Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelt differently. They also have different meanings. If you have read the article, The World of Homophones – Part One, you would be familiar with a number of them. This article will go through some more homophones in the English language.
SEE VS SEA
The word ‘see’ refers to looking at something using eyes.
‘I can see the hill from here.’
‘Can you see the location on the map?’
The word ‘sea’ refers to the body of water that covers the majority of the earth.
‘I like to go swimming in the sea.’
Tip: the letter ‘e’ appears in the word ‘eyes’ twice. It also appears in the word ‘see’ twice. If you keep this in mind, you will be able to remember the difference between the two words.
CURRANT VS CURRENT
The word ‘currant’ refers to a type of fruit.
‘I bought a blackcurrant pie.’
‘Currants do not taste nice.’
The word ‘current’ refers to a flow of energy or to an event that is happening.
‘We could not swim today because the current was too strong.’
This means the sea current was too powerful for a human to swim in it.
‘The wires have an electrical current.’
The easiest way to remember the difference between the two words is to keep the thyme in mind: an ‘a’ can be eaten and an ‘e’ cannot.
New v Knew
The word ‘new’ stands for something that has just been made or has not been used.
‘I bought a new suitcase.’
‘The carpet is new.’
The word ‘knew’ stands for when something is known.
‘I knew that saving money would be a good idea.’
‘Did you know that Jacob went on holiday?’
‘Yes, I knew that.’
Note: the word ‘knew’ is used when someone is speaking or writing about the past.
Each sentence contains the wrong homophone. Rewrite each sentence and include the correct homophone.
- Barry could sea his friend in the distance.
- Terry baked a cake and it had five currents in it.
- Chris bought a knew pair of boots.
PRACTISE VS PRACTICE
In American English, this word is always spelt with a ‘c’.
In British English, there are two ways to spell this word.
Read the sentences below and see if you can tell the difference.
‘I have to practise the piano exercises today.’
‘I need to go to the doctor’s practice today.’
In British English, ‘practise’ with a ‘s’ is a verb. It means you need to rehearse something.
In British English, when you spell ‘practice’ with a ‘c’ it is a noun. It often refers to the name of the place where doctors, dentists and veterinarians work.
MISSED VS MIST
The word ‘missed’ often refers to when something has happened and when someone was not there or did not see what happened at the time of the event.
‘Did you see the goal?’
‘No. I was looking at the clock.’
‘You missed a great goal.’
The word ‘missed’ can also be used in another way.
‘‘He shot and missed the basket.’
The word ‘mist’ refers to a weather condition.
‘There is a thick mist over the lake today.’
BOARD VS BORED
The word ‘board’ has many meanings; here are some of them. It can refer to a group that makes decisions in a company. It could also refer to an item that displays information and can sometimes be written on. The word ‘board’ could also refer to a type of game.
‘The four teenagers decided to play a board game.’
‘June, the teacher, wrote a sentence on the board.’
The word ‘bored’ is often used to describe when someone is not entertained.
‘John’s children were always bored.’
‘When Liam sat in his mathematics lessons, he knew he would be bored.
Tip: the word ‘board’ is a noun but the word ‘bored’ is an adjective.
The sentences below are written in the wrong order. Unscramble the sentences.
- As bored Levine was usual.
- have to the dance routine I today practise.
- missed the party Janice birthday.
MADE VS MAID
The word ‘made’ refers to when something is created.
‘He made a tiny sandcastle.’
‘Morgan is so good at knitting that he made a blanket.
A maid refers to a female who serves other people. They tend to work in households or in hotels.
‘The maid’s name is Penny.’
‘Penny, the maid, brought the drinks for the family.
Both homophones could be used together.
‘The maid made our beds.’
TALE VS TAIL
The word tale refers to a type of story.
‘He told me a long tale.’
Tails are a part of an animal’s body.
‘Jerry’s dog had a long tail.’
‘Esther, the pig, had a curly tail.’
EYE VS I
An eye is a part of the body that people use to see.
‘Christina has grey eyes.’
The word ‘I’ is a pronoun. It is used when someone is talking about themselves.
‘I have grey eyes.’
Tip: the pronoun ‘I’ is always written with a capital letter. For more information about pronouns, take a look at Using Pronouns in English: Subject Pronouns.
BASS VS BASE
The word ‘base’ refers to the bottom of an item.
‘The base of the cake is crumbling.’
‘The base of the vase is red.’
The word bass refers to the lower tone in a piece of music or a musical instrument.
‘This song has a lot of bass.’
‘He played the double bass.’
There is a word search below. Try to locate the homophones from the list below.
The are many homophones that are used in the English language. It is always helpful to try and remember the word class of each word. This will help you use them in the right context and understand conversations easily. Try to think of rhymes or tips to help you remember each homophone. Feel free to use the tips from the article too.
Here are the answers to the activities in the article. Feel free to write your answers in the comments section.
- Barry could see his friend in the distance.
- Terry baked a cake and it had five currants in it.
- Chris bought a new pair of boots.
- As usual, Levine was bored.
- I have to practise the dance routine today./ Today, I have to practise the dance routine.
- Janice missed the birthday party.
The homophones from the list have been highlighted on the word search.