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Ch 10: Using Homonyms

About This Chapter

The Using Homonyms chapter of this English Grammar Rules course is the most efficient way to study how to distinguish between words that sound like one another. This chapter uses simple and fun lessons that take about five minutes to complete, plus includes lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure you understand the essential concepts associated with using homonyms.

Who's It For?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering using homonyms will benefit from the lessons in this chapter. There is no faster or easier way to learn about using homonyms. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who want to learn a broad topic in a short amount of time
  • Students who are looking for easy ways to identify the most important information on the topic
  • Students who have fallen behind in memorizing word definitions of common homonyms
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning English (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who have limited time to study for an upcoming exam

How It Works:

  • Complete each lesson in the chapter to review all key topics.
  • Refer to the lesson to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with a short quiz.
  • Complete your review with the Using Homonyms chapter exam.

Why It Works:

  • Study Efficiently: The lessons in this chapter cover only information you need to know.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging instruction and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Take the Using Homonyms chapter exam to make sure you're prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any English question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: View lessons on any web-ready device.

Students Will Review:

This chapter summarizes the material students need to know about using homonyms for a standard English course. Topics covered include:

  • Comparisons of there, their, and they're
  • Differences among too, two, and to
  • Distinguishing between words like illicit and elicit
  • Site, sight, aisle, isle, fair, and fare
  • Stationary compared to stationery
  • Using alter instead of altar
  • Differences between born and borne, hear and here, and new and knew
  • Comparison of break vs. brake
  • Proper uses for bye, buy, and by
  • Canvass instead of canvas and plane instead of plain
  • Uses for capital and capitol
  • Difference between herd and heard
  • Hole compared to whole
  • Difference between meat and meet
  • Using peek instead of peak and piece instead of peace
  • Difference between presence and presents
  • When to use road instead of rode and wave instead of waive
  • Distinguishing between scene and seen
  • Understanding the difference between waist and waste
  • Distinguishing between week and weak and into and in to
  • Identifying the proper usage of whether and weather
  • Understanding every day vs. everyday
  • Difference between grey and gray
  • Awhile compared to a while
  • Any time and anytime
  • When to use all right instead of alright
  • Using apart instead of a part and patients instead of patience
  • Using cannot instead of can not and onto instead of on to

38 Lessons in Chapter 10: Using Homonyms
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Difference Between There, Their & They're

1. Difference Between There, Their & They're

The confusion between 'there', 'their' and 'they're' is a classic homonym problem. This lesson will help sort out the differences between the adverb, possessive pronoun, and contraction that all sound the same.

Difference Between To, Too & Two

2. Difference Between To, Too & Two

In a card game you might ask if anyone has a two. In the English language we have three - to, too and two. In this lesson, you will learn the difference between these words and how to correctly use them in a sentence.

Using Elicit vs Illicit

3. Using Elicit vs Illicit

The homonyms elicit and illicit may sound alike, but they have different meanings and functions in a sentence. The verb 'elicit' means to get something, while the adjective 'illicit' describes something that is illegal or forbidden.

Using Site vs Sight

4. Using Site vs Sight

Site and sight can be confusing words. They are often used interchangeably but incorrectly. Although they sound exactly alike, the mean very different things. In this lesson, you will learn the correct usage of both words.

Using Stationary vs Stationery

5. Using Stationary vs Stationery

The homonyms 'stationary' and 'stationery' often cause confusion but, despite sounding alike, they have very different meanings and perform different functions in a sentence. This lesson will help you understand the difference between the two.

Using Aisle vs Isle

6. Using Aisle vs Isle

In this lesson, you will learn how to choose between the homophones 'aisle' and 'isle'. Although the words sound alike, they have very different meanings. Read to learn how to choose the correct spelling each time you need to write about an aisle/isle.

Using Alter vs Altar

7. Using Alter vs Altar

The homonyms 'alter' and 'altar' cause a lot of confusion because they sound identical and look very similar. But 'alter' is a verb, or action word, while 'altar' is a noun.

Using Born vs Borne

8. Using Born vs Borne

Born and borne are very confusing words. They can mean nearly the same thing, but are only used at certain times. In this lesson, you will learn not only the correct usage of born and borne, but also the subtle difference between the two.

When to Use Break or Brake

9. When to Use Break or Brake

Do you know the difference between the words 'break' and 'brake'? What about when to use each form of the word? Read on to find out how to decide between 'break' and 'brake.'

When to Use By, Bye or Buy

10. When to Use By, Bye or Buy

The homonyms 'by', 'bye', and 'buy' can create a lot of confusion if used incorrectly as they both have different meanings and are different parts of speech. In this lesson, we will sort out the differences.

Using Canvass vs Canvas

11. Using Canvass vs Canvas

The homonyms 'canvass' and 'canvas' are confusing because they sound alike, but they usually do different jobs in a sentence. This lesson will help you tell the difference between 'canvas', which is usually used as a noun, and 'canvass', which is usually used as a verb.

Using Capital vs Capitol

12. Using Capital vs Capitol

Capital and capitol are probably two of the most easily confused words in English. They can sometimes mean similar things and sometimes mean very different things. In this lesson, you will learn the difference and when to use them correctly.

Using Fair vs Fare

13. Using Fair vs Fare

'Fair' and 'fare' sound exactly the same but have very different meanings. They are easily confused and often misused. In this lesson, you will learn the correct use of both words and an easy way to remember the correct spelling.

