance – chants
chance – noun -> accidental, not planned
Purely by chance, I ran into Tim at the tavern.
chants – noun (plural) -> repeating slogans
The protesters chants were passionate, but they were irritating after several hours.
chews – choose
chews – verb -> damage by biting
She ruins pens when she chews them.
choose – verb -> to select or decide on something
It was difficult to choose between the red model and the blue model.
close – clothes
close – adjective -> near or soon to happen
She was getting nervous now that the wedding date was so close.
clothes – noun -> pieces of wearing apparel (shirts, pants, socks, etc)
I forgot to put my clothes in the dryer again.
coarse – course
coarse – adjective -> abrasive or not smooth
Use the coarse sandpaper first, then the fine one.
course – noun -> a chosen way of travel
We had to change course because of all the trees in the road.
creak – creek
creak – verb ->prolonged squeaking sound
It seemed as though every single floor board I stepped on had a creak.
creek – noun -> slow, small stream of running water that runs into a river
This creek runs right into the river south of here.
days – daze
days – noun -> the plural form of “day”
I’ve been sick for four days.
daze – noun -> a state of confusion or bewilderment
She seemed to be in a daze until the medication wore off a bit.
dear – deer
dear – adjective -> cherished or object of deep affection
My dear friend, Rose, passed away last week.
deer – noun -> a common mammal with antlers
I nearly hit a deer with my car on the way home tonight.
dew – do- due
dew – noun -> tiny droplets of water that condense on surfaces cooler than the air
During the summer, dew glistens on leaves and grass blades every morning.
do – verb -> the act of performing some action
I told you not to do your friend’s homework for her.
due – adjective -> expected or schedules
Her baby is due this week!
facts – fax
facts – noun -> verified, true information
These facts will show the jury that Mr. Simms did not commit any crime.
fax – noun -> image data that is transferred via phone line
You can e-mail or fax the signed form back to me.
fair – fare
fair – noun -> event or gathering
We got to the county fair every year.
fare – noun -> cost or travel or journey
We were surprised to find that luggage fees were no longer included in standard fare.
fairy – ferry
fairy – noun -> a mythical, magical creature
She swears there is a fairy living in her garden.
ferry – noun -> to transport
I’d love be able to go, but I have to ferry the kids back and forth to practices and appointments all day.
find – fined
find – verb -> to locate or discover
I always have to find my daughter’s coat and shoes for her.
fined – adjective -> charged a fee or penalty
I was fined because my parking meter had run out while I was in the store.
flour – flower
flour – noun -> cereal grains that have been ground to powder
I can’t make the cake until I go buy some more flour.
flower – noun -> the bloom of a plant
That is a strange looking flower growing on that vine.
for – four
for – preposition -> used to indicate who or what something is intended to be given to
She bought cupcakes for the whole class.
four – number -> the written presentation of the number 4
There are only four cupcakes left now.
foreword – forward
foreword – noun -> introductory note to a book or essay, usually written by someone other than the author
I always go back and read the foreword again after i’ve finished a book.
forward – adjective -> moving in an advancing manner
The car kept moving forward.
gene – jean
gene – noun -> microscopic chromosomes that influence every characteristic in a living thing
The color of your hair, skin and eyes is determined by every gene inherited from your parents.
jean – noun -> denim fabric
Levi Strauss revolutionized the use of denim with his famous jean pants.
grease – Greece
grease – noun -> cooked animal fat
You should never pour bacon grease down your sink drain.
Greece – proper noun -> A country in southern Europe
Greece is often referred to as the birthplace of western civilization.
groan – grown
groan – noun -> a mournful, throaty vocalization
I groaned every time I bumped my sore arm on something.
grown – verb -> had increased in size
I was shocked to see how much she’d grown since the previous summer.
hair – hare
hair – noun -> threadlike strands that grow from the skin of some animals and mammals
She shaved the hair that grew on her legs and arms everyday.
hare – noun -> a small rabbit-like mammal
You can tell the difference between a hare and a rabbit because hares have longer ears and are larger.
hay – hey
hay – noun -> feed for horses and cattle that is made from dried grasses
I spent a whole summer tying hay into bales one year.
hey – expression -> informal salutation or exclamation used to attract attention
Hey, Joe, how’s it going?
heal – heel
heal – verb -> to fix or cure
Until you allow the bone to heal, you won’t be able to walk on that foot.
heel – noun -> the posterior, or rear, part of the foot
I cut my heel when I stepped on that piece of glass.
hear – here
hear – verb -> to perceive sounds
I can hear the church bells from my house.
here – adverb -> at this place or position
Do you live here?
hi – high
hi – salutation -> informal greeting meaning hello
Hi Mom, what’re you doing this evening?
high – adjective -> above a subject
The top shelf is too high for him to reach.
hoarse – horse
hoarse – adjective -> rough, harsh, grating voice
A hoarse voice is a symptom of many illnesses.
