Same Sounding/Spelt Words

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Over the years I have been on the net I have read other people's works only to see the glaring mistakes of a word being used in the wrong way. Whether it was just a typo or laziness on the author's part is neither here nor there. The reason for this list is to help people use the right words in their right context.

A few years ago, I posted this elsewhere but that part of the site doesn't exist now. I had also been accused and criticised for telling people how to write. Naturally, I ignored them. Is it so wrong to want to help people to use the right word for what they are trying to say? I don't think so. I'm not perfect and am always learning new stuff, and I just want to share what I've learnt with others. Anyway, I hope you manage to find this useful.

If you think of any words that should be in this list because I've missed them, then message me with your finds and I will add them with a 'submitted by' comment.

Please note: I'm Australian so these words are spelt British/Australian English.

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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | K | M | O | P | Q | R | S | T | V | W | Y

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - A:

Ad: Short for Advertisement. I was looking in a magazine when I saw an ad for a beauty parlour offering nail enhancements at a special rate.
Add: To join together. If I add these two bottles of juice together then there will be enough for everyone.

Affect: To bring about a response. She just stood there and stared with her mouth and eyes wide open. I don't know why but I seem to have that affect on some women.
Effect: The result produced by an action. He walked into the room for the first time and my heart thudded loudly and it felt like a bunch of butterflies had just hatched. Why would he cause such an effect in me when I had never met him before?

Allowed: This is the past tense of 'allow'. If he's allowed to go then why can't I?
Aloud: To say something so those around you can hear it. "Oh yeah, you is hot!" Then she blushed, "I-I-I didn't mean to say that aloud" (had a difficult time thinking of a use for 'aloud' as we tend to use 'out loud')

A part: An item or a collection of. "Hi, I would like to be a part of this group if that is okay."
Apart: Separate, not together. The young boy stood apart from everyone else, too shy to join in.

Ate: Past tense of eat. "You ate all that? You are going to be so sick."
Eight: This is the number 8 written out. "If the eight of you will get into pairs we can get started."

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - B:

Bare: Becoming naked. She just sat there and bared her whole life to me.
Bear: To put up with. "If you will just bear with me for a moment, I'll be right with you."
Bear: An animal. The huge bear came towards me on its hind legs, looking bigger with each step.

Bean: A vegetable. Green beans are vibrant in colour and quick to snack on.
Been: Past tense of be. He'd been to the doctor about the pain in his foot.

Boar: An uncastrated male pig. "I tell ya, this boar is a prime breeder. Ya won't find better anywhere."
Bore: To drill. They bored a hole in the ground in the hopes of hitting water.
Bore: To weary. The party was so boring I had to leave early so I wouldn't fall asleep.

Boy: A male child. The little boy refused to cry when he broke his leg.
Buoy: (US pronunciation - boo-ee) A floating device used as a maker in the water or attached to the sides of boats as buffers. The buoy had broken free of its mooring and boats were now passing on the wrong side of the river.

Brake: A device that helps with stopping. The brakes on the car went all the way to the floor and still the car kept going.
Break: To damage something. "Keep pulling stunts like that and you'll break your neck one of these days."

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - C:

Cell: A small room or structure. The drunk spent the night in the cell so he wouldn't be a danger to himself.
Sell: The exchange of products for money. I wonder how much I would get for this if I sell it on eBay?

Cents: Coin currency of anything less than a dollar in some countries. This item costs ten dollars and ninety-nine cents.
Scents: Perfume, odour, smell. The dog lost the trail as her nose became too confused with all the scents in that area.
Sense: Meaning conveyed or intended. I just hope all these postings make sense to the average person who reads them.
Sent: Past tense of send: "I sent him away for his own good. If he stayed here, he would just get himself into more trouble."

Cereal: A breakfast food. Please just eat your cereal. You know breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Serial: A work appearing in parts usually at regular intervals. M*A*S*H was a comedy serial that ran longer on television than the actual Korean war.

Check: To look something over. He checked out the boat carefully since he was going to spend a lot of money in getting it.
Cheque: (USA-check) A written order for a bank to pay as written. After filling it out with the required information, he handed over the cheque and took his purchase home.

Cue: A stick to play billiards. "You hold the cue like this. move it like this so it hits that white ball into those other balls down there."
Queue: A waiting line-up. The queue in the bank was so long that it would be hours before I would get to see a teller.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - D:

Days: Time of a week. Hard to get good help these days.
Daze: Stupefy or stun. She walked around in a daze that she didn't notice what was going on around her.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - E:

Ewe: A female sheep. Three out of five ewes gave birth during the night.
vYew: Evergreen trees. I can not think of a sentence to use this in properly.
You: Singular and plural of the person/s being spoken to. "If you can't do it right, then why do you bother?" the boss yelled at him; I looked at the three boys, "If you can't get along then you will be sent home and your parents told."

