Common spelling goofs 3 – 10 Quick Tips

HTWB 10 tips logoWelcome to yet another 10 Quick Tips – this time the third and final part of common spelling goofs / homophones, following on from this one, and this one

According to Sondra Smith from Write The Right Words and author of Whata Ewe Mean Bye That?” there are over 2,680 homophones in the English language and in this series we have only covered 30! Here are the final ten…

Which are your favorites? And have you any you’d like to add to this section of the alphabet?

1. Rain – rein – reign … rain (n. and v.) = wet precipitation, the act of that falling! … rein (n.) = part of horse’s bridle, also (v.) control e.g. “to rein in … reign (n. and v.) = governance or office of royal person, act of doing so … another trio of very common, classic goofs in English

2. Right – Rite – Wright – Write … right (v., adj., adv.) = correct, correctly … right (n.) = opposite of left, also something you’re entitled to … rite (n.) = formal act or ceremony … wright (n.) = worker, e.g. wheelwright, playwright … write (v.) = to put words together, the physical act of doing so

3. Sole – Soul … sole (n.) = bottom part of foot, shoe, etc. … sole (adj.) only, i.e. only one … soul (n.) = spiritual, emotional part of human psyche

4. Stationary – Stationery …stationary (adj.) = at a standstill … stationery (n.) = writing materials, paper, etc.

5. Storey – Story … storey (n.) = floor of building or house … story (n.) = anecdote, tale

6. Straight – Strait … straight (adj. and adv.) = in line, not crooked … strait (n.) = narrow body of water, usually between two much larger ones, also metaphorical e.g. in dire straits = in trouble

7. Threw – Through … threw (v.) = past tense of to throw … through (prep.) = on and beyond, by way of

8. To – Too – Two … to (prep. and adv.) = expressing motion or direction … too (adv.) = also … two (n. and adj.) = the number 2

9. Weak – Week … weak (adj.) = feeble, lacking strength … week (n.) = 7 days

10. Wear – Ware – Where … wear (n. and v.) = apparel, clothing, act of using it … ware (n.) = products or items, e.g. glassware, hardware … where (adv. and conj.) = in what place, in which place

Given that Sondra has found 2,680 homophones that can trip us up, how many more common ones can you think of?




  1. […] Smith from Virginia, USA, points out, is a recipe for writing disaster as she acknowledged with my recent series on spelling goofs caused by these evil beasts. But given Sondra’s delightful sense of humor, […]