horse – noun -> a large mammal
Sally and her horse, Chet, won the award in the competition.
hole – whole
hole – noun -> opening, gap or cavity in something
The rabbits kept finding a hole in the fence and stealing the vegetables from my garden.
whole – adjective -> entirety of something
The baby cried the whole time we were in the car
hour – our
hour – noun -> measurement of time, sixty minutes
We played cards to pass the hour long wait.
our – possessive adjective -> refers to something that belongs to “us”
That’s our dog.
knight – night
knight – noun -> honorable, non-inherited title, soldier
All he wanted was to be a knight and serve his king in battle.
night – noun -> dark part of the day,
The night is darkest just before the sunrise.
knot – naught – not
knot – verb -> entangle
Somehow, I manage to knot the vacuum cord every time I use it.
naught – noun -> nil, nothing or zero
All her efforts seemed to have been for naught when her competitor was announced as the winner.
not – adverb -> negative
You can not use my car this weekend.
know – no
know – verb -> to have the knowledge or comprehension of a certain thing
I know how to drive, but I don’t know how to drive a manual transmission.
no – adverb -> refusal
I already said no, so stop asking me.
leased – least
leased – verb -> “to lease” or rent in the past form
She leased a new car every three years.
least – superlative adjective -> the minimum possible quality
Mary had the least number of drinks at the party.
loan – lone
loan – noun -> the amount of money a person borrows
I’ve finally paid off my car loan!
lone – adjective -> singular or alone
He was the lone male in an office full of women.
made – maid
made – verb -> to create or make in the past tense
She made the best coffee in the office.
maid – noun -> paid domestic help
I finally hired a maid to help out with the housework.
mail – male
mail – noun -> letters or packages sent or delivered through a postal service
Sam delivers mail for a living.
male – adjective -> indicates the masculine sex
He was the only male nurse in the room.
marry – merry
marry – verb -> to legally wed or bind
She’s ready to marry and settle down.
merry – adjective -> festive or happy
They all had a merry time at the park on Sunday.
meat – meet
meat – noun -> animal flesh as food
Deer meat is too gamey for my taste.
meet – verb -> to be in the presence of someone by arrangement or by chance
We should meet on Sunday for brunch.
mince – mints
mince – verb -> to dice or chop finely
You have to mince the garlic clove thoroughly for the best result.
mints – noun plural -> a type of candy
I love when hotels put those little mints on my pillow!
missed – mist
missed – verb -> “to miss” in the past tense, to fail to reach
I missed the target by mere inches.
mist – noun -> light ground fog
I love to watch the mist rising in the early fall.
morning – mourning
morning – noun -> the first part of the day, before noon
She really dislikes waking so early in the morning.
mourning – noun -> a period of bereavement, or grief, for dead loved ones
I was in mourning for years after my husband died.
none – nun
none – pronoun -> nothing, not at all, not a single one
None of these kids brought their jackets to school today.
nun – noun -> A Catholic member of a religious women’s community
One nun seemed especially fond of the orphans.
one – won
one – number -> the written representation of the number 1
There is only one cupcake left.
won – verb -> “to win” in the past tense, triumphed
I won a third place ribbon in the marathon.
pail – pale
pail – noun -> bucket, container
He lost his sand pail at the beach.
pale – adjective -> light colored, bland
My mother could always tell when I was getting ill because my face would get pale.
pear – pair
pear – noun -> an edible tree fruit
I love all fruit, but my favorite is the pear.
pair – noun -> two things, or a set of two
He couldn’t find a pair of shoes he liked enough to buy.
patience – patients
patience – noun -> The capacity to tolerate delay
Patience is not my strong point. I get annoyed by red lights.
patients – noun plural -> a person undergoing medical treatment
The doctor had many happy patients.
piece – peace
piece – noun -> a fraction of a whole
She asked him for a piece of his famous apple pie.
peace – noun -> the state of tranquility or quiet
We all wish for peace in the Middle East.
plain – plane
plain – adjective -> bland, unadorned
The bare white walls gave the room a rather plain appearance.
plane – noun -> meaning airplane
The little boy watched the plane leave the runway in awe.
practice – practise
practice – noun -> the actual action that is related to beliefs or ideas. (Note: this is a noun.)
Janey’s firm was dedicated to the practice of family law.
practise – verb -> repeated exercise regarding learning or maintaining a certain skill or skill set. (This is a verb a person performs.)
