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What is the Difference Between Homophones and Homographs?

What is the difference between homophones and homographs?Using the wrong homophone or homograph when texting, using the internet, or writing a paper for school can be confusing! Here is how homophones and homographs are different, and some examples of each to help you use them correctly.

Homophones and homographs both start with the same prefix, “homo-” which means, “same.”

“Homophone” also has the base word, “-phone,” which means, “sound.”

So, homophones are words that when spoken, sound the same — but have different meanings.

There, their, and they’re are all homophones. They all sound the same. But they mean different things!

“My house is right there.
“Have you seen their new puppy?”
They’re cheering for the blue team.”

Sometimes, homophones can be spelled the same. Those homophones are called homonyms.

“My dog likes to bark.”
“This tree has green bark.”

One of those barks is the sound dogs make, while the other is the stuff that grows on trees.

Homographs are different because they are words that are spelled the same, have different meanings, but they sound different.

“I was allowed to lead the group.”
“The pipes were made of lead.”

These two leads are homographs because they look the same, they mean different things, and are spoken in different ways.

The first “lead” is pronounced like “leed,” and describes an action.
The second sounds like “led” and is a type of poisonous metal.

Can you think of more examples of homophones and homographs?

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