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How to Use ProWritingAid's Homonym Report

The ProWritingAid Team

The ProWritingAid Team

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

Published Oct 02, 2020

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

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.

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when words like "the" "to" and "in" are flagged as homonyms, this report quickly becomes useless.
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?
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...
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.
Never mind. You can hide any word using the pane on the left. Excellent!
A few things: It flags a lot of words like 'be', 'him', and 'the' that are rather impossible to mistake for a homonym (unless you're writing about bees or hymns), making the report cluttered and not efficient to use. Also, when you click on a word and chose 'ignore rule' it warns you that the change will be permanent. > Yes, please do! But unfortunately it keeps returning the next time you refresh.... For the few words it is handy for, it would be nice when you can see the definition of the options it shows. This way you can easier decided which one is the correct one for you.
Thank you for the feedback! We so appreciate it. :) The "ignore" option is temporary whereas the "disable" rule is permanent. Will you give the "disable" button a try? Let us know how it goes. Thanks again!
it doesn't work. As soon as I refresh, it is back. :( Also, not related to homonyms but I can't find a topic for the summary report... The report seems to be flawed. The percentages do not match up with the individual reports (generally not in my favor). This makes it almost useless, whereas this should be the best/most helpful report of all.
Thanks for letting us know! We are investigating the issue with the ignore and disable features. As for the summary report, can you email us your document so that we can run some tests and offer a fix? Our support email is hello@prowritingaid.com
I just send you an email with a document pasted in it. Hope you can find out what's going on. ;)
Thank you! I just got your email. It may take a couple days to respond, but it's being reviewed and we will get back to you via email shortly! :)
Hello. I've just signed up but haven't had time yet to really delve into the application. However, I just wanted to say that I've been looking for something like this because I make a lot of typos involving homophones and near homophones. I agree with other users: it would be nice to have a feature that would allow users to quickly turn off common words the most people don't mix up, such as to, too and two and their, there, and they're. Perhaps you could have buttons for such word groupings that would allow users to quickly turn them on and off. In addition to the homophone scanner, I recommend an anagram scanner since anagrams are also common typos.
Thank you for the suggestion! :)
This report would be a lot more useful if it flagged homonyms that it thinks are being used incorrectly. Each of my chapters has hundreds of possible homonyms. No way I can go through each of those.
Interesting point! We'll take it into consideration.

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