She did not practise the piano as often as her mother would have liked her to.
rain – reign
rain – noun -> liquid precipitation
There is more rain here during the month of May than any other month.
reign – noun -> a period of time associated with ruling (as in kingdoms)
He was infamous for his violent, ten-year reign as King.
read – red
read – verb -> “to read” in the past tense, having read
I’ve already read this book.
red – adjective -> indicates the color of something
The apple is ripe when it is red.
right – write
right – adjective -> correct, true, accurate
She got all of the answers right on her exam.
write – verb -> to record words on surfaces, typically with a pen and paper
My grandmother will only write letters on paper. She refuses to send e-mails.
road – rode
road – noun -> street, passage
There were too many potholes in the road, so we had to find an alternate route.
rode – verb -> “ride” in the past tense, to have travelled on or in something
I rode my bike all afternoon.
rose – rows
rose – noun -> a particular species of flower
He gave her a white rose because he knew she disliked red ones.
rows – noun plural -> columns or lines of something
There were twenty rows of seats set up for the wedding.
sail – sale
sail – verb -> travel by boats with sails
We love to sail during the spring and summer.
sale – noun -> an event offering goods at reduced prices
There’s always a huge sale at the shoe store before school starts.
scene – seen
scene – noun -> a place or location where an event – actual or fictional – occurs
There were no clues at the scene of the crime.
seen – verb -> “to see” or visualize in the past tense
Dan hasn’t seen his niece in nearly a year.
sea – see
sea – noun -> ocean, large body of saltwater
She loved the smell of the sea.
see – verb -> to visually observe
Did you see the meteor shower last night?
sew – so
sew – verb -> fasten or join with stitches
We don’t sew our own clothes like our ancestors used to.
so – adverb -> to a great extent, or as a comparative indicating the same extend
The curtains were so dirty they looked brown instead of white.
sole – soul
sole – adjective -> single, the only one
She was the sole woman at the board meeting.
soul – noun -> philosophical, immortal essence of a person
Many people believe that their soul will continue to exist in some form after they die.
son – sun
son – noun -> male offspring
My son just turned seven.
sun – noun -> refers to the closest star in our galaxy that our solar system revolves around
Ancient people believed that the sun revolved around the Earth.
stair – stare
stair – noun -> a unit of steps used to ascend from one level to another
That bottom stair gets slick after it rains.
stare – verb -> to gaze or look vacantly at a fixed object for extended periods of time
I didn’t mean to stare. My mind was elsewhere.
steal – steel
steal – verb -> to obtain illegally
My father always taught me never to lie, cheat or steal.
steel – noun -> a strong metal
Steel is used to build most modern structures.
suite – sweet
suite – noun -> a group or set of things that belong together, a set of rooms
The hotel suite featured a sitting room, two bathrooms and a bedroom.
sweet – adjective -> having a pleasant, sugary taste
She likes her coffee sweet.
their – there
their – possessive adjective -> indicates possessions that belong to “them”
Those are their bicycles over there.
there – adverb -> a specific place or location
Just set those bags down right there, please.
threw – through
threw – verb -> “to throw” or propel in the past tense
He accidentally broke the window when he threw the ball.
through – preposition -> continuous movement from one place to another
He moved quickly through the crowd.
to – too – two
to – preposition -> expresses movement toward a particular location, indicates person or object that is affected
We went to the park on Sunday.
too – adverb -> also, as well as
My friends came to the park, too.
two – number -> the written presentation of the number 2
We needed to make two trips to get all of our possessions.
vary – very
vary – verb -> difference or change
The test results vary widely between different students.
very – adverb -> used for emphasis, much or highly
The children were very tired and crabby by late evening.
waist – waste
waist – noun -> the area of the human torso between the ribs and hips
Some models have ribs surgically removed to attain a tiny waist measurement.
waste – verb -> squander or misuse
I waste so much time because I am disorganized.
wait – weight
wait – verb -> to stay or delay action until a certain time or action occurs
I was early, so I had to wait for the train.
weight – noun -> a measurement regarding heaviness or mass
The weight of the backpack made her shoulders ache .
war – wore
war – noun -> the state of armed conflict
The Civil War refers to a time when the northern states were at war with the southern states.
wore – verb -> “to wear” in past participle form, to have had on or carried on the body
He wore the same socks everyday during football playoffs.
wear – where
wear – verb -> to carry or have on the body, to damage by use
The twins wear matching shirts on Mondays.
where – question word regarding location
Where is your house?
weak – week
weak – adjective -> lacking strength
My leg muscles were weak from not being used after the cast was removed.
week – noun -> a group of seven days
I’ll have the project done in one week from today.
weather – whether
weather – noun -> atmospheric conditions in a certain time or location
Key West, Florida enjoys some of the most pleasant weather in the United States.
whether – conjunction -> express doubt or a choice between alternative options
She didn’t know whether to turn left or right at the intersection.
which – witch
which – question word -> regarding a choice of options
Which car do you like the best?
witch – noun -> mythical magical woman
Long ago, being accused of being a witch often resulted in a death sentence for the accused.
wood – would
wood – noun -> hard fibrous material that trees are formed of
We used wood to build the frame of the shed.
would – verb -> expresses desire or intent
She said she would be here at noon.