Same sound but different meanings

Same sound but different meanings.

There are many words in the English language that have the same sound but different meanings. Here listed, are some of the most frequently used.

AFFECT əfekt Verb meaning to ‘act on’ or ‘influence’. e.g. Music affects him deeply.
EFFECT əfekt Noun meaning ‘consequence’, e.g. The sun has a drying effect on skin.
BE bi: From the verb TO BE meaning to exist.
BEE bi: A winged insect that can sting and which makes honey from pollen.
BREAD bred A staple food made from flour, water and yeast, which is then baked.
BRED bred The Past form of the verb TO BREED.
BY bai Both a preposition and an adverb.
BUY bai A verb meaning to purchase, to obtain for a payment of money.
FORE fᴐ: The front part of something.
FOUR fᴐ: A number, as in two plus two or three plus one.
ITS ɪts ITS is a possessive adjective, e.g. the dog chews its bone.
IT’S ɪts IT’S is the contraction of IT IS, e.g. It’s very hot today.
HOLE həʊl A hollow place in a solid body or surface.
WHOLE hɒʊl All of something, complete and entire.
LEAD led A chemical element in the carbon group – a ‘metal’
LED led The Past of the verb TO LEAD.
LOSE lʊ:z TO LOSE is to ‘misplace’ e.g. I’ve lost my keys, I can’t find them.
LOOSE lʊs The opposite of ‘tight’ e.g. If your head were loose, it’d fall off.
MADE meid To be fabricated, created or constructed.
MAID meid A female domestic servant, or an unmarried girl (in Olde English)
MEAT mɪ:t A food, which is the flesh of an animal and is eaten for protein.
MEET mɪ:t To arrange to be in somebody’s company.
NO nəʊ NO is a negative reply or refusal. It’s the opposite of YES.
KNOW nəʊ TO KNOW is to ‘have knowledge’ or to ‘be aware of’ e.g. I know that man.
PAIN pein A bad physical sensation of suffering caused by accident or illness.
PANE pein A single sheet of glass in a window or door.
READ red The Past of the verb TO READ.
RED red The colour of blood and rubies, found in between orange and violet.
SALE seil A noun taken from the verb TO SELL.
SAIL seil Piece of material on a mast, used to propel boats by catching the wind.
SEA sɪ: The expanse of salt water covering most of the earth. An ocean.
SEE sɪ: The verb TO SEE, to discern visually, to perceive with the eyes.
SEES sɪ:z The third person singular of the verb TO SEE.
SEIZE sɪ:z To take hold of suddenly and forcefully.
SITE saɪt An area of ground on which something is built, a website.
SIGHT saɪt The ability to see, or something which can be seen.
CITE saɪt To refer to a text as evidence, or to praise someone officially.
TALE teɪl A story or narrative, can be true or fictitious.
TAIL teɪl The back-end of an animal. Or as a verb – to follow someone.
THERE ðeə THERE talks about location, e.g. I live over there by the church.
THEIR ðeə THEIR is a possessive adjective. It means ‘belonging to them’.
THEY’RE ðeə THEY’RE is the contraction of ‘they are’, e.g. They’re always late.
TO TO is a preposition of place, e.g. They went to school.
TOO tʊ: TOO means also, as well as, or more than enough, e.g. too much.
TWO TWO is the number which comes after one, e.g. I have 2 books.
WEATHER weðə The state of the atmosphere, i.e. hot, cold, wet, windy etc.
WHETHER weðə Expressing a doubt or a choice between alternatives (similar to IF).
WOOD wʊd Material taken from trees and used for fuel or timber.
WOULD wʊd The past tense of WILL and used mainly in conditional sentences.
YOLK jəʊk The yellow, internal (protein) part of an egg.
YOKE jəʊk A crosspiece fastened across the shoulders of animals; a harness.
YOUR jᴐ: YOUR is a possessive adjective, e.g. Is this your book?
YOU’RE jʊə YOU’RE is the contraction of you are, e.g. You’re very clever.

Words with the same sound but different meanings are known as homophones.
To find out more about homophones, homonyms, homographs and heterographs
just click on one of the following links.

Related Content:
Wikipedia – Heterographs
Wikipedia – Homophones

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