There are many words in your own language that have the same sound but are spelled differently and have a different meaning. They are called homophones = same sound. The English language has many homophones as well. And since we use them all the time, it is important to understand them. They are also a common source of humour in jokes and often occur in riddles.
Regional accents may affect whether words are homophones. Therefore, some of the words below may not be homophones in other dialects and regions. For example, in the U.S. due and do are pronounced alike, but in most British accents they sound different.
whole – the full amount; complete
This is the whole story.
hole – an opening, a hollowed place in a something solid
There is a hole in the door.
new – never used before; opposite of old
I bought a new car.
knew – past tense of “to know”
I knew all the words.
see – to perceive with the eye
I can see you.
sea – the ocean
We sailed across the sea.
one – a single entity; undivided
There was only one piece of cake left.
won – past tense of “to win”
I won the championship
ate – past tense of “to eat”
I ate my cookie
eight – the number 8
I bought eight tickets to the concert.
hear – to detect a sound
Did you hear that?
here – something being in one’s current position
There is a strange smell here.
it’s – shortening of “it is”
It’s a great day today.
its – possessive pronoun; belonging to it
The dog scratched its ear.
who’s – abbreviated form of “who is”
whose – possessive form of who/which
Whose book is this?
your – belongs to you
This is your car.
you’re – short for “you are”
know – to have knowledge
I know how to cook.
no – opposite of “yes”; expresses refusal
No, I’m not going.
weather – the meteorological conditions
I expect bad weather.
whether – indicates an alternative
I don’t know whether he will come or not.
right – correct; also opposite of left
I knew the right answer.
Turn right at the next corner.
write – to put something down in words; to spell
Write your name on the list.
buy – to purchase
I want to buy new shoes.
by – preposition meaning close to, through; past
We drove by the house.
bye – short for “goodbye”
I’ll see you next week, bye!
their – possessive form of “they”; belonging to them
That’s their house on the corner.
they’re – shortening of “they are”
I think they’re coming later.
there – refers to a certain location
Please sit over there.
to – preposition showing direction or attachment to something
Sara went to town.
two – a number
She bought two books.
too – also; excessively
Can I go, too?
I am too tired.