27 Clever Illustrations of Similar Words That Most People Get Confused All the Time

Here’s a really lame joke for you (because I’m not a good joke teller). What happens when a frog’s car brakes down while he’s driving to work? First of all that should be “breaks,” not brakes. That’s an example of a homophone, or words that sound very similar: break and brake. Second, the frog’s car gets toad away. Ha! I told you I was a bad joke teller. But anyhow, a man named Bruce Worden loves homophones so much that he takes the time every week to draw homophones so that people have a visual for what homophones look like. His goal is to give a “visual exploration of words that look the same, sound the same, or are otherwise easily confused.”

Bruce has been updating his blog weakly (and weekly) through 2016, but now only does it occasionally. In other words, weakly. Sheesh, that’s confusing, right? The name of the blog is Homophones, Weakly, so be sure to check (or Czech) it out. When it comes to a homophone, the words sound the same (to a varying extent sometimes) as each other, but have a different meaning. Also, homophones sometimes have different spelling. For example, rose (past tense of rise) and rose (flower) are spelled the same and sound the same, but have two different meanings depending on the context of the sentence.

By Will Heltsley – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

In some cases, a homophone may be spelled differently, such as reign, rain, and rein, but sound exactly the same. The term homophone may sometimes apply to units that are shorter or longer than words, such as letters, phrases, or groups of letters that are pronounced the same as another letter, phrase, or group of letters. We should point out that when homophones are spelled the same (rose and rose), they’re also both homonyms and homographs. On the other hand, homophones that are spelled differently can also be called heterographs. Confused yet?

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These drawings are lots of fun, but they’re also quite useful for teaching people to learn the difference between homophones. For example, parents who are homeschooling for the first time may find these useful. Also, imagine how helpful they would be for people who are learning English as a second language. Let’s check out some of Bruce’s best.

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