Homophones

Hello, Write Owls. Welcome to Day 23 of Grammar 110. Today we’re talking about homophones.

Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. These words are often confused with one another, and it’s easy to accidentally write the wrong one.

Examples:

To/Too/Two

Your/You’re

There/Their/They’re

Its/It’s

These are the ones I see frequently misused. Let’s go over the differences.

To is a preposition (e.g. I am going to the library). Too is an adverb (e.g. I have too many cats. She wants a cat too). Two is the number (e.g. There are two cats at the library).

Your is a possessive pronoun (e.g. That was your cat I saw). You’re is the contraction for you are (e.g. You’re getting a new cat for your birthday).

There functions as many different parts of speech (e.g. There are four cats at the shelter. The shelter is over there). Their is a possessive pronoun (e.g. Their cat is an orange tabby). They’re is the contraction of they are (e.g. They’re adopting a cat).

Its is a possessive pronoun (e.g. The cat licked its paw). It’s is the contraction of it is (e.g. The cat thinks it’s a great day for hunting birds).

Other common homophones:

  • Bare/Bear
  • Bored/Board
  • Brake/Break
  • Buy/Bye
  • Compliment/Complement
  • Die/Dye
  • Flower/Flour
  • Hear/Here
  • New/Knew
  • Right/Write
  • Waste/Waist
  • Whose/Who’s

Make sure you’re using the right homophones in your writing. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and I’ll answer them either as a reply or in my Q&A on Saturday.

For practice, determine which version of the homophone belongs in the blank. If you want me to check your answers, leave them in the comments.

1. I have __ (to, too, two) walk __ (to, too, two) blocks __ (to, too, two) ___ (your, you’re) house.

2. ___ (Your, You’re) a great friend __ (to, too, two).

3. ___ (There, Their, They’re) walking to ___ (there, their, they’re) house because __ (its, it’s) a nice day.

4. ___ (There, Their, They’re) dog is burying __ (its, it’s) bone over ___ (there, their, they’re).

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