Rein vs. Reign, and Other Tricky Homophones You’re Mixing Up All the Time

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Image for nonfiction  titled Rein vs. Reign, and Other Tricky Homophones You’re Mixing Up All the Time

Photo: Intarapong (Shutterstock)

Homophones are words that dependable alike but person antithetic meanings, and usually antithetic spellings. Some are casual to separate (plane and plain, flower and flour—though I inactive intermission and bespeak each clip I request to constitute “cauliflower”) and immoderate are harder. Here, we’ll absorption connected the trickier ones radical easy get tripped up on. How galore of these are you getting close each time?

Affect/Effect: Affect is the cause; effect is the result. For example: The rainfall affected everyone’s mood. Did the damp upwind person immoderate effect connected your health?

Accept/Except: Accept means to receive. Except means “not including.” For example: The religion is accepting nutrient donations. They’ll instrumentality thing except expired food.

Rein/Reign: Reins are long, constrictive straps attached to a horse’s bit. Reign means to clasp royal bureau (or the play during which a sovereign rules). For example: Make nary mistake, Whitney holds the reins successful this relationship. It’s hard to judge Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for 69 years.

Although it whitethorn beryllium counterintuitive, erstwhile conveying idiosyncratic has state to bash immoderate they want, the close look is “free rein.” (It dates backmost to the 17th period erstwhile horseback riders would clasp the reins loosely and fto their horses lead.)

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Principal/Principle: Principal means main, archetypal successful bid of importance, the 1 with the astir authority, oregon a sum of wealth connected which involvement is paid. A rule is simply a cardinal truth, theorem oregon law. For example: She ne'er swayed from her principles. The schoolhouse principal called maine into her office. He is the principal of the firm. How overmuch involvement bash you wage connected the principal?

Stationary/Stationery: Stationary means not moving. Stationery is the beauteous insubstantial you constitute on. For example: My dada loves his stationary bike. I can’t basal being stationary each day. Did you bargain caller stationery for your desk? Here’s a adjuvant mnemonic device: Focus connected the E’s: Stationery goes successful envelopes (or stationery is envelopes).

Compliment/Complement: Compliments are expressions of praise. Complements complete (or enhance) something. But “complements complete” is simply a nifty representation tool. For example: Deb got a batch of compliments connected her haircut. Corn nuts are the cleanable complement to beer.

Bare/Bear: Bare means basic, simple, oregon not clothed. Obviously, we each cognize what bears are, but it’s besides spelled bear erstwhile it’s utilized arsenic a verb to mean endure oregon transportation the value of. For example: She bares each successful her caller memoir. If you ever moved away, I couldn’t bear it.

Capital/Capitol: Capital should beryllium utilized erstwhile referring to a city, wealth, oregon an uppercase letter. Use capitol to notation to the gathering wherever lawmakers meet. For example: Trenton is the capital of New Jersey. How overmuch capital bash you request to commencement your ain business? The caller authorities capitol was finished successful 1957. Remember: Most capitols person domes.

Than/Then: Than is utilized to compare; past is utilized to crushed america successful time. For example: Mary has much wealth than her brother. Let’s spell shopping, then to the movies. A adjuvant instrumentality is to remember: A van is bigger than a car.

Vain/Vein/Vane: Vain means egotistical, unsuccessful, oregon useless. Vein is an anatomical conduit that carries humor to the heart. Vane is abbreviated for weathervane. In short: Vain: Bad. Vein: Good. Vane: Rare. For example: Mario has ever been vain. He made a vain effort to graduate.

If you request assistance remembering whether it’s “in the aforesaid vain” oregon “in the aforesaid vein,” retrieve this: If 2 things are “in the aforesaid vein” literally, they inhabit the aforesaid humor vessel. Figuratively, they are the aforesaid oregon similar. For example: The sequel was written successful the aforesaid vein arsenic the original, but it’s not arsenic good.

Who’s/Whose: Who’s is simply a contraction for who is. Whose is simply a pronoun indicating possession. For example: Who’s playing successful the crippled tonight? Whose keys are these?

Elude/Allude: To elude is to evade oregon escape. (Look astatine each those E’s!) Allude is to suggest indirectly, oregon callback a erstwhile enactment of art. For example: The fugitive eluded constabulary for weeks. Sally alluded to Max’s engagement with Katrina, but wouldn’t impeach him outright. Her coating benignant alludes to Picasso’s work.

Censor/Sensor: Censor means to analyse oregon suppress things deemed “unacceptable” (or the idiosyncratic doing the suppressing). A sensor is simply a instrumentality that detects oregon measures changes successful its carnal situation (aka that annoying happening stores hide to instrumentality disconnected your clothes). For example: The First Amendment of the Constitution protects code from authorities censorship. There’s a question sensor supra their garage. When successful doubt, remember: Censors cut. Sensors sense.

Illusion/Allusion: An illusion is simply a deceptive quality oregon mendacious belief. Allusion is simply a fig of code that refers to thing indirectly. For example: Optical illusions tin marque you ill if you look astatine them agelong enough. Soft-baked cocoa spot cookies are my kryptonite (an allusion to Superman’s weakness).