Improve Your English With 20 Common Homophones Ep 714

A wooden study chair in an Oxford classroom. Learn common English words that sound alike.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3476 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 18 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 13.1 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

20 Tricky Homophones & A Fun English Grammar Quiz!

🎓 Ever felt baffled by English words that sound the same but trip you up with different meanings and spellings? Dive into today's Adept English lesson, where homophones take center stage! Get ready to challenge yourself with a fun quiz and see if you can master these tricky pairs.

What's in it for you?

  • 🌟 Learn English Homophones effortlessly with our latest tutorial!
  • 🔍 Dive into 20 common homophones in our fun quiz-style review.
  • 💡 Perfect for beginners, intermediate, and advanced learners.
  • 👂 Enhance your listening skills and pronunciation with practical examples.
  • 📚 Expand your vocabulary and grammar knowledge in real-life conversations.
  • 🎉 Enjoy fun English quizzes and language tips for rapid fluency.
  • 📝 Improve English spelling and avoid common mistakes.
  • 👩‍🏫 Adept English guides you through, making learning enjoyable and effective.

✔Lesson transcript:

You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.
⭐ Czech proverb

By participating in this lesson, you'll gain a clear understanding of homophones. Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. This can be a tricky area in English, but mastering it is crucial for fluent communication.

The lesson provides practical examples and a quiz to test your knowledge. This approach helps you remember these words better, ensuring you use the correct spelling and meaning in your conversations. It's a step forward in becoming more confident and proficient in English.

With languages, you are at home anywhere.
⭐ Edmund de Waal

Join the #Homophone hunt it's a key step to fluency in English! 👉 Jump-start your British English learning journey today at Adept English!

More About This Lesson

Ready to have fun with English? Let's dive into a lively quiz on twenty common homophones! These are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. This Adept English lesson is all about mastering these tricky word pairs. It's perfect for everyone, whether you're just starting or already know a lot of English.

A different language is a different vision of life.
⭐ Federico Fellini

What's in it for you? This lesson packs a punch with its benefits:

  1. Enhances Vocabulary: Learn common homophones, expanding word knowledge.
  2. Improves Spelling: Differentiate between similar-sounding words with distinct spellings.
  3. Boosts Listening Skills: Sharpens ability to discern words in spoken English.
  4. Engages with Quizzes: Active participation through fun quizzes reinforces learning.
  5. Clarifies Word Usage: Understands correct contexts for each homophone.
  6. Cultural Insight: Gain exposure to British English usage and nuances.
  7. Interactive Learning: Opportunity to test and apply knowledge in real-time.
  8. Increases Confidence: Builds assurance in handling complex aspects of English.
  9. Accessible for All Levels: Suitable for various proficiency levels, with gradual complexity.
  10. Promotes Self-Assessment: Encourages reflection on personal learning progress.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

  • Confusion with Homophones: Unravel the mix-ups with words that sound alike but mean different things.
  • Desire for Understanding and Usage: Step up your game in using English skilfully in daily chats.
  • Not to Worry About Making Mistakes: Learn why it's okay to trip up and how each mistake is a step forward.
  • Improved English Fluency: Find out how each lesson brings you closer to speaking English smoothly.
Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.
⭐ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Here's what you'll get from the lesson:

  • Sharpen your understanding of homophones.
  • Learn to use the right word in the right place.
  • Boost your English fluency and confidence.
  • Have a fun time while learning something new!

Don't stop here! Follow and subscribe to our Adept English podcast for more engaging and helpful lessons. Take your English to the next level with us. Click, listen, and let's journey together to fluency!

Frequently Asked Questions About Common Homophones

Boost your English fluency with Adept English's engaging lesson on homophones! Dive into our tutorial to learn, review, and practice 20 common homophones in English. Perfect for beginners to advanced learners, this course offers practical tips, vocabulary building, and fun quizzes for effective language learning. Enhance your grammar, pronunciation, and listening skills while enjoying interactive English language learning. Join us now for a unique experience in British English learning!

