What is a Homophone? – Massive List With Examples

Learning homophones has a massive role in improving your English skills. These words have the same sounds and sometimes spellings but different meanings.

I have come up with a massive list of homophones with sentence examples. It contains over 200 pairs of homophones you can practice for better grammar!

What is a Homophone?

A homophone is a word with the same sound as another word but a different definition. Some homophones also have the exact spellings. 

What are Common Homophones?

The most popular homophones in the English language are “there,” “their,” and “they’re.” They are probably also the most difficult to differentiate because they belong to similar categories of words. 

Note that “there” is the correct homophone used to point out a location. “Their” is a possessive pronoun of “they,” such as “their books are over there.” Meanwhile, “they’re” is a contraction of “they” and “are.” 

Here’s a list of the most common homophones in English that will help you tell them apart:

Buy vs. By vs. Bye

  • “Buy” means to purchase.
  • “By” means next to.
  • “Bye” is the short version of goodbye.

For vs. Four vs. Fore

  • “For” shows purpose.
  • “Four” is a number.
  • “Fore” refers to in, toward, or near the front.

Its vs. It’s

  • “Its” shows ownership.
  • “It’s” is a combination of “it” and “is.”

Than vs. Then

  • “Than” is used for comparisons.
  • “Then” shows the passage of time. 

Here vs. Hear

  • “Here” is an adverb that indicates location.
  • “Hear” is a verb that means to listen.

List of Homophones From A to Z

VENN DIAGRAM OF PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS 2

A

  • Addition vs. edition
    • The orange tweed jacket is a perfect addition to my collection.
    • These shoes are limited edition.
  • Afterward vs. afterword
    • I didn’t know what happened in the movie afterward.
    • The book includes an afterword.
  • Aid vs. aide
    • The study was done with the aid of a computer.
    • Sheila acted as an aide to the team leader.
  • Air vs. heir
    • Wind is air that moves.
    • The father only recognizes Mia as the heir. 
  • Aisle vs. isle
    • The aisle was full of people.
    • The resort is located in a private isle.
  • Allude vs. elude
    • The phrase alludes to a cave.
    • Stop chasing so it won’t elude you.
  • Allusion vs. elusion vs. illusion
    • He made an allusion to the event.
    • How should we avoid tax elusion?
    • The internet is an illusion of reality.
  • Aloud vs. allowed
    • Jane read the quote aloud.
    • She’s not allowed to go online past midnight.
  • Ant vs. aunt
    • Ants might be the most social insect.
    • You look exactly like your aunt.
  • Assure, ensure, insure
    • I can assure you this is a legitimate transaction.
    • Please ensure that you have all the necessary tools with you.
    • How much does it cost to insure a car?
  • Ate vs. eight
    • I ate my dinner.
    • He gave Julia eight roses.
  • Aural vs. oral
    • Teachers should use more aural materials for instruction.
    • We have an oral examination next week.
  • Awed vs. odd
    • We were awed by her speech.
    • Her speech seemed odd.
  • Axis vs. axes
    • The earth has its own axis.
    • We need axes to break this door.

