150+ Sets of Homophones – Commonly Confused Words

Learn an extensive list of 150+ commonly confused Homophones in English with examples.

homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning and is spelled differently.

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Homophones – the Most Confusing Words in English

  • 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.

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.

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.
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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 chastityis 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.

None —– Nun

  • I wish I could offer you some cake but there’s none left.
  • Georgiana later marries, and Eliza becomes a nun.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You’re —– Your

  • You’re a good person.
  • Dentists advise you to have your teeth checked every six months.

List of English Homophones | Pictures

Commonly Confused Homophones in English | Image 1

Commonly Confused Homophones in English | Image 2

Commonly Confused Homophones in English | Image 3

Commonly Confused Homophones in English | Image 4

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