Homophones, or “sound-alikes,” are words that are pronounced like another word, or words, but are different in meaning, origin, or spelling, such as their/there/they’re and to/too/two.
Recognizing homophones is essential to correct spelling because even spell-check programs will not recognize them as spelling errors. Students begin learning in first grade to identify and use context clues to determine the correct meaning of sound-alike words (to, too; for, four), and later use a dictionary or rely on memory to spell the word correctly.
Though homophones are a common source of confusion, the lessons exploring their meanings can be especially fun and interesting, from the frequently used (ate/eight, deer/dear, flew/flu) to the more unusual (baron/barren, bouillon/bullion, gorilla/guerilla).
Common Core State Standards Related to Homophones
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking: Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text, or restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately (e.g., knowing duck is a bird and learning the verb to duck).
1st Grade Homophones:
- List 1: to, two, one, won, be, bee, in, inn, sun, son
- List 2: for, four, see, sea, I, eye, meet, meat, ant, aunt
2nd Grade Homophones:
- List 1: toe, tow, week, weak, mane, main, tail, tale, our, hour
- List 2: bare, bear, so, sew, here, hear, dear, deer, grown, groan
3rd Grade Homophones:
- List 1: hare, hair, sail, sale, wait, weight, their, there, maid, made
- List 2: hole, whole, medal, metal, knight, night, fur, fir, right, write
- List 3: road, rode, piece, peace, cents, sense, ate, eight, threw, through
4th Grade Homophones:
- List 1: peak, peek, seam, seem, feat, feet, steal, steel, flea, flee
- List 2: male, mail, pale, pail, days, daze, rays, raise, vane, vain, vein
- List 3: pair, pare, pear, stair, stare, loan, lone, flour, flower, principle, principal
5th Grade Homophones:
- List 1: throne, thrown, doe, dough, clothes, close, waist, waste, brake, break
- List 2: cent, scent, sent, wear, where, site, sight, cite, berry, bury
- List 3: which, witch, pedal, peddle, bored, board, sweet, suite, creek, creak
6th Grade Homophones:
- List 1: affect, effect, allowed, aloud, aisle, isle, I’ll, patience, patients
- List 2: weather, whether, accept, except, ceiling, sealing, hanger, hangar, alter, altar
7th Grade Homophones:
- List 1: vile, vial, wave, waive, addition, edition, horse, hoarse, manor, manner
- List 2: sensor, censor, bizarre, bazaar, heel, heal, carrot, carat, miner, minor
8th Grade Homophones:
- List 1: sole, soul, rain, reign, rein, pause, paws, wail, whale, heard, herd
- List 2: naval, navel, sheer, shear, air, heir, scene, seen, presence, presents
9th Grade Homophones:
- List 1: cellar, seller, allusion, illusion, capital, capitol, symbol, cymbal, compliment, complement
- List 2: boarder, border, council, counsel, genes, jeans, bridal, bridle, incite, insight
- List 3: whine, wine, mall, maul, muscle, mussel, slay, sleigh, course, coarse
10th Grade Homophones:
- List 1: discreet, discrete, loot, lute, currant, current, profit, prophet, borough, burrow
- List 2: carrot, karat, moose, mousse, ascent, assent, lessen, lesson, aid, aide
11th Grade Homophones:
- List 1: dual, duel, cereal, serial, idle, idol, faint, feint, wrote, rote
- List 2: baron, barren, birth, berth, knead, need, mantle, mantel, leased, least
12th Grade Homophones:
- colonel, kernel, palette, pallet, palate, morning, mourning, canvas, canvass, gorilla, guerilla
An integral part of developing vocabulary and spelling skills is to learn and understand the meanings of words that sound alike, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. VocabularySpellingCity provides word lists, printables, and interactive games and activities that give students the opportunity to practice using sound-alike words.
Try MatchIt Sentences with a Grade 4 Homophones list.