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Different English words that are pronounced the same way

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600+ Confusing English Words Explained E-Book

English Words: Board Bored
a board

board / bored

board (n.) is a flat piece of wood.

If you are bored (adj.) it means you are not interested.

faze / phase

phase (n.) is a temporary period of time or a stage of development.

If something doesn’t faze (v.) you, it means it doesn’t bother you or make you uncomfortable.

vein / vain

vein (n.) is a small tube inside your body that takes blood back to your heart.

The word vain (adj.) can describe someone who is very proud of or obsessed with their own appearance. It can also describe something that did not produce the desired result; if you say something was in vain, it means it didn’t work and the effort was wasted.

English Words Vein Vain

air / heir

Air (n.) is the substance of the atmosphere; a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, and other gaseous elements.

An heir (n.) is a person – when somebody dies, they can designate an heir to receive the dead person’s assets (money and possessions).

English Words Wine Whine
a glass of wine

wine / whine

Wine (n.) is an alcoholic drink that is made from grapes.

The verb whine (v.) means to complain in an immature, childish way.

tail / tale

An animal’s tail (n.) is a part of its body that extends from its posterior.

The word tale (n.) refers to a report, narrative, or story.

English Words Tail Tale

English Words Feet Feat
feet

feet / feat

Feet (n.) is the plural of foot – a part of your body, and also a unit of measurement.

The word feat (n.) refers to a remarkable accomplishment or act of skill.

peer / pier

peer (n.) is a person of similar social status as you. The verb peer (v.) means to look intently at something.

The word pier (n.) refers to a platform that extends over water and is supported by pillars; it is used to provide access to ships and boats.

English Words Pier Peer
a pier

cite / site / sight

To cite (v.) someone’s words means to quote or refer to the words, say/write what the other person/book said.

The word site (n.) means a location, either a physical place or a website.

The word sight (n.) refers to the ability to see with your eyes.

English Words Cite Site Sight

metal / medal / mettle / meddle

Although these words aren’t pronounced exactly the same, the T sounds like a fast “D” when spoken quickly.

Metal (n.) is a substance that has a shiny surface and conducts electricity – like gold, silver, copper, iron, and steel.

medal (n.) is a flat and usually round piece of metal, which is given as an award. In the Olympics, the winning athletes receive medals.

English Words Metal Medal
metal and medal

The word mettle (n.) means courage and spirit, often shown in a battle, conflict, or difficulty.

The word meddle (v.) means to interfere in someone else’s life or business, in an annoying and unwelcome way.

Learn the difference between confusing words and be more confident in your English!

600+ Confusing English Words Explained

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Image sources: Colin Davis from Chicago, U.S., Yosefshlomo, Jorge BarriosHelgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland, MORS