RedPen Editing

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Words that sound the same but are spelt differently are called homophones.

If you use the wrong spelling for a homophone, your mistake will not be picked up by a spell checker. Instead,  you’ll need to be aware of these possible errors during the editing of your piece.

The most common mistakes can be the hardest to spot!

to / too / two

  • to = proposition expressing direction of motion (eg to the publisher) or infinitive marker (eg to write)
  • too = adverb meaning also (eg editing is difficult too) or to a higher degree than necessary (eg editing is too difficult)
  • two = cardinal number after one

there / their / they’re

  • there = a pronoun for a place (eg it’s there, on the table)
  • their = a pronoun showing possession (eg the party is at their house)
  • they’re = contraction of they are (e.g. they’re throwing a party)

TIP – turn off predictive text

Your turn! 

For each of these groups of homophones, check that you know what each word means, so that you can use the correct version in your writing.

aloud / allowed    bare / bear    coarse / course    draw / drawer

fare/ fair    grate / great     hole / whole    idle / idol

leant / lent    male / mail   no / know    piece / peace

right / write / rite     site / sight     through / threw    weather / whether