Best Homophones

It has been said that English borrows words from other languages, but to quote James D. Nicoll:
"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

While English might be one of the most globally universal languages, and according to some, one of the easiest to learn, any ESL student will tell you there can be difficulties when it comes to different words with the same pronunciation.

There are many words in the English language that sound exactly the same when you say them but on paper, are spelled completely different. They also have completely different meanings. I'm not talking about the difference between "favorite" and "favourite" or any other regional, American vs British spellings, I'm talking about completely different words. I also am not including contractions like "they're" or "you're" as those are shortened versions of two distinct words.

Below is a list of the top ten worst offenders when it comes to confusing multiple words based on sounds but not spelling or meaning.

The Top Ten

1 acts/ax
2 air/heir/err


3 ad/add
4 ads/adds
5 aid/aide
6 ail/ale
7 aisle/isle
8 all/awl
9 right/rite/wright/write
10 allowed/aloud

The Contenders

11 ant/aunt
12 clique/click
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