language The Trickiest Homonyms in the English Language  

Amy Boal
800 votes 145 voters 4k views 37 items Embed

Homonyms are sound-alike words that can really trip you up. Some people call them "homophones" instead, but either term means essentially the same thing: two (or more) words that sound alike, but have totally different meanings, and often different spellings. Take for instance the simple word "capital." "Wait, don't you mean 'capitol'?" you are probably shouting. No, I don't. I am talking about money not about the White House. Duh.

Don't let homonyms get you down. This informative list of tricky homonyms will help you keep it all straight. Take a moment to learn the difference between "affect" and "effect," "led" and "lead," and "allude" and "elude" once and for all - and be sure to vote up the most confusing and tricky homonyms below, so that the stuff writers of the English language most need to remember is right there at the top.
list ordered by

1
33 6
Carat / Karat a weight measurement of precious stones / a fineness measurement of gold

2
34 8
Capital / Capitol money or of importance / a building like the White House

3
35 11
Affect / Effect a verb / a noun

4
21 3
Flak / Flack criticism or anti-aircraft fire / a publicity agent

5
25 6
A While / Awhile a noun / an adverb

6
20 3
Premier / Premiere first in importance or a prime minister / a first performance of something

7
18 4
Eminent / Imminent distinguished, notable / about to happen

8
22 8
Fiancé / Fiancée a man who is engaged to be married / a woman who is engaged to be married

9
20 10
Allude / Elude hint at / escape from

10
15 6
Pallet / Palate / Palette those wood things under big shipments / the roof of your mouth & your taste in food / where you mix paints

11
15 11
Queue / Cue a line / indication that it is your turn

12
11 13
Led / Lead was in charge of or showed something the way / what mechanical pencils have in them

13
9 11
Who's / Whose a contraction of "who" and "is" / a possessive pronoun

14
7 11
Principal / Principle your pal and person who runs a school / a fundamental truth or proposition

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15
8 13
By / Bye / Buy near / see you later / to purchase something

16
9 15
Your / You're it belongs to you / a contraction of "you" and "are"

17
6 12
Past / Passed a noun / the past tense of a verb

18
5 11
Canon / Cannon law or tenet, accepted official storyline or body of work / big gun

19
4 10
Pedal / Peddle / Petal like on a bike / to sell or hawk your wares / the pretty parts of flowers

20
4 10
Ranker / Rancor this website! / bitterness or resentfulness

21
7 14
There / Their / They're that place / that person's / a contraction of "they" and "are"

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22
6 13
Steal / Steel take something that isn't yours / metal

23
3 10
Aid / Aide to give help or assistance /  an assistant

24
6 14
Cord / Chord like a rope or whatever / a group of musical notes that sound great together

25
5 13
Feet / Feat the things at the end of your legs or 12 inches / something someone accomplishes

26
5 13
Cite / Site to credit a source / a specific place or location

27
3 11
Pour / Pore to make a liquid flow in a steady stream / to read or study attentively

28
3 12
Muscles / Mussels soft tissue that you work out by lifting, bro / seafood that is kind of like clams

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29
4 14
Allowed / Aloud is okay to do / the opposite of silent

30
7 18
Aural / Oral of the ear / of the eye

31
3 13
Pail / Pale a bucket / light or having little color

32
3 13
Threw / Through past tense of throw / moving in one side and out the other side of something

33
2 11
Insight / Incite a deep understanding / encourage, stir up, or persuade

34
3 14
Won / One the opposite of lose / the number right before two

35
3 16
Wear / Where to don something, like a cute dress / a question word asking the subject's location

36
2 13
Hole / Whole hollow place in a body or surface / entire, complete, all of

37
3 17
Do / Due to take an action / it's time for something to happen or be completed