Homophones and confusing words e.g. practise & practice are commonly tested in 11 plus exams.
A number of misspellings are caused by using the incorrect homophone of a word.
Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelt differently and have different meanings.
Example 1: practice & practise
I went to the choir practice. (practice = noun)
I will practise my piano pieces before the concert (practise = verb).
Example 2: stationery & stationary
I bought some stationery for the new school year (stationery = pens, paper, pencils etc.)
The man stood stationary. (stationary = stood still)
Example 3: loose & lose
My shoelaces are loose. (loose = not tight)
Please don’t lose your wallet. (lose = become lost)
Example 4: advise & advice
He will advise you what to buy. (advise = verb)
Sam wanted some advice about his bike. (advice = noun)
Example 5: affect & effect
The weather may affect you mood. (affect = verb – to have an influence on)
Look at the effect of using that colour. (effect = noun – the result)
Example 6: except & accept
Everybody except Imogen had a hair cut. (except = not including)
I will accept you offer of help. (accept = agree to)
Example 7: idle & idol
He is an idle lad. (idle = lazy)
My football idol has changed since last year. (idol = someone/something worshipped)
A few more homophones are: whether & weather, device and devise, complemented & complimented, formerly & formally, bale & bail, lightning & lightening, personal & personnel, desert & dessert