Ate vs eight

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Ate and eight are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which means they are homophones. We will examine the definitions of ate and eight, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Ate is the past tense of eat, which means to consume food. The word eat is derived from the Old English word etan, meaning to devour food, to consume. The word eat is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are eats, eating, eaten, eater. Ate may be used in a figurative sense, as in ate one’s feelings or ate the losses.

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


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

That inner chubby little girl, the middle schooler who ate her feelings, is still there, she concedes. “And probably always will be.” (The New York Post)

A series of eight earthquakes hit the Iran-Iraq border area and rattled Baghdad on Thursday, apparent aftershocks of a temblor that struck the mountainous region in November and killed over 530 people. (The Los Angeles Times)

Foerster also said he, “used cocaine for eight or nine consecutive days and realized upon boarding the team plane to London, where the Dolphins played the Saints on Oct. 1, that he’d done too much.” (The Sun-Sentinel)

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