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English Homophones You Should Know

Homophones are two or more words that sound the same (identical pronunciation), but have different meanings.

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Here you have some examples of homophones:

• Eight/Ate
Eight (noun): The number that comes after 7 and before 9.
There were only eight days left until Christmas.

Ate (verb): Past tense form of ‘eat’.
We ate dinner together then went home.

• Bean/Been
Bean (noun): Edible seed that grows in pods on leguminous plants.
Baked beans on toast is a traditional British dish!

Been (verb): Past tense form of ‘be’.
Where have you been all night?

• Cereal/Serial
Cereal (noun): Grain used for food (e.g. wheat), type of dried breakfast eaten with milk.
My favourite cereal is cornflakes.

Serial (noun/adjective): A story or programme delivered in instalments, taking place in series.
The serial killer loved watching serials on TV!

• Flour/Flower
Flour (noun): Ingredient used to make bread and cakes.
This recipe uses two cups of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar.

Flower (noun): Seed-bearing part of a plant.
Her husband gave her a nice bunch of flowers on her birthday.

• Meat/Meet
Meat (noun): Food from the flesh of an animal.
The hotel guests got food poisoning because the meat wasn’t cooked properly.

Meet (verb): Arrange or happen to cross paths with somebody.
I’m going to meet my friend at the train station this evening.

• Son/Sun
Son (noun): A boy or man in relation to his parents.
My son is only eight years old, but he thinks he is 18!

Sun (noun): Star round which the Earth orbits, light/warmth from this star.
The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening.

• Wood/Would
Wood (noun): Small forest, material from trees.
There used to be badgers in the wood, but they are gone now.

Would (verb): Past tense form of ‘will’, expresses conditional.
Where would you like to spend the summer holidays?

• Right/Write/Rite
Right (adjective): Correct, just, opposite of left.
I answered all the test questions, but only got half right.

Write (verb): Mark letters, words or symbols on paper with a pen or pencil.
Please remember to write to Santa Claus before Xmas!

Rite (noun): Ritual.
In many cultures, older boys must complete a rite of passage to become ‘men’.

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