Homonyms are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have distinctive meanings.
Its – shows ownership – The subject of the sentence must be singular and cannot be male or female.
Ex. That restaurant is famous for its barbecued ribs.
The church lost its roof during the tornado.
It’s – contraction of “it is” or “it has”
Ex. It’s a gorgeous day outside!
It’s been a busy semester.
Your – shows ownership
Ex. Your mother came by to see you.
You’re – contraction of “you are”
Ex. You’re my best friend.
There – can begin a sentence – it has no grammatical purpose and is called an Expletive.
Ex. There are too many people in the room.
Can show location or a direction – acts like an adverb
Ex. She went over there. (Where?)
They’re – contraction of “they are”
Ex. They’re coming over for dinner.
Their – pronoun that shows ownership – the noun for which it substitutes must be plural.
Ex. My neighbors found their cat in the back alley.
To – followed by a noun or an object pronoun, it is a preposition
Ex. I went to the movie theater.
Followed by a verb, it is called the infinitive. When used in sentences, it is NOT part of the verb.
Ex. Bill wants to become a dentist.
Too – means “more than enough”
Ex. We ate too much pizza.
can mean also
Ex. Sylvia shopped at Macy’s. I shopped there, too.
Two – the number
Ex. The class had two visitors last week.
Then – a time word
Ex. Susan drove around the block several times. Then she found the address.
Than – a comparison word
Ex. Michael runs faster than Joseph.
Accept – means “to receive; agree to”
Ex. If I accept your advice, I’ll lose all my friends.
Except – means “to exclude; but”
Ex. I lost all my friends except you.
Advice – a noun, meaning “an opinion”
Ex. After she told me about her problem, I gave her my advice.
Advise – a verb, meaning “to counsel, to give advice”
Ex. When I see my grandparents, they always advise me to stay in school and get good grades.
Affect – a verb, meaning “to influence”
Ex. My parents’ opinions affect my choices all the time.
Effect – a noun, meaning “result”
Ex. My little sister cries for effect.
The hurricane had a disastrous effect on our community.
Exercise 2: Practice – Write a sentence for each of the following.