Certain words cause confusion due to faulty pronunciation. A few of them are given below. Note that the correct pronunciation is indicated by adding a well-known word in brackets which rhymes with the word whose pronunciation is often confused.
Floor (noun) [door] – part of the building on which one walks
Flour (noun) [shower] – finely ground cereal grains
Flower (noun) [shower] – coloured part of plants
- She sat on the floor.
- Biscuit is made of wheat flour.
Weak (adjective) [leak] – not strong or fit
Week (noun) [leak] – a period of seven days
Wick (noun) [sick] – a string or piece of fabric that draws fuel to the flame in a candle or oil lamp
- A candle needs a wick.
- He was too weak to stand up.
- There are fifty-two weeks in a year.
Heir (noun) [air] – legal inheritor of something
Hair (noun) [care] – fine flexible strands growing on the head or body
Hare (noun) [care] – a fast running animal that resembles a rabbit
- He is the heir to the throne.
- Hair grows on our heads
- A hare looks like a big rabbit.
Wonder (noun) [plunder] – amazed admiration, something marvelous
Wander (verb) [yonder] – travel without destination, leave a fixed path
- Gypsies wander over the country.
- I wonder why I failed to pass.
Advice (noun) [nice] – recommendation about action
Advise (verb) [eyes] – offer advice
- I am tired of listening to advice.
- The doctor advised him to quit smoking.
Leave (verb) [deceive] – depart
Live (verb) [give] – reside in a particular place
- I leave home for work at 9 o’clock.
- My parents live abroad.
Quite (adverb) [white] – entirely
Quiet (adjective or noun) [diet] – peaceful, making little noise, free from trouble
- You are quite right.
- I would like to lead a quiet life.
- A sick man needs a quiet room.
Price (noun) [nice] – cost of something bought or sold
Prize (noun) [eyes] – award for winner
- What is the price of that bag?
- She got this bag as a prize.
Lose (verb) [choose] – fail to win, have something taken away
Loose (verb) [goose] – free, not fastened
Loose (adjective) [goose] – not tight or fitting
- You will lose your dog, if you don’t tie it up.
- When he loosed his dog it ran away.
- This knot is loose and it will soon come undone.
Taste (verb) [waste]
Test (verb) [nest]
- The fish tasted awful.
- He tested the food in the science laboratory.
Pore (noun) [door] – tiny openings in the skin through which sweat passes.
Pour (verb) [door]
Poor (adjective) [tour] – not rich
- Many people in Africa are very poor.
- He poured oil into the fire.
- Holes in your skin are called pores.
Latter (adjective) [matter] – the second of two already named
Later (adverb) [waiter] – after a particular period of time
Letter (noun) [better]
- A is tall, and B is short but the latter is stronger.
- I will see you later.
- The Post Office handles letters.
Bath (noun) [path]
Bathe (verb) [lathe]
- We have a bath to clean our bodies.
- We bathe to enjoy ourselves with no thought of cleanliness.