What Are Homophones? | Definition & Examples

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What Is a Homophone?

Homophones are two or more words that sound alike but have different meanings, origins, or spellings.

Examples of Homophones

know, no
deer, dear
stationery, stationary
to, two, too
sole, soul
hour, our
cereal, serial
compliment, complement
bear, bare, bear
hole, whole
cell, sell
mail, male
waist, waste
caret, carat, carrot
weather, whether

Sentences with Homophones

  • Dear-Deer

    This novel is very dear to Dad.

    Little Sam saw five deer at the zoo.

  • Son-Sun

    My son will turn 12 next month.

    The sun rises in the east.

  • Right-Write

    Benjamin will write the assignment after lunch.

    I got five answers right.

  • Two-Too

    Shawn has read two books on the topic.

    The dress was too expensive for us to buy.

Homophones vs Homographs

Both the names "homographs" and "homographs" are self-explanatory. The word "graph" is to do with writing, while "phone" denotes sound or pronunciation. Homographs then are words written or spelled the same, but are different in meanings. Homophones, as we have already discussed, sound the same but are different in one of the three things: meanings, origins, and spellings.

Example for homograph:

bow (a loop made in a string of a ribbon)
bow (a device used to shoot arrows)
bow (the front of a ship)

Click on the Circles to Spot the Six Homophones


Homophones Useful for Writing

There is no point in just memorizing lots and lots of homographs, but the idea is to carefully master the ones that matter a lot in writing. Here are a few:

  • They're, Their, There

    They're — This is the contraction of "they are".


    They're coming home after a year.

    Their — This means "belonging to the people".


    Their hard work has finally paid off.

    There — This denotes a place or is used with words such as is, are, was, and were.


    The building over there is Dad's office.

    There are two restaurants in our neighborhood.

  • Its, It's

    The simple thing to remember here is if the word can be replaced with "it is" or "it has", it is the one with the apostrophe. Or else, it is the one without the apostrophe.

    "Its" means "belonging to it".


    The dog is wagging its tail.

    "It's" means "it is" or "it has".


    It's been a while since we met.

  • Your, You're

    "Your" means "belonging to you".


    Is this your book?

    "You're" means "you are".


    You're interested in music, aren't you?

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Sample Worksheets

Reinforce your skills using our free printable Homophone Worksheets.