What are homophones? They are each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins or spellings. Haven’t you always got confused on how to use “lose-loose” or “effect-affect” correctly in a sentence? Well, these are some examples of homophones.
So here I am, letting you know how to use 10 common incorrectly used homophones by making their meaning and how-to-use-them-in-a-sentence concept clear for once and for all. Grammar Nazis, this one’s for you!
a) Stationary & Stationery
Stationary means fixed, still or not moving. For example, The stars are shining stationary objects in the sky. Stationery means work supplies such as pens, papers and folders. For example, She went to the market to get stationery for her exam.
b) Principal & Principle
Principal is the head or in-charge of certain things in a company. For example, He wasn’t expecting to become principal of the school. Principle is a rule, guideline or a fact. For example, The principle of freedom of speech shouldn’t be taken for granted.
c) Affect & Effect
Affect is a verb which means to make an impact or change something. For example, The disasters affect the life and property of people. Effect is a noun which means the result of a change. For example, The scars on his body were an effect of the car accident he had recently.
Thus, while the word “affect” means to change something, the word “effect” means a result of the change.
d) Loose & Lose
Loose means something which is not tight or not firm. For example, The shirt which he got as a present fitted him loose. Lose means to fail to win or to misplace something or free oneself from someone or something. For example, He always has the habit of losing his keys.
e) Their & There
Their is a word used for specifying possession i.e telling that something belongs to someone. For example, Their car is red in colour. There means “at that place” and is the opposite of here. For example, There are lots of advertisements on the social media these days.
f) Dose & Doze
Dose is related to a measure of quantity. For example, The medicine contains 10 doses in it. Doze means to sleep tightly. For example, Just when the lecture started, he dozed off.
g) Ensure & Insure
Ensure means to guarantee i.e making sure it would happen. For example, He needed to study more to ensure that he got a good grade. Insure means to cover something or someone with an insurance policy i.e if something happens to someone, the compensation would be provided. For example, Insuring your valuables is always a good option.
f) Quite & quiet
Quite means to the greatest extent or degree i.e completely or entirely. For example, She was quite nervous for her exam. Quiet means something which lacks sound or with little or no sound. For example, The city becomes a quiet place at night.
g) Accept & Except
Accept means to agree or receive something offered. For example, He accepted the invitation to come to the party. Except means to exclude something. For example, All the classmates except him came to the reunion.
h) Compliment & Complement
Compliment means to praise or commend or admire something or someone. For example, He gave her a compliment that she looked pretty. Complement means something that completes. For example, Both the bride and groom complement each other.
i) Brake & Break
Brake is a noun which means a device for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle. For example, She used the brakes to stop the car. Break means an interruption of continuity or uniformity. For example, The pandemic brought a break in our normal lives.
j) Peace & Piece
Peace means absence of war. For example, Both the countries agreed to maintain peace among each other. Piece means a part of a whole. For example, He cut the cake into pieces.
Surely there would be many more in the list. However, I found these the most frequent incorrectly used homophones. I myself am no pro and have taken help from the internet to prepare the list and hence there can be some exceptions or errors (I have tried my best to avoid any error though.) How many of the above mentioned did you already know correctly? Let me know in the comments section some other homophones you have in your mind.