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Common Homophones: Examples, Words List, and Meanings

What are Homophones?

Homophones are some of the trickiest words in the English language, but what are they? Homophones are defined as words which sound the same, but which mean different things, like apart vs. a part. The prefix “homo-” means “the same,” while the root “phones” pertains to sound.

To keep your writing looking professional, it’s essential to know the correct usage of common homophones (pronounced: “HAA-muh-fohwns”), because mixing them up changes the meaning of what you’re trying to say. Aw, yikes!

Meanings of Homophones

To help learn the meanings of these commonly confused words, I have compiled the giant homophones word list below to help teach correct spelling, definitions, and usage, illustrated by fun cartoon lessons which solve the dilemma of which similarly-sounding word to use when.

Who am I to create this? My name is Lillie Marshall, and I’ve been an English teacher since 2003 — almost two decades! If you struggle with using homophones, you’re not alone; kids and adults around the world have used these lessons to improve their writing. Ready? Let’s learn!

Homophones: List of Examples

What are the most common and tricky pairs of homophones, and how can we remember the definitions to use the words correctly? This list gives meanings and examples in illustrated lessons!

Which Homophones are Hardest?

Now that you’ve seen this list, which of these homophones do you find the trickiest to remember? For me, “its vs. it’s” always gets me, because it’s opposite the usual apostrophe rule of possession.

VIDEO: Common Homophones

Which Homophones to Add?

Now it’s time to make requests! Which homophones would you like to see added to this list? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Homophones word list
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The author, Lillie Marshall, is a National Board Certified Teacher of English and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched DrawingsOf.com Educational Cartoons in 2020, building upon the success of her other two sites, AroundTheWorldL.com (established 2009) and TeachingTraveling.com (founded 2010). Subscribe to Lillie's monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media to stay connected!

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