Words You Should Get Straight to Avoid Looking Silly.

When you sea words used in the wrong context, you want to bough your head and prey for people to take more time with there writing.

(That sentence was more difficult for us to write than you could ever imagineā€¦)

But just in case you’re not clear on some of those homophones, here’s a refresher course.

See vs Sea
I see the typo in line two of your article.
In that picture of a beach, the sea is churning in the background.

To vs Too vs Two
We’re going to the meeting in fifteen minutes.
She spent way too much time on that sketch. (This “too” is so important, it deserves an extra “o”)
We have two extra postcards in our samples folder.

Their vs They’re vs There
Their plane was grounded for mechanical reasons. (Shows possession. Whose plane? Their plane.)
They’re going to meet us at the restaurant instead. (Contraction: They + are.)
Your new desk will be right over there. (Shows direction.)

Bough vs Bow
When the bough breaks, it’s going to land on the tree house. (It’s a tree branch!)
When my sister walks into the room, she demands that we bow to her out of respect. Yea, right.

Bear vs Bare
A grizzly bear came to the campsite while we were hiking, and ate all our food!
After he shaved his head, it was completely bare.

Pear vs Pair
I don’t like apples, but I’ll eat pears all day long.
I was asked to pair the words on the left with their meanings on the right.

Gait vs Gate
His gait was one of confidence and assurance.
There was a large gate in front of the driveway, blocking entrance to photographers.

Compliment vs Complement
Receiving a compliment from my professor was a rare moment.
The colors the painter chose complemented each other nicely.

Your vs You’re
Your house is beautiful. (Shows possession)
You’re going to miss the game if you don’t hurry up! (Contraction: You + are)

Capitol vs Capital
The committee met in the Capitol Building.
New York is the dance capital of the world.
*Pay special attention, because this gets confusing. The Capitol building in America is in the Capital city.

Principal vs Principle
The school principal organized the fundraising event. (The Principal is your “pal”.)
It’s not that I don’t like him, it’s just that I disagree with his principle argument.

Stationary vs Stationery
She stood stationary in the middle of the room, not even blinking.
She chose pink stationery for her wedding thank you notes.

Desert vs Dessert
After being stranded in the desert for two days, he wondered if anyone would ever find him.
After dinner, the waitress brought ice cream for dessert. (Dessert is so good it deserves an extra “s”)

Affect vs Effect
The release of the iPad affected the stock market.
The effect of the hurricane came in the form of millions of dollars in damage.

Rein vs Reign vs Rain
When you ride the horse, you have to hold on to the rein, or you’ll fall off.
The king’s reign lasted for 30 years until his death.
The weathermen are predicting rain this weekend, but they’re usually wrong.

Phase vs Faze
When she was 17 years old, she went through her rebel phase, and snapped out of it by 19.
The wind didn’t faze the runner one bit- she still made up ground on the turn.

Prey vs Pray
When animals target their prey, they often stalk slowly.
My grandpa taught me how to pray to Jesus when I was little.

Cite vs Sight vs Site
I had to cite my reference for the blog article.
They say if you look at the sun too long, you’ll lose your sight.
The construction crew set up their materials on the job site.

Allot vs A lot
The committee will allot half the money to your organization, and half to mine.
He didn’t have a lot of money, so he made do with very little.

Hair vs Hare
She cut ten inches off the length of her hair and donated it to charity.
My favorite fable is “The Tortoise and the Hare.”

Flower vs Flour
For her wedding, she instructed her bridesmaids to hold a single flower rather than a bouquet.
The cake recipe called for flour, eggs, and butter.

Son vs Sun
The best day of my life was the day my son was born.
The teacher explained to the class that the sun is a burning ball of gas.

Bored vs Board
The little kid was so bored with the tee ball game he sat down in the outfield.
When a hurricane hits, residents of the island board up their windows for protection.

Brake vs Break
Only the front brake works on my bike, so I have to be extra careful when I’m stopping.
If you don’t stop tapping your pencil on the desk I’m going to break your arm.

Find vs Fined
If you find my keys at your house, call me immediately.
They were fined for their late fees associated with their account.

Hear vs Here
It was so quiet in the room you could have heard a pin drop.
Come here. Right now.

Heal vs Heel
If you want that wound to heal properly, you have to take good care of it.
Getting a bruise on your heel is extremely painful.

Hire vs Higher
We’re going to hire a new employee this month!
We could see for miles as the hot air balloon rose higher in the sky.

Hour vs Our
My mother-in-law will be here in ONE hour!
Our new home is located on the northeast side of town.

Knew vs New
He knew he was going to miss his deadline.
When my dog chewed up my brand new bag, I wanted to scream.

Piece vs Peace
I had the biggest piece of cake in the entire room.
The sleeping baby looked serene, and at peace.

Plain vs Plane
The room was plain and empty; perfect for decorating!
We’ll hop on a plane to Florida; the drive takes too long.

Steal vs Steel
My sister tried to steal my favorite jeans when I wasn’t looking, but I busted her.
The walls were reinforced with steel to make them stronger.


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