April 9, 2016 | Posted in: April 2016 A to Z Blog Challenge, Writing & Grammar Tips, XterraWeb Book Blog

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H is for Homophones

Homophones Quiz. Commonly confused homophones with quiz and answer key.

What is a Homophone?
A homophone is a word that sounds the same as another word but has a different meaning and spelling.

Homophones can easily be confused. How well do you know your homophones? Take the quiz below with some commonly confused homophones and see how you do.

An answer key with explanations/definitions is provided below the quiz.

TAKE THE HOMOPHONES QUIZ
Which sentence is correct?

  1. (A) Mary tried to alter her test score by cheating.
    (B) Mary tried to altar her test score by cheating
  2.  

  3. (A) John was discrete when he followed the man out of the building.
    (B) John was discreet when he followed the man out of the building.
  4.  

  5. (A) Frank will present his findings before the counsel.
    (B) Frank will present his findings before the council.
  6.  

  7. (A) The horde of shoppers in the marketplace almost trampled the vendors.
    (B) The hoard of shoppers in the marketplace almost trampled the vendors.
  8.  

  9. (A) The knife-wielding fighter fainted a jab to the left.
    (B) The knife-wielding fighter feinted a jab to the left.
  10.  

  11. (A) The sleeping baby was not fazed by the loud crash.
    (B) The sleeping baby was not phased by the loud crash.
  12.  

  13. (A) Bobby peeked out from behind the curtain to see who was outside.
    (B) Bobby peaked out from behind the curtain to see who was outside.
  14.  

  15. (A) The quiet, brooding man in the corner piqued Emily’s interest.
    (B) The quiet, brooding man in the corner peaked Emily’s interest.
  16.  

  17. (A) Martin poured over the documents, looking for a loophole out of the contract.
    (B) Martin pored over the documents, looking for a loophole out of the contract.
  18.  

  19. (A) Miranda wandered aimlessly through the aisles of the store.
    (B) Miranda wandered aimlessly through the isles of the store.
  20.  

  21. (A) Thunder boomed in the distance, and lightening flashed over the mountains.
    (B) Thunder boomed in the distance, and lightning flashed over the mountains.
  22.  

  23. (A) Making a list before packing for a trip will help insure you don’t forget anything.
    (B) Making a list before packing for a trip will help ensure you don’t forget anything.
  24.  

  25. (A) Jason could no longer bear the weight of his responsibilities.
    (B) Jason could no longer bare the weight of his responsibilities.
  26.  

  27. (A) Cranberry sauce is a perfect compliment to a turkey dinner.
    (B) Cranberry sauce is a perfect complement to a turkey dinner.
  28.  

  29. (A) Marcus could always defuse tense situations between his brothers.
    (B) Marcus could always diffuse tense situations between his brothers.

 

ANSWER KEY

  1. The correct answer is (A). Alter means to change. Altar means a platform or slab for worship.
  2.  

  3. The correct answer is (B). Discreet means cautious, careful, circumspect; intentionally unobtrusive or inconspicuous. Discrete means individually separate or distinct.
  4.  

  5. The correct answer is (B). Council means a committee or a body of people elected to manage affairs. Counsel as a noun means advice and as a verb means to give advice.
  6.  

  7. The correct answer is (A). Horde means a group of people. Hoard as a noun means a carefully guarded, often secret, collection or stash of valued objects and as a verb means to amass valued objects and hide or store away.
  8.  

  9. The correct answer is (B). Feint as a verb means to make a deceptive or distracting movement and as noun means a deceptive or pretended blow, thrust, or other movement. Faint as a verb means to lose consciousness for a short period of time, as a noun means a sudden loss of consciousness, and as an adjective means weak and dizzy or barely perceptible.
  10.  

  11. The correct answer is (A). Faze means to disturb or disconcert. Phase as a verb means to carry out in gradual stages and as a noun means a distinct period or stage in a process of change or forming part of something’s development.
  12.  

  13. The correct answer is (A). Peek means to look or glance quickly or furtively, especially through a small opening or from a concealed location. Peak as a verb means to attain the highest point of activity, development, or popularity and as a noun means the pointed top of something or the highest or most important point or level.
  14.  

