Asterisks like this will provide you with extra information.
Revisit - homophones and homonyms
Homophones are words that sound the same in UK pronunciation,
Ma tTe rS but have different spellings and meanings, e.g. flower and flour. Many
people make careless mistakes when writing these words.
You need to learn the words as there are very few spelling rules to help
you to remember them, though there are things you could try to remember. A few are given in
the pop-up teacher tips, and you can make up your own. One positive aspect of this is that
they, with homonyms, are the main source material for puns and cryptic crossword clues and
answers - so you’ll never be short of an answer, or a corny joke.
Here are lists of some of the commonest homophones - there are many more.
allowed You are not allowed to smoke until you are 16.
aloud* She spoke her thoughts aloud (to say something so it can be heard).
bear* A bear is a large furry animal.
bare She walked on the beach with bare feet.
bored To be bored is to have lost interest in something.
board A board is a flat piece of wood.
break If you break something you damage it.
brake When you brake the car slows down.
caught He caught a large fish.
court You play tennis on a tennis court.
check Did you check that the door is locked?
cheque You can write a cheque to pay your bills.
find I can't find my socks.
fined She was fined £40 for driving too fast on the motorway.
flower A daffodil is a flower.
flour You need some flour to make the birthday cake.
hair She has really long hair in a ponytail.
hare A hare is an animal like a rabbit.
here Please come over here.
hear* Can you hear that noise?
heal* His leg is broken, but it will heal (get better).
heel Your heel is at the back of your foot.
hire When we go to Spain we'll hire a car.
higher The mountain was higher than the clouds.
hour There are 60 minutes in an hour.
our* This is our house.
maid The maid cleaned all of the 15 rooms.
made I made the bed this morning.
new I spilt wine on my brand new shirt.
knew* I knew the answers to all the questions.
one There was only one piece of birthday cake left.
won She won the running race.
pear I like fruit. I ate a pear and a banana for breakfast.
pair I won the card game with a pair of aces.
piece I ate a very large piece of pie.
peace He went on a march for world peace.
plain I painted over the wallpaper in a plain colour.
plane The plane landed late because of heavy fog.
pour Can you please pour some milk on my cereal?
poor He grew up in a poor neighbourhood.
paw The cat hurt his paw in a fight.
pore There are minute openings that let skin ‘breathe’. Each opening is called a pore.
saw He cut the tree down with a saw.
I saw what you did!
sore His ankle was sore after he fell over.
soar Birds soar and swoop above us in the sky.
see She couldn't see without her glasses.
sea I went swimming in the sea while on holiday.
shore She built a sandcastle by the shore.
sure I'm sure that I turned the oven off. (to be absolutely certain)
sight Don't let the children out of your sight.
site There were four cranes on the building site.
stairs She ran down the stairs to answer the phone.
stares He stares out of the window at the neighbours.
steal The thief got caught trying to steal the diamond.
steel The buildings were made of steel and glass.
they're* They're is a shorter way to say they are.
their It was their dog that bit the postman.
there* The supermarket is over there.
through I walked through the door into the room.
threw She threw the ball a long way.
to* He isn't going to work today.
too Too is another way to say ‘as well’ or ‘also’.
two Two is the number between one and three.
waste Waiting for the wrong train was a waste of time.
waist Her old dress was a bit tight around the waist.
week A week is seven days long.
weak He was too weak to lift the heavy box.
where* Where are you going tonight?
wear Which tee-shirt are you going to wear when we go out?
whether I'm not sure whether to phone her or not.
weather Sun, rain, wind and snow are types of weather.
which Which ice cream would you like?
witch The witch was seen flying on a broomstick.
whole Two halves make a whole.
hole There was a hole in his sock.
worn I am tired and worn out.
warn He tried to warn her about the wet floor.
would Would you like a drink?.
wood Wood comes from trees.
write I must write a letter to my friend soon.
right Right is the opposite of left.
Homonyms are also words that sound the same but which are spelt the same way.
However, they still have different meanings.