Using Here vs Hear

14. Using Here vs Hear

If you have ever gotten confused about whether you should be using 'here' or 'hear' when writing, keep reading! In this lesson, we will explain the difference between both words as well as describe when and how you should be using them!

When to Use Heard or Herd

15. When to Use Heard or Herd

What is the difference between 'heard' and 'herd'? These homonyms mean different things and are different parts of speech. 'Heard' is a verb that is the past tense of 'hear' and 'herd' is both a noun and verb that deals with groups of animals.

Difference Between Whole & Hole

16. Difference Between Whole & Hole

Words that sound the same but do not have the same meaning can cause confusion when writing. In this lesson, you will learn the difference between 'whole' and 'hole' and how to use them correctly

When to Use Knew or New

17. When to Use Knew or New

Knew and new sound just alike, but how can we tell them apart? Let's dive into these homophones and how they have different meanings, even though they look and sound so similar!

Difference Between Meet & Meat

18. Difference Between Meet & Meat

Meat and meet - they sound the same, but do they mean the same thing? In this lesson, we'll discuss the definitions of these words, and give examples of how to appropriately use them in a sentence.

Difference Between Peace & Piece

19. Difference Between Peace & Piece

Have you ever been confused about when to use ''piece'' and ''peace''? In this lesson, we'll have a face-off of piece vs. peace, so that you can learn when to use them and how to not confuse them!

Using Peek vs Peak

20. Using Peek vs Peak

In this lesson, you will learn how to decide when to use the homophones peek and peak. Although they sound the same and have almost the same spellings, these two words have very different meanings.

Difference Between Plain & Plane

21. Difference Between Plain & Plane

Plain and plane can sometimes be tricky words that are easily confused. In one sense, they mean something very similar but are completely different things. In this lesson, you will learn the difference between plain and plane and their correct usage.

Using Presents vs Presence

22. Using Presents vs Presence

Presents and presence are words that are sometimes confused. In this lesson, you will learn the difference between the words and when to use both words correctly.

When to Use Road or Rode

23. When to Use Road or Rode

Confused about the difference between road and rode? You are not alone! This lesson will go over the differences between these two homophones, while also detailing when and how to use them in writing!

When to Use Seen or Scene

24. When to Use Seen or Scene

This lesson will be very helpful to you if you have ever been confused about whether you should be using 'seen' or 'scene' when writing. We will go over the difference between both words, as well as learn when and how you should be using them.

When to Use Waste or Waist

25. When to Use Waste or Waist

To waist or not to waste? Not sure which version of the word to use in a sentence? This lesson can help! We will go over the difference between these two words, as well as discuss when and how to use them in writing.

Using Wave vs Waive

26. Using Wave vs Waive

Using wave and waive correctly can be difficult. Even though they sound the same, the words have very different meanings. In this lesson, you will be able to identify the correct way to use wave and waive.

Difference Between Week & Weak

27. Difference Between Week & Weak

The homonyms 'week' and 'weak' do very different things despite sounding alike. 'Week' is a noun, referring to a period of seven days, and 'weak' is an adjective for something that is not strong.

When to Use Weather or Whether

28. When to Use Weather or Whether

Do you know whether to use weather or whether in a sentence? If this sounds like a trick question, read this lesson to learn the difference between the words weather and whether and see examples of how to use these words in a sentence.

Using Everyday vs Every Day

29. Using Everyday vs Every Day

Do you brush your teeth everyday or every day? If this sounds like a trick question, explore this lesson to learn the difference between the word everyday and the phrase every day.

Into Versus In To

30. Into Versus In To

What's the difference between 'into' and 'in to'? Why is there sometimes a space between these two words and sometimes there is not? This lesson will tell you all about it.

Grey vs Gray

31. Grey vs Gray

For your entire time in school, you have likely been taught there is a right and a wrong way to spell things. However, there are some exceptions. In this lesson, we will talk about the correct spelling of 'grey' and 'gray.'

When to Use Awhile or A While

32. When to Use Awhile or A While

In this lesson we will learn a quick and easy way to figure out if you need to use the word 'awhile' or the two words 'a while' in a sentence. We will also discover which one acts as a noun and which one is an adverb.

Anytime vs Any Time

33. Anytime vs Any Time

In this lesson, we will examine the differences between 'any time' and 'anytime.' Further, we will look at some examples in which these words are used correctly and will learn the criteria for correctly writing your own sentences using anytime/any time.

Using Alright vs All Right

34. Using Alright vs All Right

Writers frequently confuse the terms 'alright' and 'all right,' which is an easy mistake to make! In this lesson, we will examine how to improve your writing by correctly using these terms.

Using Apart vs A Part

35. Using Apart vs A Part

The word 'apart' often causes confusion because it is made up of two smaller words: 'a' and 'part'. The phrase 'a part' is also commonly used. So when to use which one? You will find out in this lesson.

Using Patients vs Patience

36. Using Patients vs Patience

The homonyms patience and patients are both nouns, but have very different meanings. One refers to people in a doctor's office while the other refers to your ability to wait calmly.

When to Use Cannot or Can Not

37. When to Use Cannot or Can Not

If you have ever wondered what the difference is between '~'cannot'~' and '~'can not'~', then look no further. In this lesson, we will take an in-depth look at both forms of the word and find out which version is best to use.

Using Onto vs On To

38. Using Onto vs On To

If you have ever been confused by the word 'onto' and the words 'on to' you are not alone. This can be a tricky topic. In this lesson, we will describe the difference between 'onto' and 'on to.'

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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