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Homophone List for ESL Learners - A - E

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This homophone list provides a homophone worksheet for each homophone pair (or in some cases list of three) with definitions and example sentences.

The homophone list focuses on the most important homophones for English learners and as such does not include all homophones.

A homophone is defined as one of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning, such as too (also) and two (the number).

Homophone List A - E

affect - effect

affect - verb -> to change or influence something or someone
affect - She wanted to affect the students in a way they'd never forget.

effect - noun -> the result of a change or influence
The effect of the performance was stunning.

aisle - isle

aisle - noun -> the walkway, as in a theater
I quickly walked down the aisle and took my seat.

isle - noun -> island
He grew up on the isle of Elba.

allowed - aloud

allowed - past tense of the verb 'to allow' -> to permit
His mother allowed him to stay up late on Saturday.

aloud - adverb -> using the voice, not silently
She read the story aloud.

ate - eight

ate - verb -> past tense of the verb 'to eat'
She ate a quick lunch and returned to work.

eight - number -> the number 8
I bought eight tickets to the concert.

ball - bawl

ball - noun -> a round object used in games and sports
He took a ball to the beach to play with the children.

bawl - verb -> to cry (usually very hard)
Please don't bawl! It's not that bad.

bear - bare

bear - verb -> to stand something
He can't bear exams.

bare - adjective -> naked, without clothing
He stood outside in the rain completely bare.

base - bass

base - noun -> the bottom support of something
I think we need a new base for that lamp.

bass - noun -> the lowest pitches in music, singer of the lowest pitches
I sang bass in the church choir.

billed - build

billed - verb -> past tense of the verb 'to bill'
She billed the clients for $4,000.

build - verb -> to construct
They build houses in Portland, Oregon.

blew - blue

blew - verb -> past tense of the verb 'to blow'
She blew a lot of bubbles at her birthday party.

blue - adjective -> a colour
Her house is painted blue.

board - bored

board - noun -> a plan of wood
I used a board to cover the window.

bored - adjective -> not interested
He was bored by the meeting.

break - brake

break - verb -> to damage something
Unfortunately, I often break my toys!

brake - noun -> stopping device on a vehicle
He used the brake to stop quickly.

buy - by- bye

buy - verb -> to purchase
Do they often buy clothes in that shop?

by - preposition -> often used to express the agent in a passive sentence
The song was written by Hammersmith.

bye - noun -> farewell
Bye! I'll see you tomorrow.

capital - capitol

capital - noun -> A town or city that is head of government
Olympia is the capital of Washington state.

capitol - noun -> A building where the government meets
The capitol is a beautiful building.

cell - sell

cell - noun -> a small room, usually in a prison
There are two prisoners per cell in that prison.

sell - verb -> to provide for sale
They sell books and magazines.

cent - scent- sent

cent - noun -> 1/100 of a dollar
One cent isn't worth very much.

scent - noun -> an aroma
The scent in the air is fabulous!

sent - verb -> past tense of the verb 'to send'
I sent you some pictures last week.

chance - chants

chance - noun -> not on purpose
I saw Mary by chance in California.

chants - noun (plural) -> simple song or melody
We did some grammar chants in class last week.

chews - choose

chews - verb -> third person present singular of the verb 'to chew'
My daughter chews her food well.

choose - verb -> to make a decision from amongst more than one
OK, I choose the red one.

close - clothes

close - verb -> to shut
Please close the door when you come in.

clothes - noun -> articles of clothing
He put on his clothes and left for work.

coarse - course

coarse - adjective -> rough, not smooth
The fabric is rather coarse.

course - noun -> a class in which a subject is studied
The English course will begin next week.

creak - creek

creak - verb -> to squeak (make a high pitch sound)
The doors in the house all creak.

creek - noun -> small stream
The creek winds through the beautiful valley.

days - daze

days - noun -> plural of 'day'
I work five days a week.

daze - noun -> confused state
He walks around in a daze.

dear - deer

dear - adjective -> beloved, often used to begin a letter
My dear Richard, you just don't understand!

deer - noun -> an animal (Bambi - irregular plural: deer)
We saw three deer on our hike in the mountains.

dew - do- due

dew - noun -> light water condensation usually found in the morning
The grass was covered with dew.

do - verb -> to perform
They usually do their homework immediately after school.

due - adjective -> payable
The full payment is due by the end of the month.

Homophone List A-E
Homophone List F-L
Homophone List M-R
Homophone List S-Z

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