Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • At least a couple of times a week I get an email or comment from someone wondering

  • What’s the difference betweendeeranddear’?”

  • Or something similar.

  • And at least some of you know, there is no difference in the pronunciation.

  • They are homophones.

  • In this American English pronunciation video,

  • were going to go over what homophones are, and a long list of them.

  • Youll probably even learn some new words.

  • English is not a phonetic language.

  • That means there is not a direct relationship between letters and sounds.

  • So you can have two different words with different spellings that are pronounced exactly the same.

  • These are called homophones, and there are a lot in American English.

  • When I was in Paris with my friend Sara,

  • she said something about the bridge with locks.

  • It’s a famous bridge,

  • though I believe they have since had to remove some or all of the locks.

  • But she said something about this bridge and my mind went to a different word,

  • lochs’, a narrow bay or body of water.

  • It makes sense, bridge, bay.

  • Then my mind went tolox’ – salmon.

  • Again, it kind of makes sense: bridge, water, salmon.

  • But then I realized she meant thislocks’. And we had a good laugh.

  • Normally with homophones, the context is clear enough

  • that there is no doubt which word you mean.

  • In this video we are going to go over an incredibly long list of homophones,

  • some involving very common words.

  • Some of them may surprise you, and chances are some of the words will be new to you.

  • If any words are unfamiliar, right them down and look up the meaning.

  • Here we go.

  • ad / add

  • aid / aide

  • air / heir / err

  • aisle / isle / I'll

  • Note the contraction will usually be reduced.

  • Then, instead of sounding likeaisle’, it will sound likeall

  • allowed / aloud

  • alter / altar

  • ant / aunt

  • note A-U-N-T can also be pronouncedaunt’,

  • but it is most commonly pronouncedant’.

  • arc / ark

  • assent / ascent

  • assistance / assistants

  • ate / eight

  • aural / oral

  • away / aweigh

  • Anchors aweigh!

  • aye / eye

  • bail / bale

  • bait / bate

  • ball / bawl

  • band / banned

  • bard / barred

  • bare / bear

  • baron / barren

  • base / bass

  • be / bee

  • beach / beech

  • beat / beet

  • beau / bow

  • bell / belle

  • berry / bury

  • billed / build

  • berth / birth

  • bite / byte

  • blew / blue

  • bloc / block

  • boar / bore

  • board / bored

  • boarder / border

  • bode / bowed

  • bolder / boulder

  • born / borne

  • bough / bow [ow]

  • bread / bred

  • brake / break

  • brewed / brood

  • brews / bruise

  • bridle / bridal

  • broach / brooch

  • browse / brows

  • but / butt

  • buy / by / bye

  • cache / cash

  • callous / callus

  • cannon / canon

  • canvas / canvass

  • capital / capitol

  • carat / carrot / caret / karat

  • carol / carrel

  • cast / caste

  • cede / seed

  • ceiling / sealing

  • cell / sell

  • cellar / seller

  • censor / sensor

  • cent / scent / sent

  • cents / scents / sense

  • cereal / serial

  • cession / session

  • chance / chants

  • chased / chaste

  • cheap / cheep

  • chews / choose

  • chic / sheik

  • chilly / chili

  • choral / coral

  • chute / shoot

  • chord / cord

  • cite / sight / site

  • clause / claws

  • click / clique

  • close / clothes

  • though you don’t have to drop the TH inclothes’,

  • most native speakers do.

  • coarse / course

  • colonel / kernel

  • complement / compliment

  • coo / coup

  • coop / coupe

  • core / corps

  • correspondence / correspondents

  • council / counsel

  • creak / creek

  • crews / cruise

  • cue / queue

  • currant / current

  • curser / cursor

  • cymbal / symbol

  • dam / damn

  • days / daze

  • dear / deer

  • defused / diffused

  • desert / dessert

  • The first word here can either be DEH-sert or dee-ZERT.

  • Don’t desert me!

  • I’d love more dessert.

  • dew / do / due

  • die / dye

  • disburse / disperse

  • This one is interesting.

  • The consonant B and P are not the same,

  • but they sound the same here.

  • The P, unvoiced, often sounds more like a voiced consonant,

  • the B, when it’s in the middle of a word.

  • disburse / disperse

  • doe / dough

  • draft / draught

  • dual / duel

  • earn / urn

  • ewe / you / yew

  • eye / I

  • fair / fare

  • faze / phase

  • feat / feet

  • find / fined

  • fir / fur

  • flair / flare

  • flea / flee

  • flew / flu / flue

  • flour / flower

  • flocks / phlox

  • for / four / fore

  • of course, ‘foris reduced in sentences tofer’.

  • I made this for you!

  • foreword / forward

  • forth / fourth

  • foul / fowl

  • friar / fryer

  • gait / gate

  • gene / jean

  • gild / guild

  • gilt / guilt

  • gnu / knew / new

  • gored / gourd

  • gorilla / guerilla

  • grate / great

  • grease / Greece

  • groan / grown

  • guessed / guest

  • hail / hale

  • hair / hare

  • hall / haul

  • halve / have

  • hangar / hanger

  • hay / hey

  • heal / heel / he'll