Grammar & Word Confusions: Homophone

Posted January 7, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Grammar Explanations, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

A type of linguistic word play, a homophone is a subset of homonym.

If you break homophone apart:

Homo- means same

-phone means sound

This means a homophone sounds the same. It may or may not be spelled the same and it does not mean the same. It may comprise one or more words (one word is the most common).

If the homophone is spelt the same, then it is also a homonym; if it has a different spelling, then it’s a heterograph.

Like the homonym, it is one of the most frequently confused of word groups as the words sound similar; some of the Word Confusions about which I post are homophones.

Click here for a quick look at the differences between them -nyms, -graphs, -phone, and -semys.

Grammar Explanations and Word Confusions sometimes…

…involve the same words as it does here in this post on “Homophone”. Whereas a Word Confusion is a pair (or more) of words that are confused spelling-wise with each other, a Grammar Explanation may jump in because of the confusion involved in how the words are used within the structural rules and principles of English.

Sometimes I run across an example that helps explain better or another “also known as”. Heck, there’s always a better way to explain it, so if you have an idea or suggestion that makes quicker and/or better sense, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone…as well as questions on issues with which you are frustrated. If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page. And consider sharing this Grammar Explanation with friends by tweeting it.

Homophone
Credit to: Buzzy Bee Riddles; Wikipedia
Part of Speech: Semantics, Word Play, Figure of Speech
Definition: A type of homonym that sounds alike BUT have different meanings and different spellings.
SOME Single-Word Examples:
in, inn
lain, lane
links, lynx
lead, led
lie, lye
pair, pare, and pear
peer, pier
pleas, please
scene, seen
The following examples are Word Confusion posts if you’re curious about looking into it further.
Brake versus Break Peak vs Peek vs Peke vs Pique Stationary versus Stationery
Heroin versus Heroine Pore versus Pour To vs Too vs Two
Palate vs Palette vs Pallet Right vs Rite vs Wright vs Write Their vs There vs They’re
SOME Phrase Examples:
“a dressed male” vs. “addressed mail” “crusher” vs. “crusha”
“depend” vs. “deep end” “euthanasia” vs. “Youth in Asia”
“example” vs. “egg sample” “Gemini” vs. “Jim and I” vs. “Jem in eye”
“philanderer” vs. “Flanders” “sand which is there” vs. “sandwiches there”
“the sky” vs. “this guy” “ice cream” vs. “I scream”
“vodka” vs. “Ford Ka” “big hand” vs. “began” vs. “Mégane” vs. “Meg’s hand”
“four candles” vs. “fork handles” “foxhole” vs. “Vauxhall” vs. “Vauxhall”
“minute” vs. “my newt” “real eyes” vs. “realize” vs. “real lies”
“them all” vs. “the mall” “some others” vs. “some mothers” vs. “smothers”

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