Jun 18

English Homophones Part 4 (free video lesson)

Via the BBC (click).

Please watch the video below with captions and read the text below it.

English Homophones Part 1

English Homophones Part 2

English Homophones Part 3

Affect / effect


The verb ‘to affect’ means ‘to have an influence on’; ‘to effect’ means ‘to cause, accomplish’.


In most cases affect will be the verb, effect the noun.


Bail / bale


Use bail for the temporary release of someone awaiting trial.


To bail out is to help a company or person with financial problems (noun: bailout).


Use bale out for removing water from a boat, or jumping out of a plane.


Complement / compliment


To complement means to make complete or supply what is lacking.


Whether as a noun or verb, compliment means (to) praise.


Defuse / diffuse


defuse is to make safe an explosive;


diffuse is something that’s widespread.


Discreet / discrete


discreet means ‘careful’ or ‘tactful’;


discrete means ‘distinct and separate’.


Fazed / phased


someone who is disorientated or disconcerted can be described as fazed,


whereas phased means ‘introduced in stages’.


Formerly / formally


formerly means previously;


formally according to convention.


Gate / gait


gate is an entry; gait is a manner of walking.


Hangar / hanger


a hangar is where aircraft are kept.


A hanger is for putting clothes on.


Hyperthermia / Hypothermia


Hyperthermia is where the body temperature is greatly above normal.


Hypothermia is where the body temperature is markedly below normal.


Illicit / elicit


illicit means illegal;


elicit is to extract something, usually information.


Licence / license


The noun is licence with a ‘c’ (eg: driving licence);


the verb has an ‘s’ (eg: licensed to kill).


Practice / practise


the noun has a ‘c’; the verb has an ‘s’.


He’s a practising lawyer running his own practice.


Principal / principle


principal means ‘first in order of importance’ or a school head;


principle means ‘a rule or belief governing one’s personal behaviour’.


Rein / reign


reins are used on horses; reign is what monarchs do.


So you would rein in spending or take over the reins.


  1. Veronica Galdieri

    Absolutely Great Work!

    1. ChrisWorkman

      Cheers, Veronica.

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