iFabbo Grammar Lesson: 7 Common Homonyms

Posted on March 1, 2013

Photo by mugley via Flickr Creative Commons

What is a homonym?  A homonym is when two words sound the same, but have totally different meanings.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of homonyms in the English language, but here are some common ones to familiarize yourself with so you’re not drenching your blog with confusing grammar:

  • Allowed (permitted), Aloud (out loud)
    •  You are not allowed to speak aloud during the movie.
  • Complement (go together), Compliment (praise)
    • It’s a compliment to be told that you and your partner complement each other in every way.
  • Effect (result), Affect (modify)
    • My letter had no effect on the supervisor.  It may have negatively affected my employment.
  • Except (leave out), Accept (to receive)
    • I’d like to accept this award on behalf of my entire family, except for my brother, who was of no help.
  • It’s (a contraction for it is or it has), Its (possessive pronoun – belonging to it)
    • It’s been a pleasure working with you.  My red dress is on its own hanger.
  • Then (a word indicating time or a step-by-step order), Than (when you’re talking about a noun in comparison to another noun)
    • You do the first step, then the second step.  I like this lipstick better than that one.
  • Their (to indicate possession, belonging to), They’re (a contraction of the words they and are), There (referring to a place)
    • They’re going to their own place because they like it there.
  • To (toward), Too (also)
    • You can come to the fashion show, too.
  • Your (belonging to you), You’re (you are)
    • You’re going to break your leg if you keep doing that.

No matter how wonderful your prose is, mistakes happen and we all have our “oops moment.”  When too many mistakes happen and happen often, your blog will come off as immature and unprofessional.  It’s best to proofread and, if you can, have someone else go over your work before you post.   Your readers will thank you.

What homonyms do you notice most people mixing up?

In addition to working with iFabbo, Brooke is also the Editor-in-Chief of the blog Blushing Noir. Recently, Brooke was named as the Allure Magazine 2012 Most Buzzworthy Blogger in their first annual Beauty Blogger Awards.

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