B

VENN DIAGRAM OF PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS 1 1
  • Bad rap vs. bad wrap
    • She got a bad rap in the 1970s.
    • That’s a bad wrap you did on the gift.
  • Bae vs. bay
    • My best friend has a new bae.
    • We went to the bay for the sunset.
  • Bail vs. bale
    • She stood bail for her son in prison.
    • What kind of tool do you need to bale hay?
  • Bait vs. bate
    • Larvae are the perfect live bait.
    • She couldn’t bate her enthusiasm.
  • Bald, balled, or bawled
    • My father went bald in his 40s.
    • Jason’s hands were balled into fists.
    • I bawled my eyes out after watching the movie.
  • Ball vs. bawl
    • The golf ball went right on the ground.
    • All she needs is a good bawl.
  • Band vs. banned
    • There will be musical band performances in school tomorrow.
    • She was banned from entering school premises. 
  • Bare vs. bear
    • I like my bare face better.
    • The bear was twice as big as her.
  • Based vs. baste
    • The film was based on a true story.
    • You need to baste the potatoes.
  • Base vs. bass
    • Can we get to the base of this issue?
    • I play the bass guitar.
  • Bazaar vs. bizarre
    • I can’t wait to be at the bazaar next week.
    • Everything still seems bizarre.
  • Be vs. bee
    • Please be patient with me.
    • I am as busy as a bee.
  • Better vs. bettor
    • I’m back, and I’m better.
    • The bettors relied on luck.
  • Bight vs. bite
    • A bight is a curve in the coastline.
    • My dog was trained not to bite.
  • Billed vs. build
    • I get billed monthly.
    • Let’s build the statue.
  • Birth vs. berth
    • She gave birth to twins.
    • Lola gave her a wide berth.
  • Bite, byte or bight
    • The dentist wanted to fix the little boy’s bite.
    • That’s equivalent to one byte of storage space.
  • Bloc vs. block
    • She should consider all hardships en bloc.
    • She lives down the block.
  • Blue vs. blew
    • 1st-grade students will wear blue shirts tomorrow.
    • The storm blew the houses away.
  • Bobble vs. bauble
    • Why are you wearing a bobble hat?
    • I bought this bauble at the thrift store. 
  • Bolder vs. boulder
    • The workshop made me bolder when acting.
    • Jonah’s head hit a boulder.
  • Booze vs. boos
    • You can get intoxicated from booze.
    • The corny comedian received a lot of boos from the audience.
  • Borne vs. born
    • Her narration isn’t borne out of facts.
    • She was born during World War II.
  • Borough, burro, burrow
    • She’s on the borough council.
    • You sound like a herd of burros.
    • The ants burrow deep in the soil.
  • Bot vs. bought
    • Don’t reply to the bot.
    • I bought a new purse yesterday.
  • Boy vs. buoy
    • The little boy waved goodbye.
    • The buoy is too big for the kid.
  • Braid vs. brayed
    • Lisa put her hair in a braid.
    • The mule suddenly brayed.
  • Brews vs. bruise
    • There are different types of brews for your coffee.
    • I got a bruise from the fight.
  • Buy, by or bye
    • Please buy me flowers.
    • That wall art was made by my son.
    • Say bye to your uncle.
  • By, bye and buy
    • I’ll be right by your side.
    • Don’t say bye yet.
    • She didn’t buy me a gift.

C

  • Cache vs. cash
    • One can track digital marketing campaigns with cache.
    • Mary asked her father for some cash.
  • Caddie vs. caddy
    • Can I caddie for you?
    • The tea caddy is on the table.
  • Callous vs. callus
    • Your callous attitude is a turn-off.
    • Playing the guitar can cause callus.
  • Call vs. caul
    • Please message me before trying to call.
    • The baby was born with the caul.
  • Canon vs. cannon
    • He studied canon laws in college.
    • The police used water cannon against the rioters. 
  • Carrot, carat, karat, caret
    • This carrot cake doesn’t taste like a carrot at all.
    • The businessman gave her a four-carat stone for the ring.
    • The term karat is only for pure gold.
    • Put a tab character at the caret position.
  • Cashmere vs. Kashmir
    • Your top goes well with a cashmere sweater.
    • India and Pakistan claim Kashmir.
  • Catch vs. ketch
    • Catch me if you can.
    • A mainsail can be used in a ketch.
  • Cedar vs. seeder
    • I like making my home smell like cedar.
    • The seeder was developed based on the traditional technique of rice seedling. 
  • Cede and seed
    • He promises to cede power next month.
    • The seed will start sprouting when you water it.
  • Cereal vs. serial
    • The kids like eating a bowl of cereal every morning.
    • Every product has a unique serial number.
  • Cession vs. session
    • The cession of the land was avoided after the war.
    • Our last session will be held tomorrow.
  • Chary vs. cherry
    • Who else gets chary of lending things?
    • I removed the cherry from the ice cream.
  • Chaste vs. chased
    • Kaye lived a chaste life.
    • The fox chased the cat.
  • Cheap vs. cheep
    • I’d rather buy an expensive yet durable desk than a cheap one.
    • You’ll hear wild birds cheep in the forest.
  • Chews vs. choose
    • He thoroughly chews the well-done steak.
    • The 2nd grade students can choose their favorite school subject.
  • Chic vs. sheik
    • Everyone looked chic during fashion week.
    • The sheik ordered the community to hold a feast.
  • Cock vs. caulk
    • The cock crows a lot in the morning.
    • You need caulk and door sweeps to fix those leaks.