  1. What Are Homophones? Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. For example, "no" (a negative response) and "know" (to have knowledge of something) are homophones. They sound identical but have distinct meanings and spellings.
  2. Why Is It Important to Learn Homophones in English? Understanding homophones is crucial for mastering English, especially for non-native speakers. It helps avoid confusion in both written and spoken communication. By learning homophones, you enhance your vocabulary and improve your ability to understand context in conversations and texts.
  3. Can You Give Examples of Common Homophones? Certainly! Some common examples include "right" (correct or a direction) and "write" (to record words), "see" (to view with the eyes) and "sea" (a large body of saltwater), and "blue" (a colour) and "blew" (past tense of blow). These examples show how homophones can be easily confused due to their similar pronunciation.
  4. How Can I Practice Homophones Effectively? One effective way is through quizzes and exercises that challenge you to identify the correct homophone in a sentence. Regular practice in reading and listening to English content, like podcasts or videos, also helps. Pay attention to the context to understand which homophone is being used.
  5. Are There Any Resources for Learning Homophones? Yes! Adept English offers a variety of resources, including audio and video lessons focusing on homophones. Additionally, their Most Common Five Hundred Words Course can be a great help in building a solid foundation in English vocabulary, including understanding homophones.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Homophones: Words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings.
  • Grasp: To understand something.
  • Podcast: A digital audio file available on the internet, usually part of a series.
  • Verb: A word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.
  • Surname: A family name.
  • Tunnel: A long, underground passage, often for vehicles or trains to go through.
  • Tantrum: A sudden, uncontrolled outburst of anger, typically used to describe children.
  • Furry: Covered with fur, a thick hair growth on animals.
  • Grate: A metal frame with bars across it used in a fireplace, or to shred food into small pieces.
  • Dunes: Hills of sand formed by the wind, often found near beaches or deserts.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

🎧 Apple
🎧 Spotify
🎧 Google
🎧 Amazon
🎧 Deezer
🎧 TuneIn
🎧 Stitcher
🎧 BluBrry
🎧 PodBean
🎧 PlayerFM
👁️‍🗨️ Twitter
👁️‍🗨️ Facebook
👁️‍🗨️ YouTube

Transcript: Improve Your English With 20 Common Homophones

Hi there. Today challenge yourself with a fun quiz to test your understanding of the use of twenty homophones in English. Have you ever found yourself puzzled by words in English that sound exactly alike but which have different meanings and spellings? If so, you're not alone! Today, let’s do some more work on ‘homophones’, those tricky words that catch out even the most diligent English learners. Homophones are tricky, because they sound the same, but are spelt differently - and their meaning is completely different.

Let me talk about some pairs of homophones and then if you stay until the end of the podcast, we’ll do a fun quiz. You can check your understanding and whether you know the correct spelling of some common homophones. I’m going with ones you might find easier today, because they’re so common, you’ve probably met them and you probably know them. But if you don’t, they’re essential. And the quiz? Always good to test yourself - and if you don’t do well at the test, don’t worry - you’ll be learning a lot! And if you do well at the test - then be pleased, pat yourself on the back. Your English language learning is going well and it feels nice to get everything right.

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Do you want to boost your English?

Before we leap into homophones, a quick tip: if you're finding some English lessons ‘tough to grasp’ - difficult that means - and you want to raise your level of English quickly, our Most Common Five Hundred Words Course is what you need!

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

It's actually got 600 most common words in it now – a bonus just for you! You can find the Most Common Five Hundred Words Course on our website,, on the Courses page.

Be careful - there’s a difference between ‘homophones’ and ‘homophobes’…..

Let’s have a look at what homophones are again - and then at 20 common homophones in English. Then the quiz. You’ll know some of these already - I’ve made it nice and easy today.


A homophone movie poster with a sleuth looking for homophones. Boost Your English with Our 500 Words Course!

©️ Adept English 2024

’No’ and ‘Know’

So you’ll know, KNOW the difference between me replying in the negative - ‘No!’, that’s NO and the verb ‘to know’, KNOW. Very different spelling, very different meaning - but that’s probably the most common example in English of a homophone. So homophones, HOMOPHONES - they sound exactly the same - so ‘homo’ means ‘the same’ and ‘phone’ means ‘sound’. So you’re probably familiar with the difference between NO and KNOW, so let’s move on.

