10 Sets of Homophones : The Most Confusing Words in English

Sometimes we have good oratory skills, but when it comes to writing we get
confused and make silly mistakes. Here are some of the words that we use very
often in our day to day conversation. They have same pronunciation¸ however
the meanings and spellings differ. These words are called “Homophones”:

1. Stationary (Adjective) – not moving. Example: He gave me a stationary look
when I broke the news.
Stationery (Adjective) – writing materials. Example: My Uncle has a
stationery shop.

2. Principal (Noun/Adjective) – most important, the head, main. Example: He
is the Principal of my School. The principal man behind the conspiracy is
Mr. Kapoor.
Principle (Noun) – a fundamental rule or belief or value. Example: He is a
man of Principles.

3. Weather (Noun) – The state of the atmosphere at a particular place and
time as regards heat, cloudiness, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.
Whether (Noun) – expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives.

4. Practice (Noun) – it refers to an act itself, not the one who is doing it.
Example: Practice makes a man perfect.
Practise (Verb) – doing something repeatedly to improve one’s skills.
Example: I practise the guitar.

5. Complement (Verb) – to add to so as to improve, an addition that improves
something. Example: Good looks and personality complement an intelligent
Compliment (Noun/Verb) – to praise, an admiring remark. Example: I
complimented him on getting a job abroad.

6. Idol (Noun) – image of a God used as an object of worship. Example: He
gifted me an idol of Lord Ganesha.
Idle (Adjective) – doing nothing or having no work. Example: Some people
love to sit idle on weekends.

7. Stair (Noun) – Any one of the series of fixed steps from one floor to another floor of
a building. Example: She is cleaning the stairs.
Stare (Verb) – fixed gaze, looking continuously. Example: I don’t like people
staring at me.

8. Licence (Noun) – official document showing permission. Example: I have a
driving licence.
License (Verb) – giving a licence to someone/something. Example: The
dealer is licensed to sell arms.

9. Advice – recommendations about what to do, opinion as to what action to
take. Example: I will take Chartered Accountant’s advice for filing Income
Advise – to recommend something, to suggest. Example: My accountant
advised me to check details.

10. Accept – to agree to receive or do. Example: The worst mistake of my life
was to accept my friend’s business proposal.
Except – besides someone/something. Example: I like all sports except

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