D

  • Dam vs. damn
    • The dam is under construction.
    • No one gives a damn about the problem.
  • Days vs. daze
    • Please come back after three days for the follow-up appointment.
    • The people have been in a complete daze ever since the incident.
  • Dear vs. dear.
    • I am proud of you, dear, for all your accomplishments in school.
    • The deer gave birth to fawns.
  • Deign vs. Dane
    • Her father didn’t deign to respond.
    • If you’re from Denmark, does that make you a Dane?
  • Dents vs. dense
    • My phone got a few dents when I dropped it.
    • A dense population is a common characteristic of most cities.
  • Descendant vs. descendent
    • Birds are descendants of Dinosaurs.
    • Be careful when climbing the descendent mountain.
  • Desert vs. dessert
    • A desert experiences lack of rainfall.
    • Dessert comes after the main course.
  • Deviser vs. divisor
    • She is the famous deviser of this policy.
    • Subtract the divisor from the dividend.
  • Dew, do, and due
    • Drops of dew gathered on the shrubs.
    • Do better next time.
    • I was absent due to a fever.
  • Die vs. dye
    • Why did your neighbor die?
    • I want to dye my hair red.
  • Discrete vs. discreet
    • The numbers on a ruler are discrete.
    • The pope spoke with discreetness.
  • Dissent vs. descent
    • Some members dissent from the decision.
    • Humans descent from a common ancestor with apes.
  • Dock vs doc
    • The fisherman stands by the dock.
    • The doc prescribed a medicine for his illness.
  • Drier vs. dryer
    • The soil is drier when it does not rain.
    • I don’t know how to use a clothes dryer.

E

  • Earn vs. urn
    • She does not earn enough for a car.
    • The urn will stay in the columbarium.
  • Ewe vs. you
    • The ewe milks too much.
    • You shouldn’t be here.

F

  • Fair vs. fare
    • I’m fighting for what’s fair.
    • The fare to Tokyo is expensive.
  • Fate vs. fete
    • Do you believe in fate?
    • The fete will go on despite the storm.
  • Faze vs. phase 
    • Anything you do won’t faze me.
    • The first phase of this program is the most difficult.
  • Feet vs. feat
    • My feet are too big for this pair.
    • She got recognition for her heroic feat.
  • Few vs. phew
    • She came walking a few minutes later.
    • Phew! That was tiring but worth it.
  • Find vs. fined
    • You can find a lot of science journals on ScienceDirect.
    • The pedestrian was fined for jaywalking.
  • Fir vs. fur
    • This wooden furnishing comes from a fir tree.
    • Fur jackets never go out of style.
  • Flair vs. flare
    • Carla has a natural flair for business.
    • The wind made the candles flare. 
  • Flea vs. flee
    • Always take a bath to prevent a flea infestation.
    • The criminals flee the country.
  • For, four and fore
    • This basket is for you.
    • She has four assignments due today.
    • The bird’s fore wings broke.
  • Foul vs. fowl
    • A rotting fruit has a foul smell.
    • A fowl lays multiple eggs.
  • Freeze vs. frieze
    • Freeze the mixture until it’s thick.
    • She stood next to the frieze and posed.

