English Topic 09 - Homophones and confusing words e.g. practise & practice

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

Video Tutorials:

Affect or Effect?

Practice or practise?

Accept or except?

Stationery or stationary?

Loose or lose?

Desert or dessert?

There, their and they’re – video & rap – how to remember to use each of these:

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