English can be a confusing language to learn! 

Have you ever come across two words that sound the same, but have different meanings? These are called homophones. 

In this detailed guide, you will learn 60 sets of homophones with real native examples. 

What are homophones?

Homophones are two or more words that sound the same (identical pronunciation), but have different meanings. These words are often spelt differently in English too (e.g. Flower vs. Flour). 

The term homophone comes from Greek ‘homo-’ (meaning: same) and ‘-phone’ (meaning: sound or voice), so the word literally means: ‘same sound’.

English has more homophones than most languages because its pronunciation has changed a lot over time, while its spelling has changed very little. Many words have been borrowed from other languages through the centuries and this explains why English spelling is so strange (or confusing!). 

For example: right (Old English: riht) vs. write (Old English: writan) vs. rite (Latin: ritus). In the past, these words would have been pronounced differently, but today they all sound the same in modern English.

In this guide, we will focus on homophones in British English. Most of these are the same in American English too. However, national and regional accents change the way people pronounce words and sometimes this creates different homophones. For example, these words are homophones in American English, but not in British English: hostel/hostile, balm/bomb, caught/cot, halve/have.

Let’s take a look at some homophones!

  1. Allowed – Aloud
  2. Ate – Eight
  3. Band – Banned
  4. Bare – Bear
  5. Be – Bee
  6. Been – Bean
  7. Blue – Blew
  8. Bored – Board
  9. Break – Brake
  10. Capital – Capitol
  11. Cereal – Serial
  12. Complement – Compliment
  13. Deer – Dear
  14. Earn – Urn
  15. Flower – Flour
  16. Flew – Flu
  17. For – Four
  18. Hair – Hare
  19. Hear – Here
  20. Heel – Heal
  21. Hi – High
  22. Hole – Whole
  23. Hour – Our
  24. Two – To – Too
  25. I – Eye
  26. I’ll – Aisle – Isle
  27. Knew – New
  28. Knight – Night
  29. Knot – Not
  30. Made – Maid
  31. Mail – Male
  32. Marshal – Martial
  33. Meet – Meat
  34. Muscle – Mussel
  35. None – Nun
  36. Pair – Pear
  37. Peace – Piece
  38. Peak – Peek
  39. Principal – Principle
  40. Rain – Reign
  41. Ring – Wring
  42. Sea – See
  43. Sail – Sale
  44. Scene – Seen
  45. Some – Sum
  46. Sun – Son
  47. Stare – Stair
  48. Steal – Steel
  49. Tail – Tale
  50. Their – There – They’re
  51. Throne – Thrown
  52. Waste – Waist
  53. Wear – where
  54. Week – Weak
  55. Which – Witch
  56. Who’s – Whose
  57. Would – Wood
  58. Won – One
  59. Your – You’re
  60. Buy – By – Bye

Here there’s a video about homophones. So you can practice listening and pronunciation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *