Homophones! What is a homophone? Learn homophone definition and homophones list with example sentences, videos and ESL printable worksheets.
Useful list of 300+ homonyms in English.
What is a Homophone?
What is a homophone? Learn homophone definition with examples.
Homophone definition: In English, a homophone is a word that is pronounced exactly or nearly the same as another word but differs in meaning and is spelled differently. Homophones are the most confusing words in the English language.
- Rode — Road
- Sauce — Source
- Scene — Seen
- See — Sea
- Side — Sighed
- Soar — Sore
- Sole — Soul
- Some — Sum
- Sort — Sought
- Stare — Stair
- Stationary — Stationery
- Steal — Steel
- Stile — Style
- Sun — Son
- Tail — Tale
Homophones examples illustrated with pictures – Image 1
Homophones examples illustrated with pictures – Image 2
List of Homophones with Examples
Homophones List (A)
Ad —– Add
- We put an ad in the local paper.
- Do you want to add your name to the list?
Ail —– Ale
- Make a kind of grand tour on my own, take the waters and cure what ails me.
- Deglaze pan with nut-brown ale and reduce liquid by half.
Air —– Heir
- Let’s go out for some fresh air.
- John was the sole heir to a vast estate.
All —– Awl
- All horses are animals, but not all animals are horses.
- An awl is an iron instrument used for piercing leather, but the word has been in punning use since time immemorial.
Allowed —– Aloud
- Smoking is not allowed here.
- The pain made him cry aloud.
Alms —– Arms
- Parish priests were feeling the pinch through reduced income from alms and tithes.
- He had a pile of books in his arms.
Altar —– Alter
- The groom left the bride standing at the altar.
- I can’t alter the plans.
Ant —– Aunt
- Ants work hard all summer.
- My aunt lives in Canada.
Arc —– Ark
- The beach swept around in an arc.
- The ark is vast, designed to float, not sail – and there were no launching problems!
Ate —– Eight
- I ate three hot dogs.
- My parents died when I was eight.
Auger —– Augur
- These have parallel sides and an auger along which the excess wood escapes.
- Conflicts among the various groups do not augur well for the future of the peace talks.
Aural —– Oral
- The sound track gives us the aural before the visual cue; it is as if the thunder arrives before the lightning.
- Like our oral culture, our society is atomized, disparate and largely obsessed with trivia.
Homophones List (B)
Baize —– Bays
- At the same time, away from the competitive baize, she was a loyal and warm-hearted personality.
- He just crouches on the corner at lunchtime and occasionally bays, like a wolf or coyote.
Bald —– Bawled
- He combed his hair and tried to hide his bald patch.
- If you didn’t, you were bawled out, and that took an awful lot of getting used to.
Ball —– Bawl
- Tom caught the ball with one hand
- I couldn’t help it, I just started bawling.
Band —– Banned
- They formed a band when they were still at school.
- Leaders of the banned party were arrested last night.
Bard —– Barred
- I can be a bard, a philosopher, an actor.
- The gates are barred, the grass grows long, the paint peels.
Bare —– Bear
- The trees are already bare.
- I am afraid of bears.
Baron —– Barren
- Hariri is not the first political baron to have risen without the benefit of family connections.
- Thousands of years ago the surface was barren desert.
Be —– Bee
- Be quiet!
- A bee is buzzing around.
Beach —– Beech
- It’s a nice day for going to the beach.
- Copses of beech and alder appeared, straggling along the banks with their roots lost in a tangle of briars and bracken.
Bean —– Been
- Tom doesn’t like green beans.
- I’ve never been to Japan.
Beer —– Bier
- He opened the fridge and got out a can of ice-cold beer.
- She made an effort to compose her mind to do just that, and kept her eyes firmly on the bier.
Berry —– Bury
- If you are determined to cultivate fruits, then the safest bets are berry bushes and nut trees.
- We hope to bury any speculation that there was a conspiracy.
Berth —– Birth
- You see them in dedicated lanes, hopefully being given a wide berth by cars.
- What’s your date of birth?
Billed —– Build
- You will be billed monthly for the service.
- They’re going to build on the site of the old power station.
Blue —– Blew
- They failed to put clear blue water between themselves and their competitors.
- She blew onto her coffee to cool it down.
Bored —– Board
- After a while, I got bored and left.
- The plan of the new building is displayed on a board at the back of the room.
Braid —– Brayed
- A worn braid feels rough and is best cut away and the line joined by a blood knot.
- The fisherman brayed laughter, pleased with his joke, and delighted to see the boy had composed himself.
Break —– Brake
- I need a break.
- She stopped with a squeal of the brakes.
Brews —– Bruise
- In the days when most types of beer were dark, wheat brews were seen as being relatively pale and often cloudy.
- Jenny looked as though she’d been crying, and there was a nasty bruise on her cheek.
Bridal —– Bridle
- She went to House of Design, a new Boston bridal house specializing in couture-quality gowns.
- The boy walked up to it and pulled its head up with the bridle, leading it out of the trees.
Broach —– Brooch
- He decided not to broach the subject of divorce until his wife had recovered from her illness.
- Mrs. or Mme Wyatt wore patent-leather shoes and a smart brownish suit with a gold brooch.
Buy —– By / Bye
- I want to buy a new coat.
- The telephone is by the window.
- Bye, Dave.
Homophones List – Image 1
Homophones List (C)
Capital —– Capitol
- The government is eager to attract foreign capital.
- This same senator also once got lost in a Capitol Hill garden after leaving a conference committee on the House side.
Cellar —– Seller
- We don’t use our coal cellar anymore.
- She is a flower seller.
Census —– Sense
- A national census is taken every ten years.
- He felt an overwhelming sense of loss.
Cereal —– Serial
- Eaten with milk or cream, they made an acceptable breakfast cereal.
- Their letters of planning went back and forth like installments of a serial.
Chili —– Chilly
- The sauce needs more chili.
- I was feeling chilly.
Choral —– Coral
- The third and final section of the evening was choral.
- They spent $ 2 million on environmental measures, he said, and hired biologists to replant coral that would be damaged.
Cite —– Sight / Site
- He was cited for bravery.
- Anne’s sight is very good for someone of her age.
- A site has been chosen for the new school.
Coarse —– Course
- The coarse sand was hot.
- Andy’s doing a one-year journalism course.
Complement —– Compliment
- The dark red walls complement the red leather chairs.
- Being compared to Abba is a great compliment.
Council —– Counsel
- He sent a letter to the council to complain about the noise.
- The judge asked counsel for the defence to explain.
Homophones List (D)
Deer —– Dear
- A deer makes tracks in the snow.
- Congratulations to you my dear brother on all your fine accomplishments in school.
Die —– Dye
- Do you believe in anything enough to die for it?
- Carbonless paper coated with chemicals and dye which will produce copies without carbon paper.
Discreet —– Discrete
- He assured her that he would be discreet.
- The change happens in a series of discrete steps.
Doe —– Dough
- Ezra waited for the doe to open its eyes and look at him.
- Mix lemon juice and milk; stir into flour mixture until dough leaves side of bowl and forms a ball.
Done —– Dun
- As soon as I’m done, I’ll give you a call.
- The claret dun nymph is at home in slow, peaty streams.
Draft —– Draught
- This is only the first draft of my speech.
- A cold draught of air blew in from the open window.
Dual —– Duel
- The piece of furniture serves a dual purpose as a cupboard and as a table.
- The officer challenged him to a duel.
Homophones List (E)
Earn —– Urn
- He did all sorts of jobs to earn a living.
- The soup urn had a lonely look.
Ewe —– You
- He’s helping to drive in the ewes for a mass ante natal clinic
- I have some news for you.
Homophones List (F)
Farther —– Father
- We decided not to go any farther.
- I love my father.
Faze —– Phase
- John was embarrassed, but it didn’t faze Mike a bit.
- The first phase of renovations should be finished by January.
File —– Phial
- Mendoza read over the file on the murders.
- The door irised open and he reached inside, drawing out the tiny phial before the door closed up again.
Find —– Fined
- I can’t find the car keys.
- The company was fined £20 000 for breaching safety regulations.
Fir —– Fur
- You always clear away the soft topsoil till you get a fir base.
- There was cat fur all over the chair.
Flaw —– Floor
- There is a fundamental flaw in Walton’s argument.
- We are located on the seventh floor of the building.
Flea —– Flee
- A water flea that is starving in a crowded pond is the victim not of food shortage but of competition.
- He gathered what money he had just in case Gallagher was forced to flee.
Flew —– Flu/ Flue
- A bird flew by and saw one of the half-eaten calves that I had dug up.
- Steven’s still in bed with flu.
- You may prefer central heating, and more controllable ventilation than permanently open flue.
Flex —– Flecks
- She watched him raise one hand to rub the nape of his neck, then flex his shoulder muscles.
- Only a few flecks of gray could be seen in his full head of hair.
Flour —– Flower
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
- What beautiful flowers!
For —– Four
- There’s a letter for you.p
- I choose number Four.
Foreword —– Forward
- He was asked if he would consider writing a foreword for her book.
- They ran forward to welcome her.
Fort —– Fought
- Just the three of you going to be holding the fort tonight.
- He fought many battles with the early Labor party in Lancaster and discrimination against socialist employees was alleged.
Foul —– Fowl
- He woke up with a foul taste in his mouth.
- Fish, fowl and meat, most with a decidedly Southwestern treatment, are represented on the menu.
Homophones List (G)
Gait —– Gate
- He was round and fat, he had an energetic gait, a bright, lively face, and laughing eyes.
- We went through the gate into the orchard.
Gamble —– Gambol
- Their religion forbids them to drink or gamble.
- Now, at seventeen, I could gambol in the forbidden delights of Elysium with no one tugging at my hand.
Genes —– Jeans
- The actual number of human genes is still in dispute.
- Her hair looked dishevelled, as did the sweatshirt and jeans she was wearing.
Gored —– Gourd
- He was attacked and gored by a bull.
- I felt hollow, like a dried gourd, a few loose seeds shaking uselessly inside me.
Great —– Grate
- The movie was a great success.
- She took the two halves of the letter away, tore them in fragments, and burned them in her grate.
Groan —– Grown
- Richard’s jokes make you groan rather than laugh.
- He had been a grown man with a small but independent income when he had taken Minnie instead of her to wife.
Homophones List – Image 2
Homophones List (H)
Hart —– Heart
- Whoever slew a hart or hind was to be blinded.
- Regular exercise is good for the heart.
Hear —– Here
- I could hear the sound of traffic.
- This switch here controls the lights.
Heel —– Heal
- The sergeant clicked his heels and walked out.
- This will help to heal your cuts and scratches.
Hi —– High
- Hi guys!
- The house has a high wall all the way round it.
Him —– Hymn
- He took the children with him.
- The service began with a rousing hymn.
Hoard —– Horde
- They dug up a hoard of Roman coins.
- The elves defeated a huge horde of goblins.
Hole —– Whole
- The bomb blew a huge hole in the ground.
- She wasn’t telling the whole truth.
Holy —– Wholly
- The priest puts some holy water on the child’s head.
- The report claimed that the disaster was wholly unavoidable.
Hour —– Our
- The interview lasted half an hour.
- We showed them some of our photos.
Homophones List (I)
I —– Eye
- I moved to this city six years ago.
- Ow! I’ve got something in my eye!
Idle —– Idol
- I cannot afford to leave the land lying idle.
- She is the idol of countless teenagers.
Incite —– Insight
- Republicans have complained that Democrats are using Social Security scare tactics to incite seniors groups and others to oppose the constitutional amendment.
- The article gives us a real insight into the causes of the present economic crisis.
Homophones List (K)
Knead —– Need
- On a lightly floured board, knead the dough for a couple of minutes.
- You don’t really need a car.
Knew —– New
- I wonder if he knew of the plan?
- The hardest part of this job is understanding the new technology.
Knight —– Night
- She’s still waiting for a knight in shining armor to come and rescue her.
- The accident happened on Friday night.
Knot —– Not
- Tie the two ropes together with a knot.
- She did not see him.
Know —– No
- I know people’s handwriting changes as they get older.
“It was Tony.”
- “‘No, you’re wrong. It was Ted.”
Homophones List (L)
Leak —– Leek
- Water had started to leak into the cellar.
- For a first course, there is a potato leek soup.
Lessen —– Lesson
- They gave her an injection to lessen the pain.
- Our first lesson on Tuesdays is French.
Levee —– Levy
- The last four of these sub-deltas were formed by levee breaches in 1839,1860,1874 and 1891.
- If the government wishes to raise tax revenue in order to subsidize the poor, it should levy a tax on films.
Links —– Lynx
- A love of nature links the two poets.
- They may be eagle-eyed or watch like a lynx.
Loan —– Lone
- I had to take out a loan to buy my car.
- He was by no means a lone voice criticizing the government.
Loot —– Lute
- He refused to let his army enter and loot the city.
- Here too he started to write hymns which he would sing to his own accompaniment on a lute.
Homophones examples illustrated with pictures – Image 3
Homophones examples illustrated with pictures – Image 4
Homophones List (M)
Made —– Maid
- The sky was clear and the sunlight had a brilliance and intensity that made her head reel.
- A maid pushed her cleaning cart down the path toward the cottages out back.
Mail —– Male
- He found a mountain of mail waiting for him.
- Many women earn less than their male colleagues.
Main —– Mane
- The main reason for living in Spain is the weather.
- She tossed back her mane of chestnut hair.
Manna —– Manner
- There is no mention in the story of the giving of water, or of food beyond the manna.
- I had hoped you would behave in a more responsible manner.
Marshal —– Martial
- Heston has been named grand marshal of the parade.
- He’d heard rumors that the military were planning to declare martial law.
Mask —– Masque
- Her sarcasm is a mask for her insecurity.
- Comus is a masque in which a young lady’s chastity is tried and not vanquished.
Maw —– More
- Millions of dollars were poured into the maw of defense spending.
- Children generally feel much more confident working in groups.
Medal —– Meddle
- She won a gold medal at the last Olympics.
- Church leaders shouldn’t meddle in politics.
Meet —– Meat
- Maybe we’ll meet again some time.
- I gave up eating meat a few months ago.
Might —– Mite
- I might be a few minutes late.
- Some teachers take everything a mite too serious.
Mist —– Missed
- We could just see the outline of the house through the mist.
- He missed 20 games after breaking a bone in his wrist.
Moose —– Mousse
- The team already knew that moose exposed to new predator populations are more vulnerable.
- She would bake a chocolate mousse torte.
Muscle —– Mussel
- Rooney has pulled a muscle in his thigh and won’t play tomorrow.
- You can also try beef heart, mussel, chicken, liver prawn and the like.
Homophones List (N)
None —– Nun
- I wish I could offer you some cake but there’s none left.
- Georgiana later marries, and Eliza becomes a nun.
Homophones List (O)
Oar —– Or
- We took one oar each and rowed quickly to the shore.
- It can be black, white or grey.
Overdo —– Overdue
- Don’t overdo the salt in the food.
- Her baby is two weeks overdue.
Homophones List (P)
Pail —– Pale
- They filled their pail and container, and started the return journey.
- He looked very pale and drawn.
Pain —– Pane
- She felt a sharp pain in her leg.
- Omite peers through the pane, shakes her head and steps back.
Pair —– Pear
- She felt as if every pair of eyes in the room was on her.
- This pear smells nice.
Passed —– Past
- We passed a group of students outside the theatre.
- Study some past exam papers to get an idea of the questions.
Peace —– Piece
- I wish she would just leave me in peace.
- He broke off a piece of bread and gave it her.
Peak —– Peek
- Sales this month have reached a new peak.
- Shut your eyes and don’t peek!
Pedal —– Peddle
- She put her foot down on the accelerator pedal.
- Farmers come to Seoul to peddle rice.
Plane —– Plain
- She slept on the plane.
- The advantages were plain to see.
Principal —– Principle
- His principal reason for making the journey was to visit his family.
- The general principle is that education should be available to all children up to the age of 16.
Profit —– Prophet
- The shop’s daily profit is usually around $500.
- He sent for Teiresias, the old blind prophet, the most revered of Thebans.
Homophones List (R)
Rain —– Reign
- There will be heavy rain in most parts of the country.
- A higher synthesis, one ushering in a new reign of peace and harmony, under a benign and ever just science.
Red —– Read
- We painted the door bright red.
- I was shocked when I read of his death.
Right —– Write
- Keep on the right side of the road.
- She had to write a report on the project.
Ring —– Wring
- She left a dirty ring around the bath.
- They are always trying to wring additional funds from the government.
Rode —– Road
- He rode away across the marshes.
- I ran down the road to see what was happening.
Role —– Roll
- They want to limit the role of government.
- I tried to roll him onto his side.
Rouse —– Rows
- We don’t want to rouse any suspicions.
- There were always rows when my dad got home.
Rung —– Wrung
- I have rung the world from these boxes and feel a great affection and gratitude towards them.
- Sally wrung out the socks and hung them on the towel rack.
Homophones List – Image 3
Homophones List (S)
Sail —– Sale
- She always wanted to sail around the world.
- The use and sale of marijuana remains illegal.
Sauce —– Source
- Stir in fish sauce, coconut milk, sugar, and lime juice and bring to a simmer.
- Beans are a very good source of protein.
Scene —– Seen
- The police soon arrived at the scene of the crime.
- He crouched down so he couldn’t be seen.
Scull —– Skull
- You didn’t scull too badly today.
- Her skull was crammed with too many thoughts.
See —– Sea
- She looked for him but couldn’t see him in the crowd.
- The waste was dumped in the sea.
Shoe —– Shoo
- What’s your shoe size?
- You shoo the dog out of the kitchen.
Side —– Sighed
- They crossed from one side of London to the other.
- He sighed deeply at the thought.
Slay —– Sleigh
- Those old movies still slay me!
- Alternatives to skiing include a leisure pool, curling and skating on the nearby lake, indoor tennis and sleigh rides.
Soar —– Sore
- She watched the dove soar above the chestnut trees.
- I had a sore throat and aching limbs.
Sole —– Soul
- Griffiths is the sole survivor of the crash.
He is really quite a sensitive soul.
Some —– Sum
- I need some apples for this recipe.
- Bill wants to spend a large sum on modernizing the farm.
Sort —– Sought
- He wondered if Rosa was in some sort of trouble.
- He sought revenge against Surkov for separating him from his wife and son.
Staid —– Stayed
- The museum is trying to get rid of its staid image.
- She stayed at home while the children were young.
Stalk —– Stork
- He ate the apple, stalk and all.
- We always used to say the guys on the Ridge were lucky, the stork brought their babies.
Stare —– Stair
- It’s not polite to stare, you know.
- The second stair creaks when you step on it.
Stationary —– Stationery
- It is called a sinker because it sinks beneath you when you are stationary.
- You could say the same for luggage and stationery.
Steal —– Steel
- Inventors know that someone is always going to try to steal their designs.
- Sheffield is a major steel town.
Stile —– Style
- Continue on a clear path up the hillside to reach a stile on the ridge.
- The paintings are in an expressionistic style.
Sun —– Son
- The sun was shining and birds were singing.
- We have two daughters and a son.
Homophones List (T)
Tail —– Tale
- The male has beautiful tail feathers.
- His latest book is a delightful children’s tale about talking animals.
Team —– Teem
- We have a team of eight working on product development.
- With luck, in a year the place should begin to teem with federal workers.
Than —– Then
- Natalie was prettier than her sister.
- I wish I had known then what I know now.
Their —– There
- They washed their faces and went to bed.
- We could go back to my cottage and have lunch there.
Throne —– Thrown
- Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952.
- The boat was thrown onto the rocks.
Tide —– Tied
- The body was washed up on the beach by the tide.
- She tied the newspapers in a bundle.
To —– Too / Two
- I walked to the office.
- The dress was too tight for me.
- I was in two minds about the book.
Toe —– Tow
- He kicked the earth with the toe of his boot.
- The car broke down and we had to get somebody to give us a tow.
Homophones List (V)
Vain —– Vein
- She closed her eyes tightly in a vain attempt to hold back the tears.
- The nurse was having trouble finding a vein in his arm.
Vary —– Very
- Class numbers vary between 25 and 30.
- The new building has been very much admired.
Homophones List (W)
Wail —– Whale
- Somewhere behind them a child began to wail.
- We saw a whale blowing a jet of spray high in the air.
Waste —– Waist
- Why waste money on clothes you don’t need?
- He put his arm around her waist.
Way —– Weigh
- I’m not happy with this way of working.
- The young birds weigh only a few grams.
Weak —– Week
- She is still weak after her illness.
- He comes to see us once a week.
Weather —– Whether
- The weather is very changeable at the moment.
- I asked him whether he had done it all himself or whether someone had helped him.
Where —– Wear
- I wonder where they will take us to.
- I always wear black.
Which —– Witch
- Which of the applicants has got the job?
- He wants me to be a witch.
Who’s —– Whose
- Who’s the money for?
- Whose house is that?
Won —– One
- Britain won five gold medals.
- There’s only room for one person.
Would —– Wood
- He said he would be here at eight o’clock.
- All the furniture was made of wood.
Homophones List (Y)
You’re —– Your
- You’re a good person.
- Dentists advise you to have your teeth checked every six months.
List of Homophones | Images
Homophones List | Image 1
Useful Homophones List | Image 2
Homophones List | Image 3
Common Homophones Illustrated with Pictures
Commonly Confused Homophones in English | Image 1
Confused Homophones in English | Image 2
Commonly Confused Homophones in English | Image 3
Confused Homophones in English | Image 4
Useful list of 150+ common homographs in English.
Learn homophones examples illustrated with pictures and pronunciation video.
Learn list of homophones in English with pronunciation.