G

  • Gaff vs. gaffe
    • The man landed a fish with the gaff.
    • I hope she realizes the gaff she made was unforgivable.
  • Gallop vs. galop
    • The horse doesn’t enthusiastically gallop the way it did.
    • I couldn’t galop the dancer’s galop.
  • Gall vs. Gaul
    • Lana had the gall to say we’re friends.
    • The Celtic and Aquitani tribes first inhabited Gaul.
  • Gambol vs. gamble
    • I could gambol the place anytime I wanted.
    • The church prohibited the people from drinking and gamble.
  • Gel vs. jell
    • Aloe vera gel soothes inflammation.
    • Anne’s ideas are starting to jell.
  • Genes vs. jeans
    • The body has over thirty thousand genes.
    • These skinny jeans are light-washed.
  • Glare vs. glair
    • The old lady gave the teenager a bright glare.
    • The glair helps in making meringue.
  • Grieve vs. greave
    • Let yourself grieve for a weak.
    • Knights used to wear greave.
  • Grip vs. grippe
    • These gloves do not offer a tight grip.
    • People used to call influenza “grippe.”
  • Grisly vs. grizzly
    • Once there was a grisly monster wandering the deep forest.
    • Grizzly bears reside in the woods and mountains.
  • Groan vs. grown
    • Her daughter let out a frustrated groan.
    • You’ve grown into an ambitious woman.
  • Guessed vs. guest
    • She guessed the baby’s name right.
    • The guest was late.
  • Guise vs. guys 
    • The con man went in the guise of a doctor.
    • The guys are going out tonight.

H

VENN DIAGRAM OF PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS 2 1
  • Hair vs. hare
    • This conditioner made my hair smoother
    • The hare jumped away quickly.
  • Hall vs. haul
    • We’re having a town hall meeting about the legislation.
    • The short haul needs repair.
  • Hay vs. hey
    • The barn smells like fresh hay.
    • Hey, you should come with us.
  • Heal vs. heel (and bring to heel)
    • Tricia doesn’t know how to heal from the breakup.
    • Spin on one heel and move to the side.
  • Hear vs. here
    • I can’t hear the debater’s voice.
    • The truck went here a few minutes ago.
  • Heard vs. herd
    • I heard you’re moving to Canada.
    • A herd of goats walked across the field.
  • Heel, heal, and he’ll
    • My left heel hurts after wearing the stilettos. 
    • Her chest pain should heal after taking the pill.
    • He’ll always be in our hearts.
  • Holy vs. wholly
    • She did the sign of the cross with the holy water.
    • This plan won’t be wholly successful.
  • Hour vs. our
    • I got home two hours ago.
    • We painted our house brown.
  • Humus vs. hummus
    • This plant only grows on rich humus. 
    • Hummus will make your kid love vegetables.
  • Hurdle vs. hurtle
    • These hurdles are inevitable.
    • The motorcycles hurtled toward the pedestrian.
  • Hymn vs. him
    • The students sang the school hymn in glee.
    • We gave her a box of chocolates.

I

  • Idle vs. Idol
    • She’s been idle for some time now.
    • Children usually idolize Superman.

K

  • Knead vs. need
    • You must knead the dough for it to be soft.
    • Everybody needs time to rest.
  • Knew vs. new
    • She knew what needed to be done.
    • The fresh graduate is our new employee.
  • Knot vs. not
    • The couple tied the knot.
    • Do not sleep with the lights on.
  • Know vs. no
    • I know how to do this.
    • I’ll take your silence as a no.

L

  • The fans wanted to leak the new music video.
  • Leek is closely related to shallot and onion.
  • Lean vs. lien
    • The two-month shred challenge gave her lean hips.
    • I’m entitled to a lien on the cargo.
  • Leased vs. least
    • They leased the building to pay their debt.
    • The least you could do is apologize.
  • Lie or lye
    • The suspect was under a lie detector test.
    • Lye contains a high level of alkaline.
  • Limb vs. limn
    • The nurses bandaged her injured limb.
    • To limn is to describe something in words.
  • Load vs. lode
    • I have a load of character flaws.
    • They excavated this cavern at the other side of the lode.
  • Loan vs. lone
    • The manager still needs three years to pay the rest of the car loan.
    • A lone man walked on the shore.

