List of Commonly Confused Homonyms

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List of Commonly Confused Homonyms Powered By Docstoc
					             List of Commonly Confused
                      Homonyms
This is a list of commonly confused homonyms, including both homophones — words with the
same pronunciation — and homographs — words with the same spelling.


    1.    accept: tolerate
          except: everything but
    2.    add: put together with
          ad: short for "advertisement"
    3.    allowed: permitted
          aloud: audibly
    4.    allot: to distribute, allocate
          a lot: much; many (a lot of)
    5.    allusion: indirect reference
          elusion: evasion
          elution: separation by washing
          illusion: a distortion of sensory perception
    6.    bare: as a verb, to expose, to remove cover; as a noun, naked, exposed; very little (bare
          necessities)
          bear: as a noun, a large mammal (e.g. American Black Bear); as a verb, to carry
          something ("to bear arms"), to endure ("I can't bear it"), or to give birth to (bear fruit)
    7.    boy: a male adolescent or child; an exclamation "oh boy"
          buoy: (noun) a floating marker in the sea; (verb, often "buoy up") to keep afloat, to
          sustain or encourage (the soldiers were buoyed up by letters from home) (pronounced
          boy in the UK, but in the US is either homophonous with "boy" or pronounced with two
          syllables to rhyme with "chewy")
          bhoy: a house servant for families in India (borrowed from the English word "boy")
    8.    bow: (rhymes with 'cow'): The front section of a ship or boat; a gesture made by bending
          forward at the waist
          bough: (rhymes with 'cow') A tree branch, especially a large or main branch.
          bow: (rhymes with 'go'): A weapon made of a curved stick whose ends are connected by
          a string, used for shooting arrows; a type of knot with two loops
    9.    brake the practise of stopping, halting or slowing down.
          break a short rest or the method of snapping, splitting or damaging something through the
          use of force.
    10.   bridal: pertaining to a bride (bridal gown, bridal suite)
          bridle: (noun) part of a horse's tack around its neck and head; (verb) to appear offended or
          proud
    11.   capital: punishable by death (capital crime); upper-case letter; the principal town or city
          (Paris is the capital of France); wealth, money (capital gains tax), as an exclamation:

