What is a Homophone?

I see the sea?

This week, in one of our biggest Pronunciation Clinics yet we learned about homophones. Homophones are words that sound the same when we say them, but they have different spellings and also different meanings. Can you think of any homophones?

Some homophones are pretty well-known, such as ate/eight, sea/see, and be/bee, but other ones surprised the group of students. Many people found out that they had been saying the word “pear” incorrectly. A homophone of “pear” is “pair.” We also learned other ones like threw/through, so/sew, caught/cot and more.

Learning about homophones can help you to improve your pronunciation because you can learn to say difficult words. You also can realize that, unfortunately, words in English don’t always sound the way they are spelled. Another thing you can find out is that you might be saying words incorrectly and, therefore, making them homophones. For example, some of the students couldn’t pronounce the difference between “tree” and “three”. These words are not homophones, but if you don’t say the [th] correctly, they could accidentally sound similar. Also, the words “bear” and “beer” are not homophones. They have different vowel sounds. But, “bear” and “bare” are homophones.

Next week, come join our free pronunciation class so that you can learn about things like homophones and also practice saying words in English!