English is often said to be a confounding language, and as far as homophones are concerned, we know how it got to have that reputation.
Since English is a Germanic language, a large proportion of its vocabulary is derived from Greek, Latin, and French.
With such a blend of original language sources, a multitude of homophones was created.
So, we know that words that are pronounced the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings are homophones.
Mixing homophones is one of the most common errors in transcription.
And there are literally hundreds of homophones!
Let’s look at the most common misspelt homophones:
‘There’ vs. ‘They’re’ vs. ‘Their’
‘There’ is a location
‘They’re’ is the contraction of ‘they are’
‘Their’ is a possessive pronoun
Use them prudently
‘Your’ vs. ‘You’re’
‘Your’ is a possessive pronoun
‘You’re’ is a contraction of ‘you are’
‘Its’ vs. ‘It’s’
‘Its’ is a possessive pronoun
‘It’s’ is a contraction of ‘it is’
‘Whose’ vs. ‘Who’s’
‘Whose’ is used to assign ownership to someone
‘Who’s’ is the contraction of ‘who is’
‘A while’ vs. ‘Awhile’
‘A while’ is a noun
‘Awhile’ is an adverb
So, the good news is that you only need to come up with a memory trick for one of the words. Then, by default, you can figure out whether it’s that word or the other one.
About the author:
GOSUB was born from a passion and enthusiasm for subtitling and teaching.
Having started as a linguistic teacher and then moving on to become the Operations Manager of a leading subtitling agency, I used my know-how, affection, and savvy to create efficient and exciting audiovisual courses.
From my years of experience working I have learned a mountain of information about subtitling and closed captioning. I decided to couple this involvement with my other skill set, which is teaching.
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