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          "excellent"
          Capitol: the home of the Congress of the United States and some other legislatures
    12.   carry: to move while supporting
          Carrie: a woman's name, pet form of Caroline, French feminine form of Carolus,
          Charles, from the Germanic name Karl, which was derived from a Germanic word which
          meant "man". Also, name of first published Stephen King novel.
          Kerry: a surname, from the name of the Irish county County Kerry, which means "Ciar's
          people" in Irish.
    13.   caught: past tense of "catch"
          cot: a small, collapsible bed. Predominantly in North America, see cot-caught merger.
    14.   choir: a choral singing group
          quire: sometimes a variant spelling of "choir", but more commonly a term for a quantity
          of sheets of paper, or a part of a church housing the altar and, frequently, the choir stalls
    15.   chord: group of musical notes; anything that can be "struck" (It struck a sensitive chord)
          cord: rope; long electrical line; vertebral column
          cored: having the inside cut out, like an apple
          cawed: past tense of "to caw" - to make a raucous noise
    16.   choux (pronounced as shoe): plural of chou, as used in choux pastry
          shoe: footwear
          shoo: exclamation used for scaring things away
    17.   content: noun. something contained in a package
          content: noun. or adj. satisfied, happy
    18.   compliment: a praising or flattering remark given to someone; to give such a remark
          complement: something that completes something else; to complete (something)
    19.   cue: a rod or stick used to play the game billiards or pool
          queue: a line of people waiting
    20.   descent: a downwards path
          dissent: disagreement
    21.   discreet: means tactful or diplomatic
          discrete: means separate or distinct
    22.   do: conduct or carry out something
          do (to rhyme with doe) / doh: the first note of the solfege scale
          doe: a female deer; also female of various other species (by extension)
          d'oh!: an annoyed grunt
          dough: a moistened mass of flour used to make bread; slang term for money
    23.   dyeing: artificially coloring
          dying: passing away
    24.   effect: ramification: cause and effect; sound effect (as a noun); bring about (effect
          change) (as a verb)
          affect: have an effect on; pretentiously display (affect a British accent); emotion (in
          psychology and psychiatry).
    25.   elicit: to call forth, draw out, or provoke (a reaction, for example)
          illicit: not sanctioned by custom or law; unlawful
    26.   ensure: to make certain, to guarantee
          insure: to purchase financial protection, as in an insurance policy.
          assure: to assuage the concern of another person.
LATTC Writing Center                     Rev. September 1, 2007                         Title V Funded
    27. fa / fah: the fourth note of the solfege scale
    far: distant (In non-rhotic dialects, these are homonyms.)
    28. fairy: imaginary small person with special powers (often homophonous with "ferry" in
        the US)
        ferry: boat for carrying people or vehicles short distances on water
    29. faze: to temporarily stop or shock (It didn't even faze them)
        phase: a stage through which one goes
    30. flaw: defect (homonymous with floor in non-rhotic dialects)
        floor: a level; lower surface of a room; the area of a legilsative building members speak
        from, so "to take/hold the floor"; to knock to the ground; to confound someone
        flor: a yeasty growth that forms on sherry after fermentation.
    31. formerly: in the past
        formally: in a formal way
        (These are not homonyms to most speakers of English, but are homonyms in some non-
        rhotic dialects, including "Received Pronunciation".)
    32. gnaw: to bite or chew on persistently
        nor: negates the last member of a series of negated items
    33. gorilla: the largest of the great apes.
        guerrilla: a small combat group.
    34. hair: an outgrowth of the epidermis in mammals (e.g. human facial hair); similar
        structures on plants
        hare: (noun) a swift, long-eared mammal which, along with rabbits, forms the family
        Leporidae; (verb) to dash or sprint ("I hared around the kitchen")
        Herr: the title meaning "Mr." for a man from Germany or Austria
    35. hay: grass cut and dried for animal feed
        hay: the choke of an artichoke
        hey: an exclamation used to draw attention, "Hey! Over here!"; a greeting
        hey or hay: a weaving figure in English country dance, morris dance and contra dance
        heigh: in the phrase "heigh-ho" expressing weariness or disappointment
    36. heir: one who inherits
        air: the mixture of gases present in a planet's atmosphere
    37. here: this place (opposed to there)
        hear: sense with the ears; also in the phrase "Hear! Hear!" for strong agreement
    38. high: opposite of low; elevated, far above the ground; under the influence of drugs
        hi: a greeting; shortened from "high" as part of hi-fi or el-hi
        hie: to speed or hurry somewhere, "hie thee to France"
        hi or heigh: part of the phrase "hi-ho" in the song "Hi Ho Silver Lining", or "heigh-ho" in
        the movie lyric "heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work we go"
        jai: as in jai alai
    39. hoard: to accumulate and store up as much of something as one can
        horde: large group of warriors, mob
        hoared: old, mouldy, fusty
        whored: past tense of "to whore" - to act as a prostitute
        hawed: past tense of haw - equivocate



