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Weir vs we’re

  • Weir and we’re are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones are a group of words with different spellings, the same pronunciations, and different meanings. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that sound the same, and homophones are commonly misused words. Said aloud, the difference is less important, because the words are pronounced the same. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones and understand the correct spelling; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the word pairs to, too and two, bridle and bridal, creek and creak, hoard and horde, toed and towed, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other and are easily confused and are commonly misused. 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, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. 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 in English vocabulary, 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. Homophones are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words weir and we’re, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.


     

    A weir is a low dam built in a river to control the flow of the water. A weir is also a type of net fence or fence made of sticks that is placed in a river to catch fish. The plural form is weirs. The word weir is derived from the Old English word wer, which means dam or fence.

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    We’re is the contraction formed from the words we are. A contraction is an abbreviated word formed by removing a letter or multiple letters from a longer word or phrase. The omitted letters are replaced by an apostrophe.

    Examples

    The Corps’ plan would replace the lock and dam with a rock weir fish passage that would allow the fish to access historic spawning grounds currently blocked by the structure. (The Augusta Chronicle)

    The lower end of the Deshka River king salmon escapement range was achieved through Deshka River weir on Sunday, and I figured the Alaska Department of Fish and Game would have removed emergency regulations at that location and allowed sport anglers a chance to harvest a few king salmon at the end of the season. (The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman)

    “We’re going to need the 1 billion-plus people in India, we’re going to need the Australians – it’s going to take all of these democracies together.” (The Sydney Morning Herald)

    At Wednesday’s hotly anticipated congressional hearing on Big Tech CEOs, much of what they said was predictable: We’re not that big; competition is fierce; consumers love us. (India Today)


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