Homonyms | A Huge List of 160+ Homonyms for ESL Learners

Homonyms in English! Learn the definition & useful list of the most common homonyms in English with examples and ESL printable infographics.

Homonym Definition

Homonyms are two words that sound like each other but have different meanings. Many people make mistakes with them. Here are some common homonyms in English.

Find more about common homophone in English.

Common Homonym List

  • A while – Awhile
  • Accent – Ascent
  • Adapt – Adopt
  • Advice – Advise
  • Ail – Ale
  • Air – Heir
  • Allowed – Aloud
  • Altar – Alter
  • Amend – Emend
  • Appraise – Apprise
  • Arc – Ark
  • Ate – Eight
  • Ate – Eight
  • Bad – Bade
  • Bail – Bale
  • Bald – Bawled
  • Ball – Bawl
  • Bare – Bear
  • Beach – Beech
  • Bean – Been
  • Bear – Bare
  • Beat – Beet
  • Bee – Be
  • Beet – Beat
  • Bell – Belle
  • Berry – Bury
  • Beside – Besides
  • Birth – Berth
  • Blue – Blew
  • Boar – Bore
  • Board – Bored
  • Bough – Bow
  • Bow – Bough
  • Boy – Buoy
  • Brake – Break
  • Buy – By – Bye
  • Capital – Capitol
  • Ceiling – Sealing
  • Cell – Sell
  • Cent – Scent
  • Cheap – Cheep
  • Check – Cheque
  • Cite – Sight – Site
  • Coarse – Course
  • Command – Commend
  • Complement – Compliment
  • Cord – Chord
  • Council – Counsel
  • Dear – Deer
  • Die – Dye
  • Dun – Done
  • Dye – die
  • Ewe – You
  • Eye – I
  • Fair – Fare
  • Feat – Feet
  • Find – Fined
  • Flea – Flee
  • Flew – Flu
  • Flower – Flour
  • Fool – Full
  • Fore – Four
  • Forth – Fourth
  • Foul – Fowl
  • Fur – Fir
  • Gait – Gate
  • Grate – Great
  • Groan – Grown
  • Hair – Hare
  • Hall – Haul
  • Heal – Heel
  • Hear – Here
  • Heard – Herd
  • Here – Hear
  • Higher – Hire
  • Him – Hymn
  • Hole – Whole
  • Hour – Our
  • Idle – Idol
  • Key – Quay
  • Knew – New
  • Knight – Night
  • Knot – Not
  • Know – No
  • Lain – Lane
  • Lead – Led
  • Leak – Leek
  • Lessen – Lesson
  • Loan – Lone
  • Lose – Loose
  • Made – Maid
  • Mail – Male
  • Main – Mane
  • Meat – Meet
  • Medal – Meddle
  • Missed – Mist
  • Muscle – Mussel
  • None – Nun
  • Oar – Ore
  • One – Won
  • Pail – Pale
  • Pain – Pane
  • Pair – Pear
  • Patience – Patients
  • Peace – Piece
  • Peal – Peel
  • Plain – Plane
  • Plane – Plain
  • Pore – Pour
  • Practice – Practise
  • Praise – Prays
  • Pray – Prey
  • Principal – Principle
  • Profit – Prophet
  • Rain – Reign
  • Rap – Wrap
  • Read – Red
  • Right – Write
  • Ring – Wring
  • Road – Rode
  • Role – Roll
  • Root – Route
  • Rose – Rows
  • Sale – Sail
  • Scene – Seen
  • Sea – See
  • Seam – Seem
  • Sew – Sow
  • Sight – Site
  • Soar – Sore
  • Sole – Soul
  • Son – Sun
  • Soot – Suit
  • Stair – Stare
  • Stake – Steak
  • Steal – Steel
  • Stile – Style
  • Suite – Sweet
  • Tail – Tale
  • Tear – Tier
  • They’re – Their – There
  • Threw – Through
  • Throne – Thrown
  • Tide – Tied
  • Told – Tolled
  • Too – To, Two
  • Towed – Toad
  • Urn – Earn
  • Vain – Vein
  • Vale – Veil
  • Waist – Waste
  • Wait – Weight
  • Way – Weigh
  • Weak – Week
  • Wear – Where
  • Whole – Hole
  • Witch – Which
  • Won – One
  • Wood – Would
  • Write – Right
  • Yoke – Yolk
  • Yore – Your

Homonym with Example Sentences

Here – Hear

  • Here – in this place: Please come here.
  • Hear – using your ears to listen: Do you hear that?

