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Homophones hole, whole, their, there, they're for reading lessons

Homophones – words that have same sound

The words ‘hear’, ‘hair’, ‘hare’ and ‘here’ are homophones. These words are similar in sound and are spelled differently. Homophones can also have the same spelling as long as the words sound the same. Some are bat, light, bark, and can.

These are also called homographs because they look the same. Since they look and sound alike they are also called homonyms. This may be confusing as some words can be all three.

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It is simple to remember that homophones sound the same no matter the spelling, homographs are spelled the same no matter the sound, and homonyms are both.

In some varieties of English, vowel and consonant pronunciation differ making some words homophones in certain countries. ‘Though’ and ‘dough’, ‘tree’ and ‘three’, and ‘true’ and ‘through’ are homophones in some Caribbean varieties. Here is a list of English homophones of which learners should be aware.

Check out this fun activity Here, hare, hear and hair: Spot the homophones

Two words homophones

ad, add

allowed, aloud

ate, eight

aunt, ant

ban, band

beat, beet

been, bin

berry, bury

bite, byte

boar, bore

board, bored

blew, blue

brake, break

bread, bred

but, butt

buy, by

caught, court

cell, sell

cereal, serial

check, cheque

chilli, chilly

coarse, course

complement, compliment

currant, current

dam, damn

death, debt

die, dye

dew, due

eye, I

fairy, ferry

farther, father

fir, fur

fond, fund

four, for

genes, jeans

god, gourd  

gorilla, guerrilla

got, gut

grate, great

graze, greys

guessed, guest

heal, heel   

him, hymn

higher, hire

hoarse, horse

hole, whole 

hour, our

idle, idol

in, inn

it’s, its

flea, flee

flour, flower

lead, led

leak, leek

maid, made

maize, maze

mane, main

meat, meet

missed, mist

moose, mousse

mourning, morning

maize, maze

muscle, mussel

need, knead

new, knew

night, knight

no, know

none, nun

nose, knows

one, won

pace, paste

pain, pane

passed, past

peace, piece

plain, plane

pray, prey

principal, principle

profit, prophet

rain, reign

rare, rear

raw, roar

rap, wrap

real, reel

read, reed

read, red

ring, wring

road, rode

root, route

rob, rub

sail, sale

sauce, source

sea, see

seam, seem

shore, sure

shot, shut

sight, site

sole, soul

some, sum

son, sun

stake, steak

stationary, stationery

steal, steel

suite, sweet

tail, tale

tied, tide

toe, tow

tour, tore

wail, whale

waist, waste

watt, what

weak, week

way, weigh

wait, weight

weather, whether

which, witch

whine, wine

wood, would

we’ll, wheel   

your, you’re

Three words homophones

air, heir, ear

aisle, isle, I’ll

bare, beer, bear

cent, scent, sent

deer, dear, dare

fair, fear, fare

not, knot, nut

or, oar, ore

pair, pear, peer

right, write, rite

sew, so, sow

shear, share, sheer

stair, steer, stare

toad, towed, toed

there, their, they’re 

two, to, too

vain, vein, vane

wear, where, ware

you, ewe, yew

Four words homophones

hear, hair, hare, here

pore, paw, poor, pour

pause, paws, pours, pores

Some Caribbean varieties of English

Some speakers in the Caribbean pronounce the ‘th’ sound as ‘d’ or ‘t’ in many words. There are some speakers who do not pronounce the initial ‘h’ sound in words. These pronunciations result in those words sounding like other words that actually have a ‘t’, ‘d’ or ‘h’ in it. Writers become confused with other words when writing.

all, hall

at, hat

breathe, breed

deer, dear, dare, there, their, they’re

mas, mask, mast

the, thee

thin, tin

though, dough

thought, taught

three, tree

through, threw, true

thus, dust

See also:

They’re, there and their: Correct the homophones

Here, hare, hear and hair: Spot the homophones

Paw, pore, poor and pour: Spot the homophones

Peer, pier, pear and pair: Spot the homophones

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