Ate vs. Eight – Homophones, Spelling & Meaning

Photo of author

Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Ate and eight are two obviously different words, but they often get confused for people because they sound the same. That makes them homophones. So, if you’re here because you’re wondering which one to use when speaking and writing, I’ve got you covered. I’ll explain everything and give you some tricks to remember the difference.

What Is the Difference Between Eight and Ate?

httpsgrammarist.comhomophonesate vs eight

The ate and eight homophones’ meanings are drastically different, considering that both words sound identical. But ate is the past tense verb of eat, while eight is literally just a number.

What Does Eight Mean?

The homophone of ate is the word eight, which means a number. Eight o’clock, eight pieces of candy, the age of eight; these are all examples of how you’d use the noun.

Eight is a number that is one more than seven and one less than nine, and the numeric symbol to use is 8. The word eight is derived from the Old English word eahta, most probably from the German word acht.

What Does Ate Mean?

Ate is the homophone of eight, but that’s all they have in common. The word eat is derived from the Old English word etan, meaning to devour food or to consume. Ate is the past tense verb form of the word eat, and it means to have eaten something. Like, I ate an apple for breakfast.

However, there’s a recent slang version of the word ate, and it basically means that someone looked or did amazing with something. A few months ago, I attended a huge convention, and I wore a costume to one of the evening events. It was a full-on ball gown, and some millennial told me I “totally ate” the look.

How Do You Spell Eight and Ate?

Simple! As a number, it’s eight. As a verb, it’s ate.

Using the Word Eight in a Sentence

  • I have to get up everything morning at eight o’clock and get ready for work.
  • My daughter is eight years old; she’s getting so big!
  • Eight is a late time for dinner.
  • It feels like yesterday we were all in grade eight, with no care in the world.
  • My son was over eight pounds when he was born.

A series of eight earthquakes hit the Iran-Iraq border area and rattled Baghdad on Thursday. (The Los Angeles Times)

Using the Word Ate in a Sentence

  • When I was a kid, I ate everything in sight and didn’t gain a pound. Now, I sniff the food and gain ten pounds.
  • He ate everything on his plate for the first time since the surgery!
  • She totally ate that look at the Met Gala.
  • I ate three brownies today, and I refuse to feel guilty about it.

Their friend Karen Bowers said she and LeBlanc shucked and ate about two dozen of the oysters, the station reported. (The Dallas Morning News)

Remembering the Difference

The trick is pretty easy. The way I remember the difference between ate and eight is to always keep in mind that eat has three letters, as does ate. They’re also an anagram of one another, so that makes it easy, too.

Final Words

And there you have it! You should never get these two homophones mixed up again after reading this quick guide. Just keep in mind my tip for remembering; ate and eat are anagrams with three letters, and ate is the past tense verb of eat. Easy peasy!