Ewes: Multiple female sheep.
Yous: A word that does not exist but a lot of people still use it.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - F:

Feat: A notable act or deed.
Feet: Plural of foot: When it came to dancing, she had been told she had two left feet.

File: This word has six (6) different meanings. 1: A collection of papers or something that stores papers. 2: To arrange in order or to submit officially. 3: a row of any given thing or being. 4: To march or proceed in an orderly fashion. 5: A tool to sharpen or smooth objects or surfaces. 6: To rub or smooth with a tool.
Phial: A small closable vessel for holding liquid. The wizard handed me phial smaller than my little finger; it was filled with a purple liquid of some sort.

Filter: To take out something from the whole. Putting the ground coffee beans in the filter at the top of the percolator is to keep the coffee from tasting gritty when the water drips through it.
Philtre: A potion or drug said to have the power to induce sexual passion or desire. I was told that if I slip him this philtre then we'd have the most romantic night ever.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - G:

Gait: A manner of walking. Her gait is unnatural because her feet no longer sit flat to the ground since the accident.
Gate: A hinged frame that opens and closes in a fence. The gate was so old and hung crooked that it no longer worked and made the rest of the fence look untidy.

Grate: A barrier of some sort. The grate in front of the fire was tarnished from the soot and smoke.
Great: Something notable. "This is great. I tell ya, ya just gotta try it."

Groan: A noise. After receiving a blow to the head, she groaned in pain.
Grown: Past part of grow. "Well look at you. Aren't you all grown up now?"

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - H:

Hail: Chunks of ice from the sky. While the hail wasn't big, it was plentiful and caused a lot of damage as it fell on unsuspecting people.
Hail: To greet (archaic). "Hail to thee, good fellow and tell me the way to the nearest inn please."
Hale: In good health. The Doctor declared the man hale and hearty. submitted by Elkestra
Hale: To drag, haul (archaic). I can not think of a sentence to use this in properly.

Hall: A corridor. He crept down the hall to his sister's bedroom in the hopes of giving her a good scare.
Haul: To drag. "Haul that over here Matie and we'll be on our way."

Hay: a grass that has been reaped and dried for fodder. She used the pitchfork to give the horses some hay for the evening.
Hey: a yell to attract attention. "Hey! Don't you walk away from me when I'm talking to you."

Hear: Sounds sensed by your ears. "Alright, alright! I can hear you."
Here: The location of something. I'm standing right here, almost in front of him, and still he doesn't see me.

Hole: The result of cutting out. Joey dug a hole big enough to plant the flower.
Whole: A portion of an item. Instead of sharing the sandwich, he ate the whole thing.

Hoo: A noise/word. Anyhoo, the owl went HOO and I went AAGHH and I practically peed myself in fright.
Who: Referring to a person. I wonder who that is talking to my mum.

Hour: Measure of time. Only an hour to go before I can go home.
Our: Belonging to more than one person. "This is our special time together so no you can't go fishing" He pouted at his wife when he saw her grab her fishing rod.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - I:

In: To enter. The bell rang so the children made their way in to classes.
Inn: A pub with accommodation. Just another couple of miles to the inn and then my horse and I can eat and rest for the night.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - K:

Key: A metal instrument used to lock/unlock things. He had so many keys I'd be surprised if he knew which ones unlocked which doors.
Quay: Landing place built beside navigable waters. North Quay, Brisbane. A nice place with businesses, ferries and eateries.

Knot: A looping or interlacing of. She tied knots in his belt as a joke for April Fools day.
Not: Used to form negatives. I will not be forced to do something I do not want to do.

Know: To do with knowledge. "I know you're in there! Come out now or I'm coming in."
No: Negative, to disagree. I just can't believe she said no to me.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - M:

Mail: Postage. He checked his mail as he was waiting for a parcel.
Male: Opposite to female. He was all male, nicely muscled that showed as he hauled the boxes like they didn't weigh much.

Mall: (Pronunciation will depend on where you come from. I grew up pronouncing it similar to ball.) Large covered shopping area. We went to the mall today. I had never seen so many shops in one place.
Maul: To ruin. He wasn't fast enough and the tiger mauled his leg before being rescued.

Meat: Flesh of an animal. "If I have to sit here and watch you eat that mostly raw meat, I am going to be sick."
Meet: Come face to face with someone. "Hi there, glad to meet you finally."

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - O:

One: This is the number 1 written out. I'll have one of those apple and cinnamon muffins please.
Won: To win. I am so proud; my Son won his race today.