M

  • Made vs. maid
    • I made oatmeal cookies for the baking class.
    • The maid helped the princess wear her corset.
  • Mail vs. male
    • Did you secretly open my mail?
    • I can’t get the male voice out of my mind.
  • Main, mane, and Maine
    • You’re the main reason I took piano lessons.
    • The male lion has a long mane.
    • Dr. Garcelon was the governor of Maine.
  • Marry vs. merry
    • I want to marry my girlfriend.
    • We live a merry life.
  • Meat, meet, or mete
    • They don’t sell fresh meat in the market anymore.
    • I can’t wait to meet you soon.
    • No one has the right to mete out punishment to kids.
  • Medal, meddle, metal, mettle
    • The valedictorian hung her medal in her bedroom.
    • You’re too young to meddle with our business.
    • This bottle is made of metal.
    • This contest examined her mettle.
  • Missed vs. mist
    • Are you guilty because you missed my graduation?
    • I like the feeling of mist on my face.

N

  • Nit vs., knit
    • You need a strong shampoo to get rid of head lice and nits.
    • Trina spent the entire month learning how to knit.
  • Nob vs. knob
    • The residents consider her a nob.
    • I tried twisting the knob, but it won’t open.
  • None vs. nun
    • Somebody’s marriage is none of your business.
    • The nun gave her spiritual advice.

O

  • Oar vs. or
    • Each person pulled with an oar.
    • Would you rather marry a stranger or forgive a traitor?
  • Overdo vs. Overdue
    • You don’t need to overdo this trial.
    • My mother was overdue.
  • Overseas vs. Oversees
    • I live overseas now.
    • The supervisor oversees the site to make sure everything is on point.

P

  • Packed vs. pact
    • The family packed for their summer vacation.
    • We made a pact to fix our friendship.
  • Pain vs. pane
    • Dogs don’t understand the concept of emotional pain.
    • We had no choice but to smash the pane with a ball.
  • Pair vs. pare vs. pear
    • Jane and Peter make an excellent pair.
    • This cleanser will help you pare down your skincare routine.
    • The waiter served us their fresh pear juice.
  • Palate, palette, pallet
    • Our cuisine will test your palate.
    • I haven’t chosen a color palette for the bridal shower yet.
    • I tripped onto the pallet.
  • Pride vs. pried
    • I take pride in this essay.
    • Rita pried away from Jenna.
  • Principal vs. principle
    • This trade is categorized into three principal groups.
    • The actor promised not to let fame ruin his principle in life.
  • Prize, prise or pries
    • The grand prize is a brand new house and lot.
    • The in-laws attempted to prise the two lovers apart.
    • The journalist pries into other people’s lives for a living.
  • Profit vs. prophet
    • I used my profit to open a new business.
    • The prophet was true to his faith.

Q 

  • Queue vs. Cue
    • I joined the queue for tickets.
    • This is my cue to make a toast.

R

  • Rest vs. wrest
    • Let me take a rest this weekend.
    • The new contestant tried to wrest the title from Martha.
  • Retch vs. wretch
    • Jacob knew he would retch the moment a lump formed in his throat.
    • I’m begging you not to be a wretch!
  • Review vs. revue
    • We need to review ten more studies before taking the next step.
    • My favorite musical revue is Hollywood to Broadway.
  • Rhyme vs. rime
    • Your rap needs a better rhyme pattern.
    • Frost started to rime his hair.
  • Right vs. rite vs. write
    • Shane was right. We shouldn’t have attended this event.
    • I witnessed the tribe’s rite of passage.
    • Write down all of your ideas.
  • Ring vs. wring
    • Did you ring the doorbell?
    • Wring it out and iron.
  • Rumor vs. roomer
    • Have you heard the rumor about the Vietnamese athlete?
    • Ronny was my first roomer three years ago.
  • Rung vs. wrung
    • The telephone rung, but no one answered.
    • He wrung out the cloth too much. 
  • Rye vs. wry
    • The province’s chief product is rye.
    • My wife gave me a wry smile.

