Have you heard of English homophones? Do you know the difference between wound and wound? What about to, too, and two? If you do, you’re probably a pretty proficient (experienced, skilled) English speaker. But even fluent speakers need a brush up once in a while!
English homophones are two or more words that sound the same but have different spellings and/or meanings. Check out this list of English homophones and see how many you get right!
To, Too, Two
There are three different spellings for the word to (or too, or two), all pronounced the same way.
To means expressing movement, such as when you’re “going to the park.” Too means in addition to something, like “Bob came along, too.” And finally, two is the number, as in “I have two siblings.”
- Would you like to go to the movies this weekend?
- Sure! Is it ok if Tim comes along, too?
- Well, I only have two tickets, but I’m sure we can buy another.
Have you ever wound a bandage around a wound?
The ‘ou’ sound in English can make six different sounds; such as in could (pronounced like book), south (like in house), fought (pronounced like cough), although (like go), enough (as sun), and wound (like moon). Kinda crazy, huh?
Give it a practice with words like wound (the past tense of wind, with ‘ou’ pronounced like house) and wound (a deep injury, rhymes with moon). Soon you’ll be top of the class!
- I wound the scarf around my neck because it was cold outside.
- He accidentally cut himself while he was cooking and had a deep wound in his hand.
Keeping on track with words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, what do you know about the difference between wind and wind?
To wind (the ‘i’ sounds like ‘eye’) means to twist in a spiral-like way, and when the ‘i’ is pronounced like that in the word ‘in’, it’s for the word that describes the movement of air. Have you ever seen the wind winding through the trees on a crisp autumn day?
- On windy days, you can easily see the wind moving through the trees.
- Can you please help me wind this string around the package?
Have you ever found the timbre of someone’s voice really pleasing? Could they have been lumberjack that cuts down forests of timber? These English homophones may seem confusing until you figure out what they mean.
Timbre (pronounced “tam-ber”) is a combination of sounds that distinguishes from other sounds of the same pitch and volume. It’s part of how we can recognize different voices. Timber (pronounced “tim-ber” as it looks), on the other hand, are trees that have been cut down to be used as wood.
- I love listening to him talk. I think it’s because I really like the timbre of his voice.
- Sometimes if you drive through the woods, you’ll drive past stacks of timber waiting to be transported.
Are you getting bolder in speaking foreign languages? Or do you feel like you’re trying to climb over a massive boulder in your way?
If you’re getting bolder, it means that you’re more willing to take risks and are getting more confident. A boulder is a very large rock. So climb over you boulders, and get bolder in your language learning!
- She decided to take singing lessons to help herself improve. These lessons made her more confident, and she got bolder about singing in public.
- We were out hiking, but had to turn around because a large boulder was blocking the path.
Did you know any of these English homophones? Did you find this blog helpful? Share with us in the comments below!
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Check out these other popular blogs: Taboo words in English, 7 Synonyms for Being Drunk, 7 American English Slang Words, or these Sports Idioms used in English!
Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and loves hearing the wind wind through the trees.