Horrific Homonyms


I have always loved to write. I am not good at stories, so I embrace my love through my blog. Conversational compositions seem to work best for me, and recently, I’ve been trying short sketches. Over the years, I have really found some great writing tips that can really “ump” your stories, essays, and articles. Even if it’s just writing an email, you’ll be able to find these tips useful!

Don’t confuse Homonyms

Confusing homonyms is one of the most common writing mistakes. It really shows for an unprofessional document. Your and you’re; there, their, and they’re; to, too, two; its and it’s; hear and here; and simply words such as principle and principal can be confusing. If you’re not sure, look it up in the dictionary! When your homonyms are correct, it can make a big difference.

“Your” is possessive. “Your friend”, “your dog”, “your book”. “Your” can only be used if it is showing that someone owns something. “You’re”, on the other hand, is a contraction. It means “you are”. Therefore, you wouldn’t say “you’re book” because it would mean “you are book”. I’m a book? Whoa. So instead, you would say “you’re welcome” instead of “your welcome”, a common typo. It really makes all the difference.

There, their and they’re can be quite confusing as well. “There” shows place. “Your book is there”. “Their” is possessive. “They” have something; therefore, it is “theirs”. “Their book is there” shows that a group of people owns a book, and you are referring to the fact that it is somewhere. “They’re” is a contraction; it means “they are”. So you would not say “they’re book”. They are not book. “They’re eating ice cream” shows that multiple people are eating ice cream.

To, too, and two are even more confusing. “To” expresses motion. “To Betsy” means that something is going to her. “Five to ten” is pretty confusing. Yet, it is still expressing motion. “Too” is an adverb. As a submodifier, it can mean to a higher degree. “Too fast”, “too small”, “too hot”. However, it also adds things. “I’m going too”. Lastly, two is pretty easy; it just means the number two.

Here and hear are easy if you know what each means in the first place. “Here” is similar to “there” – it shows place. “Hear” means to absorb sounds through your ear. Got it?

Lastly, its and it’s. These are, I believe, even more common than they’re, their and there! It can be quite confuddling!  “It’s” is a contraction. It means, “it is”. Therefore, you would not say “That is it’s cable” (sorry, thinking of computers), but “That is its cable”. Normally, we do use apostrophes to show possession, but not in the case of “it”. In the case of “it”, just add an “s”, and you’re good.

If ever you aren’t sure of a term you’re using, look it up in the dictionary! You’re on your way to better writing!

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