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What is a homophone?

Discover what a homophone is and how to use them

What is a homophone?

Homophones are words that have the same sound, in terms of how they are pronounced but have a different meaning and are (often) spelt differently.

For example:

  • To; two; too

    For example, Sally might say; “I’m going to the shops.”

    Her brother, Richard might say; “I want to go too.”

    And their mother might ask them; “Can you please get me two bananas?”
  • See; sea

    For example, Sally might say “I can see the shop.”

    Their mother might have warned them before they set off to the shop, “Don’t go in the sea!”
  • Here; Hear

    For example, Richard might say “Sally, come here! I can hear the seagulls. Where are they, I can’t see them?”


The word ‘homophone’ is Greek; ‘homo’ (ὁμο‑) which means "same", and ‘phōnḗ’ (φωνή) which means “voice, utterance”.

In English there are:

-          88 words that have 3 homophones

-          24 words that have 4 homophones

-          2 words that have 5 homophones

-          1 word that has 6 homophones

-          1 word that has 7 homophones

 

Words with 2 homophones
1. Through Threw
2. Fair Fare
3. Dear Deer
4. Cheep Cheap
5. Plain

Plane

6. Be Bee
7. Piece Peace
8. Break Brake
9. You're Your
10. Warn Worn 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words with 3 homophones
1. Their There They're
2. To Too Two
3. By Bye Buy
4. We'll Wheel Weal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One word with seven homophones
  Raise Rays Rase Raze Rehs Reis Res
Word meaning:  To lift something up Sunbeams To erase something To knock something down Sodium salt mixtures Plural of real and also the currency of Portugal and Brazil Plural of 're' - which is the musical scale

  

Why not test yourself with these fun homophone games?

https://www.englishclub.com/esl-games/pronunciation/matching-homophones.htm