LATTC Writing Center                  Rev. September 1, 2007                        Title V Funded
    40.   imminent: soon to occur
          immanent: existing only in the mind, or acting in the material world
          (Some speakers (perhaps 10%) of USA-English also pronounce eminent like these two.)
    41.   its: belonging to it (analogous to my, your, his, her, our, their)
          it's: contraction for "it is" (analogous to I'm, you're, he's, she's, we're, they're) or "it has"
          (analogous to I've, you've, he's, she's, we've, they've)
    42.   key: instrument used to open locks; a guide to symbols, especially on maps; the essential
          element "the key to his success"; a range of musical notes "try it in a lower key"; a button
          or lever on piano or computer keyboards
          key: a low island or sandbank, the Florida Keys
          quay: pronounced as key in the UK, as key, kay or kway in the US; a wharf, a structure
          built out into water for the ease of loading and unloading vessels
          cay: a West Indian word for an island, as in the novel The Cay
          ki: another name for the Hawaiian plant ti
    43.   lam: US slang: "on the lam" means "on the run"
          lamb: a young sheep
    44.   lama: priest (for example the Dalai Lama)
          llama: camelid mammal
    45.   law: legal rule
          lore: old story often not written down
          la: the sixth note of the solfege scale
    46.   lead: pronounced to rhyme with "seed", to guide or serve as the head of
          lead: pronounced to rhyme with "head", a heavy metal
          led: the past tense of "lead"
          leed: a copper kettle; a cauldron
    47.   leek: a vegetable of the onion family which is the national emblem of Wales
          leak: a hole which allows a gas or liquid to escape; confidential information sent to
          journalists to expose some issue (the leak came from within the White House itself);
          slang for urination
          Leek: places in England and the Netherlands
    48.   lock: a mechanical device for securing doors or canals; also the act of using such a device
          (verb); a tuft of human hair
          Lok: alternative name for Loki, the Norse god of mischief
          Locke: the surname of early liberal philosopher John Locke
    49.   mail: items sent through the postal service; armor
          male: opposite of female
    50.   mantle (disambiguation): one of the layers of the Earth; a cloak (by metaphorical
          extension, special position or role held)
          mantel: over the fireplace
    51.   marry: to wed
          merry: happy
          Mary: a woman's name, from Maria, probably a variation of the Hebrew name Miriam,
          meaning "sea of bitterness"
    52.   medal: an award to be strung around the neck
          meddle: stick one's nose into others' affairs
          metal: shiny, malleable element or alloy like silver, gold, iron, zinc, tin, copper, bronze or
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          brass
          mettle: toughness, guts
          Note that the first two of these are only homonyms of the second two in North American
          English.
    53.   me: personal pronoun
          me: a concept in Sumerian mythology
          me / mi: the third note of the solfege scale
    54.   morning: the time between midnight and midday
          mourning: period of grieving after the death of a relative, friend or public figure, clothing
          worn at this time (e.g. mourning dove)
    55.   muscle: one of the parts of the body used to move
          mussel: a bivalve popular as seafood
    56.   past: time before now (past, present and future); beyond; after the hour (three past nine =
          9:03); former (in her past life)
          passed: past tense of "to pass"
    57.   parse: to break down into component parts (e.g. for analysis)
          pars: the acts of scoring a par in golf; also plural of "par"
          parrs: plural of "parr" - a young salmonid fish
    58.   piece: portion
          peace: opposite of war; quietness (peace of mind) or silence (speak now or forever keep
          your peace)
    59.   pi: the ratio of the diameter and circumfrance of a circle (also the 16th letter in the greek
          alphabet)
          pie: a baked food having a filling of fruit, meat, pudding, etc., prepared in a pastry-lined
          pan or dish and often topped with a pastry crust
    60.   peak: tip, height, to reach its highest point, a mountain
          peke: a breed of dog
          peek: to take a brief look, usually through a thin aperture (sneak peek)
          pique: fit of anger; to incite (pique one's interest)
    61.   paw: a mammal's foot
          poor: impoverished; also, to be pitied (Poor Peter!), also bad (poor quality)
          pore: a hole in the skin; to go over with great focus (pore over)
          pour: to run out (said of liquid); to rain heavily
          par: common level; equality
    62.   principal: can be a noun or an adjective, a person of primary importance
          principle: a noun: it cannot be an adjective, a fundamental rule or law
    63.   rack: a long, open container with a rectangular frame (spice rack); one's upper body; to
          torture (verb) or an instrument of torture (noun)
          wrack: to destroy, a shipwreck, commonly found in the phrase "to go to wrack and ruin"
          Note: In British English, only the first spelling should be used in the phrase "to rack one's
          brains"; in American English the second spelling is also acceptable in this context; the
          meaning of "rack" in this phrase is related to the rack as an instrument of torture
    64.   rain: water falling from the sky
          reign: to rule; hold the position as monarch
          rein: the strip used to control a horse; anything that restrains; to restrain anything by


LATTC Writing Center                     Rev. September 1, 2007                        Title V Funded
          pulling in its irrational exuberance (pull the reins in on)
          Rayne: a city in Louisiana
    65.   raise: to increase
          raze: to destroy, to obliterate: "the town was razed to the ground by the fire"
          rays: beams of light or energy (sun's rays, X-rays, gamma rays, etc.); cartilaginous fishes
          Reyes: as in Point Reyes
    66.   ray: a beam of light
          ray: a type of fish
          ray / re: the second note of the solfege scale
          Re / Ra(h): an Egyptian god.
          rah: a short form of "hurrah"
    67.   reek: to stink
          wreak: to bring about (wreak havoc)
          reak: a rush (plant), or a prank
    68.   rest: sit down without doing anything active; the remainder
          wrest: to struggle to extricate something (wrest it out of his hands)
    69.   retch: to vomit
          wretch: a person in a miserable condition; a person of bad character
    70.   right: the direction opposite to left; correct; something a person must have his/her choice
          to do respected (the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness); straight or directly
          (went right to his heart)
          write: to put down in letters; send a letter to (Write me soon!)
          rite: ritual, ceremony (rites of passage)
          wright: connected with other words to mean someone who constructs (playwright,
          scenewright, wheelwright)
    71.   ring: piece of jewelry; make a sound like a bell or telephone, or tinnitus in the ears;
          anything shaped like a circle or torus (like the rings in a bathtub); sound familiarly like
          (that rings of fascism)
          wring: strangle (wring his neck), squeeze and twist (wring the water out of laundry)
    72.   root: part of a plant, usually beneath the ground
          route: path of travel, Standard English pronunciation
    73.   rout: chaotic or disorderly retreat
          route: path of travel, American English pronunciation
    74.   row (rhymes with "go"): to pull a boat through the water with oars
          row (rhymes with "cow"): a fuss or a fight
          roe: fish eggs (such as caviar); a deer (the roebuck)
          Roe: pseudonym used in court cases for women having or seeking abortions (most
          famously in Roe v. Wade)
          rho: letter of the Greek alphabet equivalent to R
          Ro: a constructed language based on categorization
    75.   seem: appear to
          seam: a join; a line of stitches that holds two pieces together
    76.   shear: trim, remove; strain
          sheer: absolute, very steep; swerve



