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Confusing English Homonyms: Do these words really sound the same? 🤔❓

 

Homonyms in English can be confusing. 

Homonyms are words sound the same, even though they are spelled differently and have completely different meanings.

To make things even more confusing, several of the very common homonyms you may have learned about are actually FALSE HOMONYMS!

That's because when you hear the words in connected, conversational speech, they DON’T sound the same!

Agh!

Fear not though, my friend. I am here to help BUST these popular homonym myths. After you watch this lesson, distinguishing these words will be a lot easier!

Practice words and sentences used in this lesson:

sun | son

true pair

My son loves to play in the sun.

 

our | hour

false pair

The word "our" actually reduces to "are" in connected speech.

 

our | are

true pair, sometimes (when "are" is at the beginning or end of a sentence, or stressed)

Are you coming  to our party?

I don’t know where our suitcases are.

You are our first choice.

 

Otherwise, "are" actually reduces to "er" within a sentence, making our | are a false pair.

Our kids are both into soccer.

These are our favorite places to visit.

Our guests are gonna be here in an hour.

 

won | one

true pair

We only won one game.

 

for | four

false pair

The word "for" reduces to "fer," whereas "four" will never reduce.

We scheduled the meeting for four.

I need to make a reservation for four.

 

for | fur

true pair

There’s not a big market for fur anymore.

 

wear | where

true pair

I need somewhere to wear this amazing new dress.

 

than | then

true pair

Both "than" and "then" reduce to "then."

He’s so much bigger than he was then.

If driving is less expensive than flying, then we should probably drive.

 

buy | by | bye

true homonyms

You have to buy by today or this deal goes bye-bye.

 

two | too | to

two | too

true pair

Two o’clock is too late.

 

But "to" reduces to “tuh,” so "to" is not part of the homonym group.

 

Two days is too long to wait.

I’m way too far behind to have this done by two.

I’d like to order two of those too.

 

know | no

true pair

There was no way to know.

I know no one’s listening.

 

there |their | they’re

true homonyms

Their neighbors say they’re never there.

I think they’re gonna be there by eight.

They’re planning to meet their group in the lobby.

They moved most of their stuff there last week.

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