It's important to be able to distinguish between homophones when writing. The results of using the wrong word in your writing can range from confusing to amusing. In the end, if you misuse too many homophones, your reader might just come to the conclusion that they can't trust your writing at all.
English, with its millions of words adapted from languages across the globe and throughout history has an abundance of those confusing words called homophones. Homo comes from the Greek word for "same," and phone comes from the Greek word for "sound." Therefore, homophone means "same sound," and we use it to describe two or more different words with the same sound but different meanings, words like "pair/pear," and "peak/pique/peek."
Writing accidents happen, and even the most seasoned writers make mistakes with homophones. And what's worse, it's likely that your spellchecker won't have caught the mistaken words. In today’s classroom, technology is forefront, which means a lot of tweens and teens don’t rely on resources like dictionaries, word lists, and word walls; they just let their devices auto-correct their writing. Not knowing the difference between to, too, and two might be appropriate for sending texts, or SnapChats, but it’s most definitely not the case in today’s standardized ELA assessments or the ACT/SAT tests.
There is a place for formal writing, and there is a place for informal writing. Students need to recognize these confusing words, homophones/homonyms, and how to use them in their writing.
There are over 7700 homophones in the English language and counting! This means that chances are high that you will mix up a couple of words at some point in your writing.
Why is this important again? Well, what would happen if you followed a cookbook recipe that was filled with misused homophones that you didn’t recognize? You could end up cooking a moose for dessert (instead of a mousse). While this might go over well in some rural parts of Canada, you don't want to show up at your neighbor's cocktail party with a moose in a cup.
Operation EDU takes grammar seriously. Seriously. But, we like to have fun. So, use this six page confusing words dictionary as you see fit in your classroom. Make a copy for each student, or print two or three books for students to borrow as a word resource when they’re revising and editing. Each homophone set in this dictionary includes the spelling, the meaning, and an example sentence to guide students. Some words in this list book also include the an identified part of speech.
Frequently Confused Words Dictionary
by Operation EDU
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License