Homophones are groups of two or three words which are pronounced in the same way, but spelled differently. Common examples are two, too, to and there, their, they're.
Written language is full of homophone errors. They occur when the wrong word is chosen to convey the intended meaning. Native speakers of English are just as likely (and possibly more likely) to make homophone mistakes as English language learners.
Here are some more examples. The correct spelling is shown in brackets.
- Your wrong. (you're)
- Be careful. You're going to brake it. (break)
- You should not waist food. (waste)
- I don't know weather I can come. (whether)
- She paid me a lovely complement. (compliment)
Here is an interactive quiz homophones.
A special type of homophone error is the malapropism. This is the incorrect choice of a word that has a similar sound to the intended word.An example is: She enjoys dancing the flamingo (correct choice: flamenco).
Here you can read more about malapropisms and do an interactive quiz.