Thursday, 9 April 2015


Homophones or homonyms are two or more words which sound the same but which are written differently. They often have unrelated meanings and hence messing them up while writing will give an entirely different meaning to your prose or poetry.

Commonly mistaken Homophones.

1.       Its / it’s

Its means something belonging to it.
Example: The cat waved its tail.
It’s is a contraction for it is or it has.
Example: It’s my choice to stay single.

2.       Your / you’re

Your means something that belongs to you.
Example: what is your name?
You’re is a contraction of you are.
Example: You’re doing it incorrectly.

3.       Their / there / they’re

Their means something that belongs to them.
Example: Their house was built of bricks.
There shows where something is.
Example: There once lived an old woman who made hats.
They’re is a contraction of they are.
Example: They’re very kind folks.

4.       Air/heir

Air means gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Example: The air was inundated with fragrance of blossoms.
Heir is someone who will inherit something by virtue of birth or by legacy.
Example: He was the heir to a million dollar business.

5.       Banned/Band

Banned means to prohibit something.
Example: Cannabis is banned in many countries.
Band is a group of people.
Example: My favorite rock band is the spice girls.

6.       Bare/ Bear

Bare means naked.
Example: His bare chest showed battle scars.
Bear is an animal.
Example: The bear was very angry.

7.       Cent/ scent

Cent is one by hundredth of a dollar.
Example: He doesn’t own a single cent.
Scent means fragrance.
Example: The musky scent of his cologne was intoxicating.

8.       Claws/ Clause

Claws are nails of animals.
Example: My cat’s claws are very sharp.
Clause is a section or point in a legal document.
Example: Do not sign any document before understanding every single clause mentioned in it.

9.       Dear/ Deer

Dear means someone who loved or close to heart.
Example: My dear mother was fond of daffodils.
Deer is an animal.
Example: We saw many deer grazing in the grassland.

10.   Died/ Dyed

Died means to stop living.
Example: My grandfather died when I was a year old.
Dyed means to colour.
Example: I want to dye my hair blonde.

Other common homophone goof ups are
·         Flower/ Flour
·         Heal / Heel
·         Wholy/ holy
·         Inn/In
·         Made/ Maid
·         Morning/ Morning
·         Quite/ Quiet
·         Night/ Knight
·         None/ Nun
·         Pause/ Paws
·         Write/ Right
·         Whine/ Wine
·         Plain/ Plane
·         Our/Hour
·         Muscles/ Mussels
·         Bated/ Baited
·         Bald/ Bawled

Are you scared of homophones now? Don't be. Justt proofread your document to make sure you are using them correctly.

This post is a part of the APRIL A-Z Challenge  


  1. The grammar nazi in me goes nuts when these get misused.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

    1. Yes. It is so irritating to find them used.

  2. Good thing I have an editor!

    Stephen Tremp
    an A-Z Cohost
    @StephenTremp on Twitter

  3. I think these are some common mistakes that we do when writing because they sound similar. English is indeed a funny language :)


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