S

VENN DIAGRAM OF PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS 3
  • Sac vs. sack
    • The squid stores its ink in the ink sac.
    • He sold a sack of rice.
  • Sail vs. sale
    • I learned how to sail last summer.
    • This item isn’t for sale anymore.
  • See vs. sea
    • I see what you’re doing, and I appreciate it.
    • The sea was calm that night.
  • Slow vs. sloe
    • Let’s take it nice and slow.
    • We use these fruits to produce sloe gin.
  • Speck vs. spec
    • The king doesn’t want a speck of dust on his throne.
    • Tell me more about the product spec.
  • Stair vs. stare
    • I got this scar when I tripped over a stair.
    • It feels weird to stare at a beautiful stranger.
  • Stake vs. steak
    • There is more at stake than the lawyer’s life.
    • She ordered steak on their first date.
  • Stationary vs. stationery
    • Purchasing a stationary bike was the best decision I ever made.
    • I like collecting books and stationery.
  • Suite vs. sweet
    • The private suite is located on the top floor of the hotel.
    • This coffee is too sweet.

T

  • Tacks vs. tax
    • You need thumb tacks to attach the pictures on the board.
    • No one trusts a presidential candidate who doesn’t pay his tax.
  • Titan vs. tighten
    • Titan is one of Saturn’s moons.
    • You can tighten those pores with this serum.
  • Title vs. tidal
    • I can’t remember the title of the novella.
    • The tidal wave swept the whole town away.
  • Told vs. tolled
    • She told me that she met the band yesterday.
    • They tolled the bell three times.
  • Tole vs. toll
    • I made this artwork through a paper tole technique.
    • The pandemic has taken a toll on my mental health.
  • Ton vs. tonne
    • He made a ton of cash from the casino.
    • How much does a tonne of coal cost?
  • Troop vs. troupe
    • The troop commander gave inconsistent orders.
    • The male dance troupe lost this year.
  • Tutor vs. Tudor
    • The tutor uses instructional methods that suit schoolchildren.
    • I enjoy reading about Tudor history.

U

  • Undo vs. undue
    • It’s too late to undo your mistakes.
    • The price increase will place an undue burden on the middle class. 
  • Use vs. ewes
    • I’m going to use my savings to buy a new pet.
    • The ewes gave birth in the same week.

V 

  • Vail vs. veil
    • I live in Vail, Colorado.
    • Help me pick a veil for my wedding.
  • Vain vs. vane
    • They struggled in vain to escape the lonely house.
    • The weather station comes with a wind vane.
  • Vaper vs. vapor

W

  • Wack vs. whack
    • This album is a load of wack.
    • The man whacked my brother on the arm.
  • Waist vs. waste
    • My heart flutters when you rest your hand on my waist.
    • Don’t waste your money on this product.
  • Ware, wear, and where
    • There’s a wooden ware factory in our city.
    • What should I wear to prom?
    • Where did you finish high school?
  • Warn vs. worn
    • The school principal and teachers warn her about her behavior in class.
    • These jeans look worn out.
  • We’d vs. weed
    • We’d love for you to come over!
    • You can prevent weed germination without harming the crops.
  • We’ll vs. wheel
    • We’ll get through this together.
    • The driver gripped the steering wheel and drove.
  • While vs. wile
    • She was busy answering questions while I issued the refunds.
    • The little girl was wile pleased.
  • Whine vs. wine
    • The whine in my sister’s voice is annoying.
    • They finished two bottles of wine.
  • Who’s vs. whose
    • Who’s going to tell her the password.
    • Whose paper is this?
  • Won vs. one
    • The mother was proud of her daughter, who won the storytelling competition.
    • Different schools joined the contest, but only one from Michigan made it to the finals.
  • Wood vs. would
    • This vanity area is made of wood.
    • Would you like to have a taste?

  • You’re vs. your
    • You’re the cashier I met yesterday.
    • Your father used to visit this place.

Practice Your Homophones

To recap, homophones are words with the same sounds and spellings but different meanings. The best example of homophones that many get confused with is “there,” “their,” and “they’re.” 

Reckon we missed anything from the list? Share them in the comments, and feel free to leave your quick questions!

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