What is a homophone?
What are homophones?
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings.
Some homophones are pronounced the same way and spelled the same way but have different meanings (homonyms). For example:
rose (the flower) and rose (past tense of the verb to rise)
book (something we read) and book (to schedule something)
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What is a homonym?
Homonyms are a kind of homophone, words that are written and said the same way but have different meanings. Examples of homonyms are book (something we read) and book (to schedule something) or spring (the season) and spring (to jump up).
What is a homograph?
Homographs are words that are written the same way, but pronounced differently (for example, to wind a clock but blowing wind). Homographs are not homophones (because they don't sound the same).
Homophones learned in primary school
Children have to learn a set list of homophones under the national curriculum. They are often given a list of homophones to learn for their spellings. Your child will learn the following homophones in each year:
|Year 2||there, their, they're|
two, to, too
|Years 3 and 4||accept, except|
heel, heal, he'll
rain, rein, reign
|Years 5 and 6||licence, license|
Teaching children homophones helps them to widen their vocabulary by learning the meaning of new words and also provides an opportunity to practise and improve spelling.
Teachers teach homophones in a number of ways:
- 'Fill the gap' worksheets showing homophones used in the context of different sentences.
- Writing lists of homophones on a class display for children to see every day.
- Sending home lists of homophones for children to learn for spelling tests.
- Encouraging children to write sentences containing a pair of homophones.
- Homophone games involving cards with words written on them (matching the pairs of homophones or matching a word to its definition).
Find homophone worksheets and activities to download in our spelling worksheets.