Tutor vs. Tudor

Photo of author


Tutor and Tudor are two words that are pronounced in the same manner, but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the words to, too and two, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other. Pronunciation is usually more ambiguous, as English pronunciation may vary according to dialect, and English spelling is constantly evolving. Pronunciation may change even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. Homophones are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced alike but have very different usage and etymology. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a homophone in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. We will examine the definitions of the two homophonic words tutor and Tudor, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A tutor is a teacher who works with a student in a private setting or at home. Sometimes a tutor is the only instructor for a child’s education, but most often a tutor supplies specialized, extra instruction to a child who needs more or different instruction than what he gets in the classroom. In Britain, a tutor may be an instructor at the college level or it may mean an textbook in a given subject. Tutor is also used as a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes a subject, to mean to work as a private teacher. Related words are tutors, tutored, tutoring. The word tutor is derived from the Old French word tuteor, which means a private instructor.

Tudor is the name of a British royal family that held the throne from 1485 to 1603. Henry VIII was a Tudor, as was Elizabeth I. Tudor is derived from the Welsh surname Tewdwr . Today, Tudor may denote a style of dress or architecture that is reminiscent of the Tudor’s historical time frame. Note that Tudor is properly rendered with a capital T, as it is a proper name.


Radke, who has been an elementary literacy tutor for four years, was recognized for his dedication and for completing more than 500 hours of service in a year. (The South Washington County Bulletin)

A tutor accused of trying to solicit a 15-year-old pupil into having sex during a private tutoring session was arrested Wednesday, deputies said. (The Houston Chronicle)

Arthur Tudor is often overshadowed by his more famous younger brother, Henry VIII.  (Town and Country Magazine)

This quintessential Tudor with a slate roof and picture-perfect curb appeal situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac is listed for sale at 25 Beattie Ct. in the Village of Lloyd Harbor. (The Long Island Press)

Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered: