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Hello, everyone! I thought I’d start a list of common homophone mix-ups I see. I’ll also include words that sound similar but not quite the same. Almost-homophones, or false-homophones, so to speak! It’s nice to have a quick guide in your time of need. Add yours to the list as well! These can include other mistakes where words or turns of phrase have been mixed up.

 

Homophone (noun): a word that sounds like another word, but is spelt differently

Homonym (noun): a word that sounds like another word, and is also spelt the same

 

Affect (verb): indicates influence. Eg: The potion did not affect Hermione the way she had hoped.

Effect (noun): also indicates influence, but as a noun. Eg: The effect of the potion on Hermione was unexpected.

 

Which (pronoun): refers to things or animals

Witch (noun): a magic lady

 

Weather (noun): the state of the atmosphere, often dictating your choice of clothes for the day

Whether (conjunction): used to introduce two choices. Eg: Please tell me whether you’d like to sit by the window, or have the aisle seat.

 

Aisle (noun): a passage between two rows of something, like seats or shelves

Isle (noun): an island or peninsula, especially a small one

 

Bear (noun): a large mammal OR a cuddly stuffed toy OR the act of holding or supporting

Bare (noun): lacks clothes or adornment

 

Brake (verb): to stop OR (noun) a device that is used to stop

Break (verb): to indicate smashing or shattering something OR to take a recess. Eg: Let’s take a break from Potions homework and go chat to Nearly Headless Nick.

 

Complement (noun, verb): refers to something that enhances or completes. Eg: Rosemary is the perfect complement to roast lamb.

Compliment (noun, verb): you say something nice to someone

 

Aloud (adjective): refers to something said out loud. Eg: I am reading aloud

Allowed (verb): to permit something

 

Principle (noun): a basic truth or law

Principal (noun): the head of a school, or organisation OR a sum of money

 

Wanton (adjective): deliberate or unprovoked OR (noun, archaic) sexually immodest or promiscuous

Wonton (noun): a delicious savoury dumpling, usually eaten boiled in soup

 

Would’ve NOT would of

 

Kind of NOT kind’ve

 

Coarse (adjective): rough

Course (noun): the route or direction followed by something OR the way something develops OR a procedure adopted to deal with a situation OR a dish or dishes served together as part of a series during a meal OR curriculum OR (verb) flow without obstruction

 

Die (verb): stop living

Dye (noun): a substance that adds or changes the colour of something OR (verb) to add or change the colour of something. Eg: I dyed my cloak royal blue to match the hair dye I’d just bought

 

Flour (noun): powdered grains, obtained through grinding

Flower (noun): the part of the plant that has the seeds

 

Heal (verb): to become healthy again

Heel (noun): the back part of your foot below your ankle OR the part of your palm just in front of your wrist

 

Morning (noun): the time between midnight and noon, especially between sunrise and noon

Mourning (noun, verb): expressing sorrow at someone’s death. Eg: Harry still mourned the death of Dobby.

 

Made (verb): past participle of make

Maid (noun): a female domestic servant

 

Idle (adjective): avoiding work OR without purpose or effect OR (verb) spend time doing nothing

Idol (noun): someone or something you look up to

 

Peace (noun): freedom from disturbance. Eg: May he rest in peace, rather than in pieces.

Piece (noun): part of something OR (verb) to assemble something from parts. Eg: I had to piece together the Swedish furniture I bought last weekend.

 

Pray (verb): address a prayer to a deity OR (adverb) used as a preface to polite requests. Eg: Pray tell, what were Lily and James up to in Potions?

Prey (noun): an animal that is hunted and killed for food OR (verb) to hunt and kill for food

 

Stair (noun): steps ascending or descending to another level

Stare (verb): to look at someone or something without breaking eye contact

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I have another one to add if that's okay :) It's commonly misused in fiction.

 

Pore - to read or study attentively (also a small hole). Hermione pored over her books.

Pour - description of liquid movement. If Hermione poured over her books, she would be wetting them.

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their/they're/there and two/to/too are things I see so often on ff.net and its bugs me soooooo much.

 

their - someone else's property. That's their dog.

they're - they are. They are going to Maccas for dinner.

there - another place. That's the shower over there.

 

They're going back to their house, which is over there. :)

 

two - 2. I have two laptops.

to - expressing motion - She's going back to eating her own food.

too - as well as - I have that pencil case too.

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