Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about some common homophones in English. These are homophones for American English. I'm going to explain what a homophone is and then I'm going to introduce 12 very common ones that I hope can be useful for you right away. Let's get started.
First, before we begin this lesson, what is a homophone? To remind you, a homophone refers to a word that sounds the same as another word but it has a different spelling and different meaning. We're going to see a lot of examples, 12 examples of homophones today. This can be two words or more. Let's take a look at the first pair. Okay. First pair here is the word "knead" and the word "need." You can see here, as I talked about at this point, "knead," K-N-E-A-D, is spelled differently from "need," N-E-E-D. Both of these are verbs but they sound the same and they have different meanings. "To knead" refers to like going this motion, working dough to make bread; pushing dough, pulling dough. We use the verb "to knead" to talk about making dough, preparing dough for bread.
However, "need" is in reference to something we require, something that we want maybe sometimes. "To knead, to knead dough" and "to need something" have very different meanings but the pronunciations are the same. This is one example of a homophone. Same sound, different spelling, different meaning. Okay. Let's look at another one, another common one, a common mistake. The first word is "plane," P-L-A-N-E. The second word is "plain," P-L-A-I-N. Okay. "Plane," this refers to an airplane in most cases, flying object, plane.
Here, however, "plain," this can mean an adjective. "Plain," meaning like not exciting or visually unexciting, just very simple, something that's very simple. Or it can be a noun as well. A "plain" is like a large open grassy field area, a "plain." "Plain" can be an adjective or a noun, actually. This can have different grammatical functions and different meanings, too. But these two words are homophones. Same pronunciation, different meaning and different grammatical function as well. Please be careful here.
Alright. Let's look at a really common mistake next. "Break" and "brake." The only difference here is in the vowels, actually. You can see B-R-E-A-K, "break," this refers to destroying something, damaging something. "To break your arm, to break your computer," for example. "Brake," however, is to push the button in your car, to push the pedal in your car that causes the car to slow down. "To brake" on like a moving vehicle means to cause the vehicle to slow down by pushing on a pedal or maybe pulling on a lever for a motorcycle, for example. "Brake" and "break" sound the same, different spelling, different meaning. Please be careful here.
Okay. Let's go to the next pair. "Die" and "dye." "Die" with an I refers to losing your life. You cease to exist. You no longer exist. Someone dies. Here, however, D-Y-E means using color to change the look of something. For example, "To dye your hair blonde or to dye your hair black. To dye fabric a different color." To change the color of something. Very different meaning. To lose life is to die, to end life, and to change the color of something, to dye something. "Dye" and "die." Different spellings, different meanings.
Okay. Let's go to another common one. "Hear" and "here." "Hear," H-E-A-R, is a verb, meaning to be able to listen to something or to use your ear to get information. "Here," H-E-R-E, however, is this position, this space right now. "Here, I'm here." The spellings of these two are different, right? Please be careful. "Hear" as a verb, to listen to, and "here," referring to a location, specifically. Different spellings, H-E-R-E, H-E-A-R.
Okay. Next pair is the word "meat" and "meet." "Meat" over here is M-E-A-T. Meaning, an edible food product that comes from animals; pig meat, cow meat, chicken meat. The animal product that we can eat that comes from the animals, maybe body parts is meat. "Meet," however, over here, M-E-E-T, used as a verb, meaning to come together with another person, to meet someone. Please be careful. The only difference here is the vowel, M-E-A-T, for the food that we eat, and M-E-E-T for our action, for coming together with another person. "Meat" and "meet" here.
Okay. Let's go to the next set of homophones. The next one, native speakers make mistakes with this one. Please be careful. This is "principal" and "principle." Same pronunciation again. The spelling changes at the end of the word here. This looks like "principal" and this looks like "principle" at the end, but the spelling is the same in American English, "principal," "principle." "Principal," P-A-L at the end of the word. This is like the head of a school, the top person at the school, like the school's administrator or the school's manager, the school's principal. Someone who's the top of the school. "Principle," however, P-L-E refers to like a policy, a rule, a logic, a theory. A "principle" of something, like a societal principle, for example. This relates to logic. "Principal" relates to a person, like the principal at the school, in my example. Please be careful. Native speakers make mistakes with this one.
Okay. Let's go to another one. "Son" and "sun," S-O-N and S-U-N. "Son" means your male child. My son, his son, her son, S-O-N, male child. "S-U-N," however, is that big ball of light, the star in the sky that gives earth warmth and light. S-U-N. Please be careful here.
Okay. The next example, actually, there are three words that native speakers sometimes make mistakes with in spelling. This homophone, these homophones, are "there, their, and they're." Let's look at this one first. "There," T-H-E-R-e. "It's over there." Something that is maybe across the room, something that is a bit far away from us. We use the word "there," T-H-E-R-E, to talk about it. Here, however, T-H-E-I-R, "their," this is the possessive form of the word "they." Something belonging to them. "That's their house. That's their car. That's their dog." We use T-H-E-I-R to explain that. Finally, "they're," this is the contracted form of "they are." "They are" becomes "they're." "They're really nice people," or, "They're really upset today," or, "They're really friendly," for example. These have different grammatical functions. Please be careful. Different spellings too but the pronunciation is the same.
Okay. Next pair. Similar problem native speakers make mistakes with this as well. It's "your" and "you're." Here, Y-O-U-R, this is the possessive form of you. Something belonging to you. "It's your bag. It's your marker. It's your phone," for example. "Your," this is a possessive form. Here, however, "you're," the pronunciation is the same, "you're." However, this is apostrophe R-E at the end, "you're." This is again referring to some quality of you. "You are." "You're great. You're really funny. You're really tired, aren't you?" for example. We use these for different grammatical functions, but they are pronounced the same. Please be careful here.
Okay. Let's go to the next one. Another group of three here. We have "to, too, and two." All pronounced the same. "To" is our preposition. We use for explaining like movement, for example, like, "I want to go to France. I want to go to China," for example. Or, "I gave this to my friend," or, "Please give this to me," for example. We use "to" as a preposition. "Too" means also. "Can I have some, too? Can I have some also? Can I have some as well?" "Too," T-O-O. There are two Os here. Last one, "two" refers to the number, T-W-O, two. "There are two cats. There are two dogs. There are two phones here." T-W-O. "To, too, and two," same pronunciation, different meanings, different spellings, too.
Alright. Last one is "weak" and "week." W-E-A-K, this is an adjective. "Weak" means someone who is not strong. Doesn't have much physical power. "She's weak. He's weak." However, "W-E-E-K" refers to the period of time, of seven days, one week, Monday to Sunday is one week then. "W-E-E-K" and "W-E-A-K," same pronunciation, different meaning.
These are just a few examples of homophones. There are many different homophones in English, and depending on the type of English that you speak, homophones may change. These are American English examples. British English may have some different homophone examples. But these are some very common ones. Please be careful of your spelling, and also, please be careful when you're listening too as you might hear something that sounds similar to a word you know but actually has a different meaning. I hope this is a nice place to start with the topic of homophone. Thanks very much for watching and I'll see you again soon. Bye.


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Wednesday at 09:51 PM
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Abdul rasul
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Hi alish I'm delighted to learn English with you .i wanna improve my English. So please tell me what to do

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