English Vocabulary: Homophones

Homophones are words with same pronunciation with different meaning and/or spelling. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of “rise”), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too. Homophones that are spelled the same are also both homographs and homonyms. But that can be discussed at some other time.

Recently in one of our blogs we had asked our readers if they knew about homophones. We got tremendous response over social media. We decided to make a list and publish it over here.

airheir
aisleisle
ante-anti-
eyeI
barebear
bebee
brakebreak
buyby
cellsell
centscent
cerealserial
coarsecourse
complementcompliment
damdamn
deardeer
diedye
fairfare
firfur
flourflower
forfour
hairhare
healheel
hearhere
himhymn
holewhole
hourour
idleidol
ininn
knightnight
knotnot
knowno
mademaid
mailmale
meatmeet
morningmourning
nonenun
oaror
onewon
pairpear
peacepiece
plainplane
poorpour
prayprey
principalprinciple
profitprophet
realreel
rightwrite
rootroute
sailsale
seasee
seamseem
sightsite
sewso
shoresure
solesoul
somesum
sonsun
stairstare
stationarystationery
stealsteel
suitesweet
tailtale
theirthere
totoo
toetow
waistwaste
waitweight
wayweigh
weakweek
wearwhere

 

Usage of may, might and must

Hello,

Today we will see the difference between may, might and must. Usage of may and might are very similar. In general both are used to describe possibilities. Choice of one is more likely in different situations, but use of both cannot be wrong completely. It is important to note that, might is simple past tense of may. Grammar pundits insist on using may in simple present tense while might in simple past tense. This is distinction is becoming blur day by day. Following are uses where may and might are replaceable with each other.

  1. Express possibility

Looking at the clouds, I feel, it may rain today.

Looking at the clouds, I feel, it might rain today.

  1. Ask permissions

May I enter your kitchen?

Might I have a chance to speak?

  1. Grant Permissions

You may enter the class.

You might speak now.

Grammar books suggest that use of may implies greater likelihood than use of might. Both are equally accepted these days. While asking permissions, may is favoured than might.

May is also used in following situation.

  • Express wish or prayer

May all your dreams come true on your birthday.

Might is used in following situations

  • Express counter facts

If they had lived in another time, their lives might have been different.

Must on other hand is used to imply compulsion or obligation. Following are its uses

  1. Be obliged

I must return his money.

  1. Necessity; need to

Humans must eat food and drink enough water in order to stay healthy.

  1. Compelled to, by law or force

You must complete to homework before you leave the class.

  1. Forced because of requirement of honesty

I must come out clean. It’s me who stolen money from your bag.

  1. Urge to do

I must attend your party.

In conclusion, use of must leaves you with no other possibility whereas use of may or might is full of possibilities. Keep liking us so that we can keep posting these new things over here.