Oar: A wooden paddle. The oars of the old viking ship were showing the wear and tear of the years of use.
Or: Used to join words and other elements. "You will do this or you're fired."
Ore: A mined mineral. Tin Ore has to be mined before it can be sold for use.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - P:

Pail: (US) A bucket. She used a pail to get some water from the stream.
Pale: To fade. She went pale from fright.

Pain: A bodily sensation. The pain in my hand doesn't seem to be getting any less.
Pane: A framed sheet of glass. The pane of glass is a new one after a tree smashed through it after last week's storm.

Pair: Two, a couple of. "Please wear a pair of open toe shoes so the polish on your toes won't get smudged.
Pare: To shave off. I need to pare these apples for stewing.
Pear: A fruit. "On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: A partridge in a pear tree."

Passed: The past tense of pass. He'd passed the post office three times before finally going inside.
Past: Just gone or elapsed. Yesterday is now in the past and tomorrow is yet to come.

Patience: The capacity to wait or bear something without complaint. He's a pain in the proverbial and she has the patience of a saint to put up with him like she does.
Patients: Multiple people in need of medical attention. The doctor made his rounds but it took a while due to the number of patients he had to visit.

Paw: An animal's foot. We followed the paw prints of the lion in the hopes of get a shot for our vacation album.
Poor: Lack of. What makes a person poor? Is it a lack of money, possessions or love?
Pore: A tiny opening on the skin. The pore was clogged with dirt and became a pimple.
Pore: To study something closely. With exams tomorrow he pored over his text books to ensure a passing grade.
Pour: The act of spilling. What I would like to do right now is to pour myself a glass of fruit juice.

Pause: To halt in mid action. He paused at the round-about to make sure there were no other vehicles.
Paws. Feet of animals. The cat landed on all four paws after falling out of the tree.

Peace: Freedom from disturbance. The husband at work, the kids at school. ahhh. the peace and quiet of it all.
Piece: A part of something. If I put this piece in here then that should complete that section of the puzzle.

Pea: A vegetable. Peas and carrots are a lovely colour contrast on the plate.
Pee: To urinate. "Where's ya toilet? I so need to pee."

Peak: The top or point of something. The mountain peak was hidden by the clouds it was that high.
Peek: To look at. "Oh, come on. Please let me have a peek. I won't tell what I saw, honest.

Peal: A loud prolonged sound. Her peal of laughter sounded more like a hyena.
Peel: To remove from. Instructions: Just peel the backing off then stick it wherever you want.

Pearl: Gem from an oyster. Natural pearls are hard to come by now because they take so long to create; so man found a way to create them faster.
Purl: A basic knitting stitch. Instructions: Purl 5, knit 3, purl 5, knit 6.

Pedal: A lever. Put the pedal to the metal Baby.
Peddle: To push or sell. He peddled as fast as he could but still his bicycle was too slow; The gypsy tried to peddle her hand-made baskets but no one was interested.
Petal: Any modified brightly coloured leaves of a flower. I could tell the flower was dying because its petals were falling off.

Peer: To look at. I peered at him from behind a shrub so he wouldn't see me doing so.
Pier: A structure over water. The pier is old and something of a landmark now, but it's to be avoided during storms as waves crashed over it.

Personal: Of or affecting a person. "I'm sorry but that item is personal to me."
Personnel: A collection of people. The company's personnel were all made redundant as the business went bust.

Plain: Ordinary. She was so plain that she sometimes thought she was ugly.
Plain: An expanse of mostly flat land. Looking out over the plains of green grass, the horizon was a long way away.
Plane: A sky vehicle. The plane taxied the runway in preparation for take-off.

Pole: A long thin cylinder. The light pole wavered in the strong wind.
Poll: The casting or recording of votes. The polling booths were now open to see which candidate would win.

Pray: A way to speak to God. And the people pray; in the hope they will be heard.
Prey: The hunted. The tiger was wounded by a bullet so now its prey was man because man was slower in getting away.

Principal: A chief. Because she spoke against the teacher she was sent to the principal's office.
Principle: A rule. I can not think of a sentence to use this in properly.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - Q:

These next two are listed because they have exactly the same letters but the 'e' is in a different spot and people tend to get them mixed up. if it isn't just a simple typo that is :)

Quiet: No noise. It was so quiet I couldn't even hear any birds.
Quite: Wholly or completely. "Oh, I quite agree with you there. No argument from me on that count."

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - R:

Rain: Water from the clouds. If it keeps raining then there will be flooding.
Reign: To rule over. The King's reign was long and harsh as far as the peasants were concerned.
Rein: Line fastened to a bit to control an animal and an action of pulling on the reins to stop an animal. He tried to rein the horse in before it could bolt or throw him off.

Read: To look at and understand words. I love novels; I can read through one a day.
Reed: A tall grass in wet areas. The swamp was so thick with reeds it was hard to move through them.

