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What are Homophones? Definition and Examples of Homophones

What are Homophones? Definition and Examples of Homophones
What are homophones? The English language has many confusing rules to remember and so many different concepts to learn and master the language. In this article, you'll learn about some confusing English words called homophones. Homophones are words that are pronounced the same even if they differ in meaning and spelling, such as "pray" and "prey. Homophones are especially important when we are writing in English. They do not really matter when you speak because they are pronounced exactly the same! But when you write them down, you'll fall into trouble. Look at the definition and some common examples of homophones. 

Homophones Definition

Two or more words pronounced the same (with an identical sound) but have different spellings and meanings are called homophones. For example, the two words aunt and ant are homophones; we pronounce them the same but have different spellings and meanings. The first one (aunt) refers to the sister of someone's father or mother, and the second one (i.e., ant) refers to a tiny insect. 

Examples of Homophones with Meanings 

Some common examples of homophones with meaning, including their use in a sentence that clarifies their meaning difference, are given below.

Example-1: Homophone of Add
The two words 'add' and 'ad' are homophones because they are pronounced the same, but their spelling and meaning are different.
Meaning: The word 'add' is a frequently used verb with several meanings, while an ad is an advertisement.
Give them a list of numbers to add.
Do you know what is the biggest ad agency in the United States?

Example-2: Homophone of Addition
Addition—the process of uniting
Edition—the form or format of a book, magazine or newspaper 
There was an addition to income taxes this year.
The new edition of the book has improved with the latest topics.

Example-3: Homophones of Sent
Sent—Sent are the past tense and the past participle of 'send.'
Cent—a unit of monetary value equal to 0.01 of the U.S. dollars
Scent—a pleasant smell.
The professor was sent to the United States.
How many cents did you pay for a bottle?
The smells pleasant with the scent of roses every morning.

Example-4: Homophone of No
The word 'know' is the homophone of no. They have the same sound, but their meaning is different. 
No- A word that generally indicates a negative response.
Know- aware of or familiar with a particular person or thing.

My son has caught no fish yet.
I know the name of every child in the village. 

Example-5: Homophone of Great
Great—It is a word used to describe something that is very large in size, degree, or amount.
Grate— A metal device with sharp holes in it.
A great crowd had gathered outside the PM house. 
Please rub the cheese with a grate in the kitchen.

Example-7: Homophone of Taught 
Taught— The word taught is a verb. It is the past and past participle of 'teach.'
Taut—The word taut is an adjective. It refers to something that is very tight or completely stretched 
Mr. David taught me and his daughter English.
I kept my eyes on the road, my face taut with concentration. 

Example-8: Homophone of Past
Past— It refers to a period of time before now.
Passed— Passed is the '-ed' form of the verb 'pass' which means proceeded; went by
I have been running 3 kilometers every day for the past seven years. 
A cloud passed over the sun. 

Example-9: Homophone of Tea
Tea—Tea is a hot drink
Tee— a short plastic stick with a cup-shaped top 
I'd love a cup of tea, please. 
At the next tee, he hit an outstanding long drive.

Example-9: Homophone of Eight
Eight— It refers to a number 
Ate— The past form of eat (to take food into the mouth)
I was eight years old when my family moved to this house. 
I think he ate meat yesterday.

Homophones Quiz
Test your understanding of some common homophones. Select the correct answer from the choices provided for each blank.
1. I have only_______ days left of my vacation.
to
too
two
2. This ball only cost one ______
sent
scent
cent  
3. I have an____name Sara in the United Kingdom. 
ant
aunt
4. They__________me flowers for my birthday. 
cent
sent
scent
5. I___________gymnastics. I can do a back bend.
no
know
6. Which word refers to the format of work?
addition
edition
7 A________pasta recipes tell you to freshly______the cheese.
great
grate 

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