’Right’ and ‘Write’

Another set of homophones you probably know well - ‘right’ and ‘write’ - that’s RIGHT and WRITE. And if you’ve ever spent time in the UK, you’ll find that ‘Wright’, WRIGHT is a very common surname. But lets not mix that one in! Here the verb ‘to write’, WRITE may mean holding a pen and putting words onto a sheet of paper, but more often these days, we ‘write’ something on a computer. So we put words together - that’s the verb ‘to write’. I have ‘written’ this podcast and now I’m recording it! But the word ‘right’, RIGHT - means all kinds of things. It could describe which side - your ‘right’ hand or your ‘left’ hand. Most commonly, it means ‘to have reason on your side, to be correct’. We’d say ‘You’re right’. Or that was ‘the right decision’. So completely different meanings, but ‘write’ and ‘right’ sound the same.

’See’ and ‘Sea’

What about ‘see’ and ‘sea’? One is a verb that refers to ‘what you do with your eyes’. If you use your eyes purposefully, you’re ‘looking’. If you are just going around with your eyes open and you notice things - then you are ‘seeing’, So that one is the verb ‘to see’, SEE. But if we talk about ‘the sea’, that’s SEA - here we’re talking about the ocean. You know this already, right? And don’t confuse it with the name for the letter C, will you?

’Blue’ and ‘Blew’

Another very common pair of words which are homophones - ‘blue’, BLUE and ‘blew’, BLEW. So ‘blue’, BLUE is a colour - the colour of the sky sometimes and sometimes the colour of the sea. And it’s some people’s eye colour too. Whereas the word ‘blew’, BLEW is the past tense form of the verb ‘to blow’. You might ‘blow’ on your food because it’s too hot and you want to eat it - or as happened in the UK last week, the wind ‘blew’. Or you might say ‘She blew out the candles on her birthday cake’.

’One’ and ‘Won’

What about ‘one’ and ‘won’? Almost the same. ‘One’, ONE means ‘a single instance of something’. ‘One person’, ‘one tree’, ‘one country’. It’s a number and it can be used as a pronoun, possibly by ‘posh people’, instead of ‘I’. But ‘won’, WON - some people would say ‘wun’ - ‘won’ is again a past tense form of the verb ‘to win’, as in ‘He won the election’. That’s referencing my topic in the Monday podcast this week! So we’re at ten homophones so far! Some more?

’Hole’ and ‘Whole’

Another set of homophones that are very common words - ‘hole’, HOLE and ‘whole’, WHOLE. If you have a ‘hole’ in your sock, your toe may be poking through or a ‘hole in the ground’ might be where a rabbit or a fox lives. But if you hear the word ‘whole’, WHOLE - this can be a noun - we say ‘the whole of it’ or an adjective ‘the whole apple!’ - then this word means ‘all of it’, ‘the whole thing’. A very different meaning from the word, ‘hole’, HOLE, which is ‘what’s missing’!

’Here’ and ‘Hear’

Let’s go back to a really simple one that I’m sure you’ll know. What about ‘hear’, HEAR and ‘here’, HERE? Well the first one is again the verb ‘to hear’. And you can remember this spelling because it’s like the word ‘ear’, EAR. So ‘to hear’ is what you do with your ‘ears’. And like the difference between ‘to see’ and ‘to look’ - ‘to hear’ isn’t intentional, whereas ‘to listen’ means ‘hearing on purpose’! And the word ‘here’, HERE - is kind of a noun, a kind of an adverb. We use it to mean ‘the place that we’re in’ - ‘here’. And ‘here’ for me could mean ‘in the UK’ or ‘at my house’ or ‘here on the sofa’.

