Homophones are words that “sound alike but are spelled differently
and have different meanings” (Dodds 174).
Accept/Except .
Accept is a verb and means “to receive, agree, or believe.”
Scientists generally accept the Big Bang theory as truth.
Except is a preposition which means “but” or “other than.”
Oregon is pleasant, except when it rains.
Note: Though not as common, except can function as a verb, meaning “to leave out,
exclude.” Ex: The last three names were excepted from the list.
You’re/Your .
You’re is a contraction of “you are.”
You’re driving on the wrong side of the road.
Your is a possessive pronoun, of or relating to you or yourself.
That’s your home.
Affect/Effect .
Affect is a verb meaning “to influence or act on.”
Hurricane Katrina affected New Orleans.
Effect is a noun meaning “a result.”
The pills had a negative effect on my body.
There/Their/They’re .
There is an adverb meaning “in or at that place.”
The grapefruit is there on the table.
Their, a pronoun, is the possessive form of “they.”
The politicians presented their views on the issue.
They’re is a contraction of “they are.”
They’re very tired.
Information from:
Braham, Carol G., ed. Webster’s Dictionary. 2nd ed. New York: Random, 1996.
Dodds, Jack. The Ready Reference Handbook. 3rd ed. New York: Pearson, 2003.