Capital – Capitol

  • Capital– This has a few different meanings. One means a big letter in the alphabet. (Example- ABC, not abc): Don’t forget that Chicago begins with a capital letter.
  • Capitol– The place where the government resides: The capitol of the United States is Washington, D.C.

They’re – Their – There

  • They’re– they + are: They’re from Canada.
  • Their – something belongs to “them”: This is their car.
  • There – in that place: The park is over there.

Won – One

  • Won – past tense of win: We won the basketball game.
  • One – the number 1: I have one son.

Two – To – Too

  • Two – the number 2: I’ll have two hamburgers, please.
  • To – this has many meanings. One means “in the direction of”: I’m going to South America.
  • Too – also: I want to go, too.

A while – Awhile

  • A while – A period of time: I haven’t seen her in a while.
  • Awhile – For a short time: Let’s stay awhile and talk.

Accent – Ascent

  • Accent – Emphasize one part of something: Accent your good points.
  • Ascent – Upward movement: We watched the ascent of the balloon as long as we could.
  • Assent – To agree: I doubt he will assent to the arrangement.

Adapt – Adopt

  • Adapt – To change to fit: Newcomers quickly adapt to the culture of the Internet.
  • Adopt – To take as one’s own, as in: Would it be better to make our own rules, or adopt theirs?

Advice – Advise

  • Advice – Guidance or counsel: Your sound advice saved me from a terrible mistake.
  • Advise – To counsel, recommend, or inform: I advise you to validate the code on your Web page before you release it to the general public.

Altar – Alter

  • Altar – Worship table: The priest approached the altar.
  • Alter – Change: Nothing you can say will alter my plans.

Amend – Emend

  • Amend – Modify or revise: It’s time to amend our by-laws.
  • Emend – Alter or correct in the text of a written work: The publishers hurried to emend the book before the next edition.

Lose – Loose

  • Lose – to suffer a loss or defeat: I don’t want to lose you.
  • Loose – not firm or not fitting: My shirt is loose.

Appraise – Apprise

  • Appraise – Judge the value of: A professional takes many factors into account in order to appraise your house correctly.
  • Apprise – To inform or notify: Please apprise me of any sudden turn of events.

Ate – Eight

  • Ate – Past tense of “eat”: We ate in that new restaurant last week.
  • Eight – The number after seven: Breakfast will be at eight in the morning.

Bare – Bear

  • Bare – Exposed to view: The bare branches of the trees made lacy patterns against the winter sky.
  • Bear – A large mammal: At the zoo, we saw a bear.

Beside – Besides

  • Beside – By the side of: Sit down beside the fire and get warm.
  • Besides – Moreover or else: I’m not hungry; besides, I’m allergic to nuts.

Buy – By – Bye

  • Buy – Purchase: More and more customers are willing to buy goods from an online storefront.
  • By – Through the action of: This Web page designed by P. Sato Design.
  • Bye – Short form of goodbye: Bye for now.

Cell – Sell

  • Cell – Small room: She will spend two months in a prison cell for her mistake.
  • Sell – Offer for sale: I will sell you my car.

Cent – Scent

  • Cent – One-hundredth of a monetary unit: In the US, a penny is worth one cent.
  • Scent – Odor: The detective smelled the scent of almonds-could it be cyanide poisoning?

Cite – Sight – Site

  • Cite Quote: Your proposal will be more persuasive if you cite the results of a recent survey.
  • Sight – Vision: Our eyes provide us with one sense of sight; our imagination, another.
  • Site – Exact location: Thank you for visiting my web site. Please come back often.

Command – Commend

  • Command – Give an order: That sounded more like a command than a request.
  • Commend – Praise: I commend you for the effort in reading this list.

Complement – Compliment

  • Complement – That which completes: As an author, I need input from readers to complement my point of view.
  • Compliment – Expression of praise: Sometimes a critical remark is more useful than a compliment.

Council – Counsel

  • Council – Elected or appointed a group of people assembled for governing or advising: We’re going to have to take that idea up with the town council.
  • Counsel – Give advice or opinion: Volunteers counsel the young people.

Common Homonyms in English | Infographic

Useful Homonyms in English | Image 1

Homonyms

Useful Homonyms in English | Image 2

Homonyms

Useful Homonyms in English | Image 3

Homonyms

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Assalamu alaikum

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