’Through’ and ‘Threw’

And another set of homophones that you probably know - ‘through’, THROUGH and ‘threw’, THREW. So ‘through’, THROUGH is a preposition. If you go ‘through a tunnel’, you pass into the tunnel and along and out the other side of the tunnel - that’s ‘through’. Whereas ‘threw’, THREW is the past tense of the verb ‘to throw’. You might ‘throw’ a football from the side of the pitch to restart the game - or you might ‘throw a tantrum’! We use it in different ways. But ‘to throw’ is a very commonly used verb - and ‘threw’ is its past tense. And ‘through’ is a very commonly used preposition.

Why Do Conjunctions Matter?

’Bear’ and ‘Bare’

What about ‘bear’ and ‘bare’? Very different meanings. ‘Bear’, BEAR is both a noun and a verb. In its noun form - it’s an animal. A big furry animal, which roams in places like Canada. An animal to be frightened of too, a bear. But we do also have our ‘teddy bears’! If ‘bear’, BEAR is used as a verb, this word means ‘to carry’ or ‘to put up with, to suffer’. People sometimes say in English ‘I can’t bear it’ - which means ‘I can’t put up with it’,‘I can’t suffer it’. Whereas ‘bare’, BARE means ‘with no covering’ or sometimes ‘with no clothes on’. So again, very different meanings.

’Great’ and ‘Grate’

The last two common homophones for today. What about ‘great’, GREAT and ‘grate’, GRATE? Well, I think you know the first one - ‘great’, GREAT is a commonly used as an adjective meaning ‘good, to be admired’ or ‘large’. I might say ‘this is a great podcast….’ The other ‘grate’, GRATE? Still quite common. As a noun, it’s used to mean an object, usually metal with holes in it. So ‘a grate’ might be the metal thing that you burn fuel in in your home, if you have a fireplace. And also ‘to grate’ is a verb, GRATE. If you’re making pizza, you’ll probably ‘grate’ cheese to put on the top. So ‘to grate’, GRATE means to use a metal ‘grater’ to make small pieces of something - here cheese or it could be carrot.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

Solve The Maths Problem To Download Podcast & Transcript

A quiz to test yourself on 20 common English homophones

That’s 20 homophones! That’s enough homophones for now. Let’s test how well you know these with a quiz! Here are ten sentences - and the pairs of homophones I’ve talked about appear in the sentences. You need to choose which spelling is the correct for each one! The answers are in the transcript on the website at I’ll say each of these sentences twice. You try to write down the correct homophone, the correct spelling of each one. Here goes.

  • He through/threw a ball through/threw the window.
  • He through/threw a ball through/threw the window.
  • I cannot bear/bare to see his bear/bare bottom!
  • I cannot bear/bare to see his bear/bare bottom!
  • In here/hear, in this room I can’t here/hear the music
  • In here/hear, in this room I can’t here/hear the music
  • No/know, I don’t no/know his name.
  • No/know, I don’t no/know his name.
  • There was a great/grate fire lit in the great/grate.
  • There was a great/grate fire lit in the great/grate.
  • This one/won boy one/won all his tennis matches with a resounding success.
  • This one/won boy one/won all his tennis matches with a resounding success.
  • The whole/hole tent is full of wholes/holes and the rain is coming in.
  • The whole/hole tent is full of wholes/holes and the rain is coming in.
  • It’s not right/write that she hasn’t learned to read and right/write.
  • It’s not right/write that she hasn’t learned to read and right/write.
  • The wind blue/blew even harder, as a blue/blew kite went flying past.
  • The wind blue/blew even harder, as a blue/blew kite went flying past.
  • Can you see/sea the see/sea over there, beyond the sand dunes?
  • Can you see/sea the see/sea over there, beyond the sand dunes?

OK, that’s all of them. How did you do? Let me know if that was super, super easy or if it was difficult? It’s helpful for us at Adept English to understand your level of English. And we also realise that our listeners have a broad range of levels. It’s fun to do a quiz and get it all right. And it’s great to do a quiz when you don’t get all the answers right because they you’re learning something!


Let us know if you want more homophones.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



The voice of Adeptenglish, loves English and wants to help people who want to speak English fluently.
🔺Top of page

TAWK is Disabled

Created with the help of Zola and Bulma