Clarifying Confusion in the English Language: Part 1-Homophones

Clarifying Confusion in the English Language: Part 1-Homophones

Alexis Jefferson

English is said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn, and even if it is your first language this can be true. There are so many rules that it begins to seem unnecessary and becomes frustrating. However, we need the ability to read and write properly, it’s vital.
With that said, let’s rid ourselves of frustration. This is part one of many articles that will breakdown the English language.


A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another but has a different meaning.

Affect vs Effect

Affect (verb) – to move or influence
Effect (noun) – the result or outcome of something
Affect (verb): Procrastination can affect your grades.
Effect (noun): The medicine had an immediate effect.
Affect is the change agent and effect is the result of change.
However, in rare instances, affect is a noun and effect is a verb.
“Affect as a noun is used in the field of psychology meaning ‘someone’s effect’ or to be the cause of someone’s behaviors.
Effect as a verb means to create.”

To vs too vs two

To (preposition): “used for expressing motion or direction toward a point, person, place, or thing approached and reached, as opposed to from”
Too (adverb): “in addition; also; furthermore; moreover”
Two (noun): the number that follows one
To (preposition): We are going to the new restaurant at the mall.
Too (adverb): He too went to church with us.
Two (noun): Eat two fruits and vegetables a day.

They’re vs their vs there

They’re: a contraction of the words “they” and “are”
Their (pronoun): “a form of the possessive case of they used as an attributive adjective, before a noun”
There (adverb): a general location
They’re: They’re the best dancers at our school.
Their: Their dog was adopted by my friend.
There: She told me to sit on the couch right over there, near her lamp.

Bear vs Bare

Bear (noun): a type of animal
(verb): to hold, carry, or support
Bare (adjective): naked or without concealment
(verb): to confess or reveal
Bear (noun): We saw a huge bear at the park.
Bear (verb): Your plate cannot bear the weight of all the food.
Bare (adjective): My room was bare after I threw away all of the trash.
Bare (verb): After the incident, he was told to bare all of his troubles to the therapist.

You’re vs your

You’re: a contraction of the words you and are
Your: “one’s (used to indicate that one belonging to oneself or to any person)”
You’re: You’re the worst kind of person, you always take but never give.
Your: Your problems are my problems.

it’s vs its

It’s: a contraction of the words it and is
Its (pronoun): “the possessive form of it”
It’s: It’s going to be a good day.
Its: My shoe lost its laces.
There are many more homophones in English but the ones chosen are the most popular. Also the words chosen have more than one definition and parts of speech.
Sources used for definitions
Google Dictionary/Oxford Pocket Dictionary