  15. The correct answer is (A). Pique means to excite interest or curiosity.
  16.  

  17. The correct answer is (B). Pore means to meditate deeply. This usage rarely appears outside of the phrase “pore over.” Pour means to flow rapidly or prepare and serve a drink.
  18.  

  19. The correct answer is (A). An aisle is a passage between rows or shelves. An isle is an island or peninsula, especially a small one.
  20.  

  21. The correct answer is (B). Lightning is the electrical discharge within a cloud or from a cloud to the ground seen as a bright flash of light. Lightening means to make light or lighter or to illuminate or make clear.
  22.  

  23. The correct answer is (B). Ensure means to make certain something will occur. Insure means 1) to secure or protect someone against a possible contingency or 2) to arrange for compensation in the event of damage to or loss of property or injury to or the death of someone in exchange for regular advance payments to a company or government agency.
  24.  

  25. The correct answer is (A). Bear as a verb means to carry or support. Bare as a verb means to uncover and as an adjective means 1) not clothed or uncovered and 2) basic or simple.
  26.  

  27. The correct answer is (B). Complement as a noun means 1) something that completes or brings to perfection and 2) a number or quantity of something required to make a group complete. Complement as a verb means add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it. Compliment as a noun is a polite expression of praise or admiration and as a verb means to politely congratulate or praise someone for something.
  28.  

  29. The correct answer is (A). Defuse means 1) to reduce the danger or tension in a difficult situation and 2) to remove the fuse from an explosive device in order to prevent it from exploding. Diffuse means to spread or cause to spread over a wide area or among a large number of people.

 

Please comment if you liked this quiz or would like to share some other commonly confused homophones.

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19 Comments

  1. Cindy
    April 9, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    I disagree with your answer to 15. My thought on it is that either word will work depending on the meaning you want to portray. When I read it, I thought about the brothers being separated by Marcus and the situation dissolved; therefore, the second would be correct. In the way you defined it to be used and intended it, the first would be correct.

  2. Random Musings
    April 10, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    Great quiz 🙂 I would hate to have to learn English as a second language!
    Debbie

  3. mike spain
    April 10, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    Neat quiz and post!

  4. Duncan
    April 11, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    Excellent post! I’m an English teacher so this appealed to me very nicely. Thank you

    Open Minded Mormon A-Z

  5. Arlee Bird
    April 11, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    I got them all correct. I sometimes make my errors when writing quickly. My most commonly confused homophone when writing is there/their. Judging from what I’ve seen in blog comments, I’m not the only one who makes this error when spewing off my thoughts.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  6. JustOneMommysOpinion (@1MommysOpinion)
    January 14, 2017

    Leave a Reply

    This is fun. Nothing drives me crazier than people who don’t use a word in correct terms! Drives me up the wall.

  7. Renee
    January 14, 2017

    Leave a Reply

    This was great. Nothing gets to me more than someone who uses a word which is not the word they intended (by meaning). Maybe I should have gone to school to be an English teacher!

    • Amor Libris (Kelly Hartigan)
      January 14, 2017

      Leave a Reply

      Thank you for visiting, Renee. Maybe you should have gone to school to be an English teacher? What did you go to school for?

      • me510
        January 15, 2017

        Leave a Reply

        I’m actually working on my PhD in psychology.

        • Amor Libris (Kelly Hartigan)
          January 15, 2017

          Leave a Reply

          PhD in psychology? That’s awesome. Do you have a specialization? Where I live, it is hard to find child psychologists.

          • me510
            January 16, 2017

            Leave a Reply

            Not yet! It will be instruction and cognition though and I desperately hope to work with children. I should be done in a few months. Working on my dissertation now!

  8. Jill Conyers (@jillconyers)
    January 15, 2017

    Leave a Reply

    Love this in a geeky grammar sort of way. And I mean that in the best way possible.

  9. Chi Le
    January 15, 2017

    Leave a Reply

    This post is interesting and funny. And I think it could be used in some English classes.

  10. Vanessa
    January 15, 2017

    Leave a Reply

    This is a cool quiz. I made my son take it and he got them all correct.

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