LATTC Writing Center                      Rev. September 1, 2007                          Title V Funded
    77.   sight: vision
          site: place, grounds; place in cyberspace
          cite: quote or make a reference to; write a ticket
    78.   so: likewise; therefore; to such a degree
          so or soh: the fifth note of the solfege scale
          sow (pronounced as so): to scatter seeds
          sew (pronounced as so): join together or stitch
          sew (pronounced as sue): to drain (as the root of sewage)
          Sioux (pronounced as sue): Native American tribe
          sou (pronounced as sue): a French five-centime coin; any small amount of money
          sous (pronounced as sue): French for "under", often used as a prefix such as in sous-chef
          - a sub-chef
          sue: to prosecute or petition for
          xu (pronounced as sue): a Vietnamese monetary unit, 1/100 of a dong
          sow (to rhyme with cow): a female pig
    79.   some: a few
          sum: what you get when you add numbers; short for summarize (sum up)
    80.   soul: spirit; mellow African-American music style
          sole: single and only; the surface of the bottom of the foot; flat fish like flounder, petrale
          or halibut
          Seoul: the capital of South Korea
          Sol: the solar system we live in
    81.   stake a wooden implement used in woodcraft or the in popular culture, the abolition of a
          vampire.
          steak a large chunk of meat commonly eaten across Britain.
    82.   stationery: office supplies
          stationary: as not mobile
    83.   tail: appendage of most mammals
          tale: a story
    84.   tea: a tree and the drink produced from its leaves
          tee: a support for the ball in golf
          ti / te: the seventh note of the solfege scale
          ti: a Polynesian tree similar to the taro
          see also the disambiguation page TI
    85.   tear (rhymes with fear): a drop of fluid which falls from the eyes when weeping or crying
          tear (rhymes with fare): rip; to run extremely fast, jolt, bolt, dart
          tare: dry measure of grains; payment in wheat; adjustment to a weighing device
          tier: layer or level
    86.   their: belonging to them
          there: that place (opposed to here); denotes existence of something
          they're: contraction for "they are"
    87.   theirs: belonging to them
          there's: contraction for "there is" or "there has"
    88.   therefore: thus, ergo (I think therefore I am)
          therefor: for the aforementioned thing or purpose; for that (similar to thereof, thereby,
          therefrom, thereagainst, etc.)
LATTC Writing Center                     Rev. September 1, 2007                         Title V Funded
    89.   to: towards or headed for; in order to; used before the infinitive of verbs
          too: also; excessively
          two: the number 2
          tui: the parson bird
          tout: French word meaning "all", as in mange-tout
    90.   vary: make a change in; undergo change
          very: adverbial intensifier
    91.   waste: to use up for something pointless; sewage (toxic waste)
          waist: the line that goes across the middle of your body
    92.   weather: the meteorological conditions; to survive some wear and tear
          whether: if something is so or not
          wether: a male sheep (The bellwether was the ram who led the herd, and carried a bell
          around his neck to signal the front of the herd coming.)
    93.   wet: to dampen; damp
          whet: to sharpen (a knife, one's appetite)
    94.   which: similar to 'what', as in "which one?"
          witch: one who practices witchcraft; green lady dressed in black who rides a broomstick
    95.   while: during a period of time
          wile: deceitful cunning
    96.   whore: a prostitute
          horror: intense fear
          hoar: white with age
    97.   whose: belonging to whom
          who's: contraction for "who is" or "who has"
          hoos: plural of hoo, a small hill or promontory (as in Sutton Hoo)
    98.   yolk: the yellow part of an egg
          yoke: wooden fastener on working animals such as oxen or horses
    99.   your: belonging to you (analogous to my, his, her, its, our, their)
          you're: contraction for "you are" (analogous to I'm, he's, she's, it's, we're, they're)
          yore: time long ago, a bygone age ("the days of yore")
          yaw: swerve (usually of a ship or a spacecraft)


           Adapted from http://www.answers.com/topic/list-of-commonly-confused-homonyms




LATTC Writing Center                   Rev. September 1, 2007                      Title V Funded

				
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