Here are some examples:
club ( somewhere to dance)
club ( large, heavy object that people get hit with)
fine ( money you owe for bring things back late)
fine (feeling okay)
rock (a type of music)
rock (to sway or move up and down)
rock (made of stone)
Homophones SOUND the SAME, but are spelt differently. They have different meanings.
Homonyms SOUND the SAME, are SPELT the SAME, and have different meanings.
Try the activities on the next two pages to
test your learning and understanding:
Activity Sheet 1 Copy and save your own versions of these sheets. EngliSh
Ma tTe rS
1. there = in that place; their = belonging to them; they’re = short for ‘they
Overtype the correct words from the three choices above into these sentences:
a. . . . . . . . . are some ripe ones. Where? Over . . . . . . . .
b. . . . . . . . . books were too large for . . . . . . . . bags.
c. . . . . . . . . aiming to win and . . . . . . . . fairly confident.
d. . . . . . . . . sure to return to collect . . . . . . . . luggage.
e. . . . . . . . . hotel is in Margate where . . . . . . . . are lots of hotels.
f. . . . . . . . . looking for. . . . . . . . friends up . . . . . . . . on that mountain over. . . . . . . .
2. two = 2; too = also / in excess; to = in that direction / used with a verb
As in question 1, insert the correct words in each sentence.
a. . . . . . . . . heads are better than one but four legs are faster than . . . . . . . .
b. . . . . . . . . much of the wrong food will make one. . . . . . . .fat.
c. . . . . . . . . quote from a famous play: . . . . . . . . be or not . . . . . . . . be.
d. . . . . . . . . men, travelling . . . . . . . . Birmingham, went. . . . . . . . far, . . . . . . . . Crewe.
e. The train to London arrived at . . . . . . twenty,. . . . . . .late for me . . . . . . attend my interview.
f. The . . . . . of us were invited . . . . .the other party . . . . ., but it was all . . . . . much.
3. were = past tense of are; we’re = short for we are; where = a place word
(Much depends on where you live and how you pronounce these words. Try to make them sound different.)
Sound the difference, insert the correct words and write out the sentence.
a. . . . . . you asleep or . . . . . you awake when they arrived?
b. . . . . . abroad in June but . . . . . hoping to back for the wedding.
c. The money is not . . . . . you said it was, so . . . . . is it?
d. . . . . . you aiming to throw it . . . . . it landed?
e. . . . . . happy with . . . . . the trees . . . . . planted.
f. . . . . . they . . . . . going last year is . . . . . . . . . . going this year.
4. This passage contains 25 errors involving the 3 sets of words above. Correct them, highlighting changes made.
We we’re travelling too Scotland, the to of us, were their where too castles we where planning
two visit. Were interested in old buildings for there history and there beauty. Edinburgh and Stirling
where the too castles we we’re going too see on this journey. It was two far too see the to in one or
to days so we where planning two stay their for a week because there well worth going two visit.
Activity sheet 2 Name: Form:
Copy and save your own versions of these sheets.
Select from the list of homophones below the correct word to paste over each blank in the sentences that
follow. There are some here that have not been mentioned before. Right click for synonyms to check
meanings if unsure.
whether there through rode stationery moor sent
weather they’re threw rowed stationary principle scent
hear their write be been principal son
here no right bee bean weigh sun
to know check four pail way some
too would cheque fore pale groan sum
two wood road for more grown
1. The is shining. It is a beautiful day.
2. I a letter through the post.
3. The trousers no longer fitted as he had so tall.
4. He has an important new job as the of the college.
5. I would like some of that chocolate cake please.
6. After her illness, she looked very .
7. I must a letter to the bank.
8. I need to see she has cashed her .
9. you like to come to the party with us?
10. You need to go the door at the end of the canteen.
11. He his motorbike along the main that led to the motorway.
12. I am going out it is raining or not.
13. There is paper left in the printer. Did you ?
14. Paper, pens, inks and envelopes are all on sale in the department.
15. That chair is reserved customers.
16. The twins are six today. I shall hide parcels over .
17. I like to come , because I always
the latest gossip.
Ma tTe rS
18. Jack planted a magic and it grew up to a land of giants, in the sky.
19. The sign says we should go this .
20. Ask me! I the right answer to that question.