Which witch is which? Test your homophone knowledge.
"Honey, those clouds look really ominous. Please check the ______ app on your smartphone."
Weather, of course, is all about the current state of atmospheric conditions. But "whether" is meant to indicate some sort of choice, such as, "Please let me know whether you want to eat a that picnic or go home to avoid the bad weather."
Which homophone describes a tasty type of vegetable?
A "leek" is a type of onion and it's used for all sorts of yummy recipes. A "leak" may refer to something that's got a hole in it.
"Did you make your ____ with the devil yet? I’m all _____ and ready for my trip to hell!"
A "pact" is an agreement or commitment, and if you make a pact with the devil, you're hopefully trading your soul for something really good, like an eternal supply of pizza.
"Check the door ____, Karen brought back a slice of _____ from Alaska, and we don't want to share it with the kids!"
In this usage, "locks" is a noun referring to the device that helps you secure the door. "Lox" is a type of smoked salmon that's scrumptious when paired with a toasted bagel and capers.
"You should have _____ lower so that you didn't smash your head into the air _____."
"Ducked" means to stoop down, in this case, to avoid smashing your head into the air duct, a channel that moves air throughout a structure, like a house.
"Did you see this stupid junk ____ that arrived today? It's got a ridiculous ______ hair growth ad. You can just throw it away."
You know what "mail" is. It's mostly bills and junk, like ads for male hair growth products.
The drug had very few side _____, except for headaches and explosive diarrhea.
The word "effects" is used as a a noun. "Affects," on the other hand, indicates influence. For example, the prescription didn't really affect him the way that he'd hoped.
"I told her that I play ____ guitar and she was super impressed. We went back to her place and I didn't make it past first _____."
"Bass" has multiple meaning depending on the usage, and in this case it's describing a type of guitar. "Base" also has numerous meanings, but here it's a noun describing a baseball field … while alluding to something more risque.
"You, you want to get married? I'm sorry, but I can't ______ your drunken proposal. Maybe sober up first."
"Accept" means to receive something. "Except" means not including, or other than. In this case, the proposal is defintely not being accepted.
Which word refers to the head of a school?
The "principal" runs a tight ship at the school so that students can learn. His "principles" are a guiding force that helps him make day-to-day decisions in his leadership role.
"Did you see that lady rob the bank? _____ she goes!"
"There" can act as different parts of speech, but in this case, it's an adverb describing a place. And that lady over there is running away from the police just as fast as she can.
"This is a meditation retreat, so you're not _____ to say anything ______."
You're not "allowed" (permitted) to say anything "aloud" (something spoken out loud) during a quiet meditation retreat. Don't be that guy!
Which of these two words means that you're about to purchase something?
"Do you think I should buy these shoes?" "By" is location-oriented: "I put a Dear John note by the nightstand this morning. I'm off to pursue my new career as a model!"
"If you want your ashes to be buried in a titanium-and-gold _____, you're going to have to _____ a whole lot more money!"
An "urn" is a burial container that's used for the ashes of the deceased. To "earn" something means that you're working for it. But that shiny urn will be worth it!
"'Your' going to love this spinach and escargot sandwich that I made you for lunch!"
"Your" and "you're" are two of the most confused words in the English language. "Your" is a pronoun, but "you're" is a contraction of "you" and "are," and the latter is the one that you should use in our example sentence.
Which of these homophones might refer to something that's disgusting?
"Did you see the vile bubbling liquid in that laboratory vial? I can't believe the teacher drank it!" A vial is a cylindrical tube, one that's most often made of glass.
"The neighbor kids all got flamethrowers for Christmas. I want one, ______!"
"Too" is a synonym for "also." So you'd better get shopping for that flamethrower, parents. Hey, your kid will be the life of the BBQ.
"I'll give you a _____ of money if you tell me where you found that mother _____ of gold!"
In this case, "load" is a noun that means a pile money. A "lode" is a vein of metallic ore, and a lode of gold is indeed worth a load of money.
"Give it up, jerks! We ____ the game! We're number _____!"
"Won" is a past-tense version of "win." And if you're number one, well, you know that you're the best, or at least, you're really cocky and you think you are.
"Did you see that new scarlet ____ that J. Crew is using in its fall sweater line? I'd just _____ to get my hands on one of those!"
A "dye" is a colorant that used for various products, such as clothing. If you die, well, you know, you kicked the bucket.
Which of the following homophones references an animal?
A "hare" is a rabbit. Hares have a lot of hair, which is why trappers catch them and sell them to make hats.
"If we are attacked by a giant _____, I will _____ my soul to you. After all, you're the last person I'll ever see."
A "bear" is the big-toothed mammal that's about to eat you. But you can bare (reveal) your soul to your friend before you both wind up as a grizzly's lunch.
"That woman is boring beyond words. I'd ______ her personality to a _____-covered rock."
To "liken" something is to note the resemblance of one thing to another thing. "Lichen" is a type of composite organism made of cyanobacteria or algae, and it often grows on rocks. It's kind of boring.
If you find a ____ on your cat, you'd better ____ your home, because it might be infested.
Fleas are little blood-sucking parasites, and if you find them on your pet, you'd better take action, pronto. Otherwise, you'll have to flee your house and call an exterminator.
"Before you head to the wedding chapel and get married at the _____, we'll need to ____ your fluffy white dress."
An "altar" is the table at the front of a Christian church, and it's used for many religious ceremonies. To "alter" something means to change or tweak it.
Which of the following words describes an alcoholic beverage?
"Booze" is an informal term for alcoholic beverages, while "boos" is a verb -- one in which people jeer or mock someone or something, perhaps an out-of-control guy who drank too much booze and stumbled into the streets.
"If you need to travel to the magical island, you'll have to take the ocean ______. Keep your eyes out for the evil black ____, he's been known to cast curses on intruders!"
A "ferry" is a vessel that carries people and vehicles across an expanse of water. A fairy is a type of magical creature, and you'll probably see them only in your weird dreams.
"Uh, I'll _____ right back, I have to run away from this big angry _____!"
"Be" means to live or exist, and if you don't run fast enough from that venomous bee (a flying insect), you might not "be" around much longer.
Which of the following homophones refers to a delicious type of meat?
"Steak" is a cut of meat, and it's most often used in reference to beef. "Stake" can be a noun for an object similar to a stick. Or you can have a "stake" (interest) in something, like the stock market.
"Get down on your knees and _____, you're about to become _____ for that pack of wild dogs."
To "pray" is to offer solemn expression of thanks, or to beg for help from an all-seeing entity. "Prey" is the opposite of "predator." It means you're about to become dinner.
Is it which or witch? Is it capitol or capital? Who knows, right? You do! Settle in to our common homophone quiz and see if you know how use these often-abused English terms. Don't worry, "your" going "too" do "grate!"
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