25 Homophones People Confuse All the Time
Homophones are two words that have the same pronunciation but different definitions and spellings. Read on to ensure that you never confuse them again.
Affect and Effect
Use affect when you want to indicate influence: The girl did not let other people’s opinions affect her decision to get a black cat.
Use effect as a noun; it is the result of a change: The effect of Hurricane Sandy was devastating.
If you confuse a lot of these homophones you’re probably also saying these words and phrases all wrong.
Are and Our
Are is a verb: We are traveling to Hawaii this summer.
Our is an adjective: We bought our house in July.
Weather and Whether
The weather is the state of the atmosphere: The weather for Friday is not looking very good.
Whether is a conjunction to show two choices: I don’t know whether to order chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Confusing these homophones can make you look dumb, so you should also avoid these words and phrases that make you sound stupid.
There and Their and They’re
There is a part of speech, most commonly a pronoun or adverb: There will be a lot of important people at the event tonight.
Their is a pronoun: The parents picked up their child from school.
They’re is a conjunction of they and are: They’re not happy with the number of potholes that haven’t been fixed on their road.
Brake and Break
Use brake as a verb: If you see red lights on the cars in front of you, you need to brake.
Use break to indicate that something broke, or as a noun to indicate a rest: On my lunch break, I am going to run some errands. I hope I don’t break my back carrying back the heavy bags. Watch out for these common punctuation mistakes that even smart people make.
Here and Hear
Here is an adverb that indicates a location: Come sit over here so that you’re in the shade.
Hear is a verb: I can’t hear what you’re saying, can you please speak up.
It’s and Its
It’s is a conjunction of it is: It’s really hot out today.
Its is the possessive form of it: The dog was wagging its tail.
Accept and Except
Accept is a verb that means to get or receive: The fundraiser will accept your donations until 5 p.m.
Except is a preposition that means exclude: I like every type of fruit except bananas. These funny words sound like they’re made up but they’re actually real.