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Home study: words that sound the same but have a different meaning

HOME STUDY (Intermediate Level)

As some of you do not study the English language at an English langauge school or with a private teacher/tutor, I will post some English learning activities here for you to do at home or somewhere you can get wireless internet (eg a café or library).

Homophones are words that sound the same but have different spelling and different meanings. The different spelling of the word indicates the meaning is different. The only way to understand homophones is to know their meanings and use them.

The pair of words given in the following exercises sometimes cause spelling errors as they contain the same vowel sound.

Choose the proper word (from the choice of two given for each sentence) and complete the sentences below. Use your dictionary if you need to. I will post the answers in a few days at the bottom of this post.

1. right/write

Please ________ your name in the __________ side of the page.

2. wait/weight

We’ll have to _________ for the trolley to help us lift such a heavy ________.

3. weather/whether

They’re not sure _____________ the _____________ will improve by tomorrow morning.

4. road/rode

They ____________ the tired horses along the dusty _________.

5. serial/cereal

I had a late breakfast of cooked _______ and watched the exciting ________ on TV.

6. principal/principle

The __________ of the school said that the most important ________ to remember was that, ‘Honesty is the best policy’.

7. presents/presence

The _________ of the police ensured that the stolen _________ were returned to the correct address.

8. sight/site

The building ________ was an ugly ________ for the tourists.

9. past/passed

I am so happy he’s finally _________ his driving test. He’s done so much study and practice in the __________ few months.

Good luck and don’t forget to love your dictionary!

ps If there is a topic you would like me to write about, please let me know in the comments or email me at my.click.english@gmail.com.

Thanks and have a great week!

Maria Mitsu

English Language tutor

Answers: 1. write,right 2. wait, weight 3. whether, weather 4. rode, road 5. cereal, serial 6. principal, principle 7. presence, presents 8. site, sight 9. passed, past.


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  1. June 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I do believe all of the ideas you’ve offered on your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for newbies.
    Could you please lengthen them a little from next time?

    Thanks for the post.

  2. Jocelyn
    October 24, 2012 at 5:39 am

    More please? then than was my biggest mistake in the pasted.

  3. Ed Orange
    April 4, 2011 at 5:48 am

    But w/o knowing the basic Eng structure, we may bogged down. – Ouch! we may be(or get) bogged down is correct:p

  4. Ed Orange
    April 4, 2011 at 3:52 am

    That’d be a big help for beginners as well as intermediate learners. But w/o knowing the basic Eng structure, we may bogged down. I’m ready to tell my friends how to deal w/z this easy-to-understand stuff.

  5. mikomai
    August 24, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Difficult:)

    • larry pionilla
      September 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

      thanks, its a big help for us, becouse my daughter doing spelling and part of assignment is about homophones. as a parent i try to help my daughter homework… and finally i find your column…thanks again.

      • September 2, 2010 at 4:38 pm

        That’s wonderful to hear! Thanks for your comments.

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