Writer’s Workshop: Commonly Misused Homophones

Writer’s Workshop: Commonly Misused Homophones

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same, but have different spellings and frequently very different meanings.  They trip up anyone learning English whether you’re a student or have English as a second language and are the bane of auto-correct and spellcheckers.
Here’s a guide to ten of the most commonly confusing homophones.  Whether this is a reference guide, or a quick refresher, hopefully you can catch your next homophone before your sim gets sent!
1. there-their-they’re
There- is used as a pronoun or an adverb in a sentence

There will be a lot to eat at dinner tonight.  (pronoun)

Put the PADD over there.  (adverb)

Their- is a pronoun

The students put their uniform coats in the closet.

They’re- is a the contraction for they are

They’re going to attend the holodeck party.

2. accept-except
Accept- is a verb that means to receive something

The Bajoran Temple will accept donations through the first of the month.

Except- is a preposition that means to exclude

You may donate all items except weapons and yamok sauce.

3. lose-loose
Lose- To be defeated

If you do not think logically you will lose this game of three-dimensional chess.

Loose- Not fitting tightly or properly

Tugging at his dress uniform, Captain Kerk wished he had made the collar a little more loose.

4. it’s-its
It’s- is a contraction of it is

It’s too dangerous in the nebula, so we will stay here until the ion storm passes.

Its- is a possessive form of the word it

The cat is licking its paws.

5. bear-bare
Bear- Either the animal or the act of supporting

Did you know they have a brown bear at the Starbase 104 zoo?

Let me help you bear this burden.

Bare- Not being clothed or covered

He walked out of the sonic shower as bare as a Betazoid wedding.

6. aloud-allowed
Aloud- referring to something said out loud

The teacher read the assignment aloud to her class.

Allowed- referring to something that is permitted

Tribbles are allowed so long as they are properly sterilized.

7. you’re-your
You’re- is a contraction for you are

You’re going to be cleaning warp core manifolds if you talk back to the Chief Engineer again.

Your- is a pronoun

Please bring your completed assignment to class tomorrow.

8. week-weak
Week- is a period of seven days

You have one week to finish fixing this shuttlecraft before we will use it on a mission.

Weak- is having little physical strength or energy

The Romulan Ale hangover left her feeling very weak.

9. prey-pray
Prey- is a hunted animal or person

Separated from his away team in a warehouse crawling with hostile Breen the Ensign was feeling like easy prey.

Pray- is to beseech a higher power or make a devotion

Before going on duty the Bajoran officer stopped at the temple to pray to the Prophets.

10. weather-whether
Weather- The state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time

The constantly changing springtime weather is driving us crazy.

Whether- Expressing a doubt

Please tell us whether you would prefer Vulcan or Klingon cuisine for dinner.

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