BlogHow to Use ProWritingAidHow to Use ProWritingAid's Homonym Report

How to Use ProWritingAid's Homonym Report

The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
Published Oct 02, 2020

prowritingaid's homonym report on desktop

ProWritingAid's Homonym Report finds those words which you may have misspelled. It will search for homonyms, homophones and homographs.

Contents:
  1. The Difference Between Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs
  2. How to Use the Homonym Report
  3. When is the Homonym Report Useful?
  4. Final Thoughts
  5. Check Your Writing For Homonym Errors:

The Difference Between Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs

Homonyms

Homonyms are words which are pronounced and spelled alike, but have different meanings. For example:

  • lead (verb meaning to be at the forefront) and lead (noun meaning cable, rope or leash)
  • right (noun/adjective meaning good or correct) and right (noun meaning a direction; the opposite of left)
  • address (verb meaning to speak to someone) and address (noun meaning precise location of a home or business)

Homophones

Homophones are words which sound alike, but have different spellings and meanings. For example:

  • they're (contraction of they are), there (adverb used to indicate a place) and their (third-person pronoun meaning belonging to them)
  • see (verb meaning to sense with the eyes) and sea (noun meaning a large area of saltwater subject to tides and waves)

Homographs

Homographs are words which are spelled alike, but can be pronounced differently and have meanings. For example:

  • bow (noun meaning a knot and two loops, usually made with string, ribbon or shoelaces) and bow (verb meaning to bend the head or upper body in polite greeting or prayer)
  • live (verb meaning to exist) and live (adverb meaning broadcast in real time)
  • wind (noun meaning natural movement of the air) and wind (verb meaning to move in a circular or twisting manner)

When you write quickly, it is easy to choose the incorrect word.

Browse through the highlighted words in your document to check that you have chosen the correct one. If you hover over the word, the alternatives will be displayed as a suggestion.

How to Use the Homonym Report

Homophones and homographs can be difficult to spot when you're relying on your average spell checker, which will only highlight a word when it's misspelled. If you've spelled a word correctly but it's the wrong word, you may not notice it right away.

Save time on proofreading for homophones by running ProWritingAid's Homonym Report. Correcting these errors efficiently at this stage allows you to focus on tone and character arc later on without being distracted by errors.

If you're in a hurry, you can scan the list of homonyms on the left of your screen. If you don't remember using a word listed there, click on it and use the curved arrow to jump to the word in your writing.

screenshot of the homophone report

If you have used the wrong word, you can click on it to see its homographs and homophones and replace it with the correct spelling.

When is the Homonym Report Useful?

How many times have you seen someone Tweet the wrong 'your' (or is it 'you're')? Most of us know to look for the most common homophones when we're writing, but there are some instances where the correct word isn't immediately obvious.

Let's say you've just opened a restaurant. Pretty soon you're going to need a menu. You decide to suggest wine pairings and write:

A Chardonnay is the perfect compliment to our delicious Carbonara.

This one can be easy to miss, but it should actually be:

A Chardonnay is the perfect complement to our delicious Carbonara.

The Homonym Report could be what stands between your waitstaff and some terrible grammar jokes about your menu from customers.

Grammar mistakes make readers lose confidence in the writer or brand who made them.

Make sure you're always representing yourself and your business well with good grammar—and the right words.

Final Thoughts

Homonyms, homophones and homographs are often missed in the first proofread, causing headaches later on. Catch them right away with ProWritingAid.

Check Your Writing For Homonym Errors:

Try ProWritingAid's Editor For Yourself


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The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.

The most successful people in the world have coaches. Whatever your level of writing, ProWritingAid will help you achieve new heights. Exceptional writing depends on much more than just correct grammar. You need an editing tool that also highlights style issues and compares your writing to the best writers in your genre. ProWritingAid helps you find the best way to express your ideas.

when words like "the" "to" and "in" are flagged as homonyms, this report quickly becomes useless.
By vloebel on 07 March 2016, 06:03 PM
It flags "the" and "new". And what's the point to flag "to" and not like any other (free) tool suggest if to or too are correct in the context?
By Aurorasa on 16 February 2017, 03:36 AM
Is there any way you can delete words from the report, such as 'the' and 'in'? I tried the 'ignore rule' option, but that only applies to one word at a time... The report gets pretty unworkable if pretty much every word is highlighted...
By mariskaslieker on 29 November 2018, 08:27 PM
Agree. I'm never going to confuse the with thee. Not a priest writing a new Bible. To and too, OK. Need a way to uncheck certain words.
By Dman883 on 05 June 2019, 05:36 PM
Never mind. You can hide any word using the pane on the left. Excellent!
By Dman883 on 05 June 2019, 05:38 PM

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