Remember that list of 20 sets of homonyms I shared a year ago, or that list of 25 sets of easily confused words I shared last month? Maybe you haven’t been reading my blog for that long, but if you do recall reading them, you may appreciate the overlap of their themes in today’s creative writing post. The Error Avoidance game in the Elevate – Brain Training app includes several pairs of homophones – so many, in fact, that instead of including them in the aforementioned list of commonly confused words, I saved them to add to another list of homonyms. The English language has so many, it’s hard to keep track!
So on that note, here’s a list of 32 more pairs and sets of homonyms to watch out for in your writing. Enjoy!
2) Bare / Bear – To be “bare” is to be uncovered. To “bear” is to carry, support, or endure.
3) Baited / Bated – To be “baited” is to be prepared with a lure or to give in to a taunt. To be “bated” is to be in great suspense.
4) Bow / Bough – To “bow” is to bend the head or upper part of the body. A “bough” is a main branch of a tree.
5) Canvas / Canvass – A “canvas” is a type of strong, coarse cloth. To “canvass” is to solicit votes from electors.
6) Cite / Sight / Site – To “cite” a passage from a book or author is to quote it as evidence for a statement. A “sight” is anything that one sees or that can be seen. A “site” is an area where a building is constructed or where an event occurs.
7) Creak / Creek – To “creak” is to make a high-pitched sound when being moved. A “creek” is a stream or brook.
8) Doe / Dough – A “doe” is a female deer. “Dough” is a mix of flour and liquid used for baking.
9) Fair / Fare – To be “fair” is to be in accordance with the rules, while a “fair” is a gathering of amusements for public entertainment. A “fare” is the money a passenger has to pay for public transportation, while to “fare” is to perform in a specified way.
10) Faze / Phase – To “faze” someone is to disturb or disconcert them. A “phase” is a distinct period or stage in a process.
11) Flair / Flare – “Flair” is a special ability for doing something well. A “flare” is a burst of bright light or flame.
12) Floe / Flow – A “floe” is a sheet of floating ice. To “flow” is to steadily move along in a continuous stream.
13) Foreword / Forward – A “foreword” is a short introduction to a book. “Forward” is toward the front or future.
14) Gored / Gourd – “Gored” is the past tense of “gore”, which means to pierce or stab. A “gourd” is a large fleshy fruit or a drinking container.
15) Hail / Hale – “Hail” is frozen rain. To be “hale” is to be strong and healthy.
16) Hangar / Hanger – A “hangar” is a building for housing an aircraft. A “hanger” is an item that holds clothes.
17) Hawk / Hock – A “hawk” is a bird of prey, while to “hawk” is to peddle goods. To “hock” is to pawn one’s possessions, while a “hock” is a cut of meat.
18) Hew / Hue – To “hew” is to chop or cut. A “hue” is a color or shade.
19) Hoard / Horde – To “hoard” is to amass money or valuable items and store them away. A “horde” is a large group of people.
20) Lightening / Lightning – “Lightening” is the act of making something lighter. “Lightning” is an electrical weather phenomenon.
21) Loath / Loathe – To be “loath” is to be reluctant or unwilling. To “loathe” is to hate or despise.
22) Pail / Pale – A “pail” is a bucket. To be “pale” is to be light in color or to seem less important.
23) Pair / Pare – A “pair” is a set of two. To “pare” is to trim away the outer edges of something.
24) Palate / Palette / Pallet – A “palate” is a person’s appreciation of taste and flavor. A “palette” is a range of colors used by an artist. A “pallet” is a portable platform used for moving, stacking, and storing goods.
25) Peal / Peel – To “peal” is to ring loudly. To “peel” is to remove an outer layer.
26) Premier / Premiere – To be “premier” is to be first in importance. A “premiere” is the first performance or showing of a theatrical work or movie.
27) Raise / Raze – To “raise” is to lift up. To “raze” is to destroy completely.
28) Reek / Wreak – To “reek” is to smell strongly and unpleasantly. To “wreak” is to inflict or cause a large amount of damage.
29) Sear / Seer / Sere – To “sear” is to burn or scorch the surface of something. A “seer” is a person who supposedly is able to see what the future holds. To be “sere” is to be dry or withered.
30) Succor / Sucker – “Succor” is a form of assistance and support. A “sucker” is a lollipop or a gullible person.
31) Vice / Vise – A “vice” is a moral flaw. A “vise” is a device that holds an object in place.
32) Warrantee / Warranty – A “warrantee” is a person to whom a guarantee is given. A “warranty” is a written guarantee promising to repair or replace a purchase if necessary.
Have you ever mixed up these words before? What other pairs or sets of homonyms would you add to this list?