January 18, 2010 at 9:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Homonyms are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things. In the sentence “The two boys want to play too.” the three highlighted words are pronounced identically, but in each case the spelling is different. To, too, and two are homonyms.

There are hundreds of pairs of homonyms in the English language, far too many for us to list them all here. So we will concentrate on groups of homonyms in which three (sometimes more) words are all pronounced identically.

You may find that in the dialect you speak, some of these are not actually homonyms. There tend to be far more homonyms in American and Scottish varieties of English, for example, than standard British English. This is because standard British English distinguishes more vowel sounds, and thus some of the words listed below would not be pronounced identically by some speakers.

Homonym Groups
Here are 88 groups of three or more English homonyms, listed in alphabetical order.
adds ads adze
ade aid aide
air are e’er ere err heir
aisle I’ll isle
aweful awful offal
aye eye I
bailee bailey bailie
bailer bailor baler
baize bays beys
bald balled bawled
bases basis basses
bel bell belle
bight bite byte
boar boor bore
bole boll bowl
born borne bourn
buy by bye
call caul col
carat caret carrot karat
cay key quay
censer censor sensor
cent scent sent
cents scents sense
cere sear seer sere
chord cord cored
cite sight site
cited sighted sited
cites sights sites
dew do due
do doe dough
does doughs doze
ewe yew you
ewes use yews
fir fur furr
flew flu flue
for fore four
frees freeze frieze
gild gilled guild
gnu knew new
haut ho hoe
heigh hi hie high
hoard horde whored
holey holy wholly
idle idol idyl
knot naught not
knows noes nose
lays laze leis
lea lee li
lochs locks lox
mall maul moll
marc mark marque
meat meet mete
oar or ore
pair pare pear
palate pallet pallette
peak peek pique
pincer pincher pinscher
poor pore pour
praise prays preys
precedence precedents presidents
psi sigh xi
rain reign rein
raise rays raze
rapped rapt wrapped
read rede reed
rheumy roomie roomy
rho roe row
right rite wright write
road rode rowed
seas sees seize
sew so sol sow
slew slough slue
tea tee ti
teas tease tees
tern terne turn
their there they’re
to too two
toad toed towed
vain vane vein
vial vile viol
wail wale whale
ware wear where
way weigh whey
weald wheeled wield
weather wether whether
we’re were whir
whined wind wined
yore you’re your


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