Hymn vs him

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Hymn and him are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and mean different things, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of the two homophonic words hymn and him, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A hymn is a song or poem of praise or supplication to God. Christian hymns are formal songs sung in church. The word hymn is also used idiomatically to mean a song, poem, prose, play or film that celebrates or praises someone or something. The word hymn is derived from the Greek word hymnos, which a song or poem that praises gods or heroes.

Him is a pronoun, which is a noun that stands in for a personal pronoun. Him is a third person singular pronoun, used as the object in a sentence. The object is the noun that appears after the predicate, and is not the subject of the sentence. The word him is an Old English word, in use at least since the year 1000.


Whether they are in church hymns, songs we sang back in school or other times when I have been singing somewhat on key, I have always been a little confused about them. (The Athens News)

In 2012, a group of five recently elected Tory MPs published Britannia Unchained, a hymn to deregulation, tax cuts and privatisation. (The New Statesman)

Daniel Heo of Plano, Texas, told The Times that he attended elementary school with Crusius and remembered playing basketball and soccer with him during recess. (The Los Angeles Times)

According to eye-witnesses, the attackers were trailing his car and drove beside him when he stopped, shooting him multiple times. (Sahara Reporters)