Read: Past tense of read. Oh, I read that book ages ago.
Red: A colour. We use the colour red to indicate danger or to stop.

Real: Not artificial. "Oh man, this is the real deal. An honest to goodness real diamond."
Reel: A spool for thread, film or tape. When one thinks about going to the cinema one can't help but think of movie reels.

Riffle: To go through. He riffled through her papers trying to find the house and contents insurance policy.
Rifle: A long barrelled weapon. Bringing the rifle up to her shoulder she took her time in aiming for that perfect shot on the bulls-eye target.

Right: Direction. "If we turn right here we will get there sooner."
Right: An affirmation of correctness. "Yes, yes you're right. Don't know how I missed it."
Rite: A ceremonial act or words. The rites to prove him a man were numerous and he had to complete all of them successfully.
Write: To form characters, words on a surface. He sat there staring. After a few minutes he started to write that dreaded letter to his brother.

Road: A paved open way for vehicles. "Just keep your eyes on the road while you drive because I don't want to end up in a ditch somewhere."
Rode: Past tense of ride. He rode that horse so hard it practically collapsed from under him.

Role: To play a part. "They want you for the role of Romeo."
Roll: To move something along end over end. That barrel is too large to pick up so I'll just roll it over there to get it out of the way.

Ruin: Buildings fallen apart either to neglect or deliberate destruction. The ruins were that of an old castle, not that much was left of it, and it was said to be haunted.
Rune: The characters of a language like an alphabet. She looked at the runes on the stones and thought they looked ancient.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - S:

Sail: An expanse of fabric to catch the wind. Although all sails were unfurled and ready, there was no wind for them to catch and billow.
Sale: The act of or an instance of selling. As the items were scanned the checkout operator rang up the sale.

Scene: Imagined or real, a setting. The scene of the crime was a strange one. Even his partner, a ten year veteran didn't understand it.
Seen: Past tense of see. I know I have seen her before but I can't work out where.

Scent: A smell. The scent was enticing and it set her stomach growling for food.
Sent: Past tense of send. It was sent yesterday. See? This is the postage receipt.

Sea: Body of water. "Oh no, not going out on the boat. I get sea sick."
See: To look. That horrid man; I can still see him.

Sew: To mend or make garments. "Mum, can you sew this button on for me please as I need this shirt for school tomorrow."
So: In this way; thus. "Position the picture just so because that is the way she wants it."
Sow: To scatter seeds onto the earth. Time to sow the new crop of corn.
Sow: (While spelt the same, it is pronounced like our without the 'r') An adult female pig. The sow is a prime breeder and is with her latest farrow of piglets.

Sewn: Past part of sew. Well, I'd sewn the button back on and his shirt is ready for tomorrow.
Sown: Past part of sow. Thank goodness the corn has been sown for another season.

Shoe: Footwear. Which shoes will I wear today? The red pair or the black pair?
Shoo: To chase something away. He made a shooing motion to send me out of the kitchen.

Sight: The process of seeing. I had him in my line of sight then this truck drove between us and I lost him.
Site: A location, an area. "The site of the murder is just down this alley Sir."

Sole: The bottom of foot or shoe, the only one. The ground was so hot that the sole of my left foot blistered. I was surprised to see that blister was the sole one I had.
Soul: The spiritual part of a human being. Many believe that when they die their soul will go to heaven.

Son: A male child. My son is a grown man now, but I still worry about him.
Sun: The celestial body our planet obits around. It is so cloudy today that I couldn't see the sun.

Stair: A flight of steps. The staircase was amazingly ornate, the steps and railing were all wood but done in a fluid/vine motif.
Stare: A long look. "I swear, if he keeps staring at me I hit him."

Stake: A piece of wood or metal. He shoved the stake as hard as he could into the vampire's chest so it could get past the ribs and into the heart.
Steak: A piece of meat. "I would like to order a Steak Diane please." (if you don't know what a steak diane is, just google it :) )

Steal: To take what isn't yours. "I saw you steal that. You had no right to take it if you couldn't pay for it."
Steel: Metal. It says here that this fork is made of stainless steel.

Storey: The floors of a building. The little boy looked up at the skyscraper. He thought it looked bigger than 120 storeys high.
Story: (U.S.) The floors of a building. The little boy looked up at the skyscraper. He thought it looked bigger than 120 stories high.
Story: Written or spoken words to tell of an event. My favourite story is a fantasy based one. Stories is the multiple of tales told.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - T:

Tail: The flexible extension of the rear end of an animal. The cat's tail swished this way and that rather violently letting all know of its agitation.
Tale: A story. "This is a tale of a young man who became lost in the woods and what he did to survive."

Tear (pronounced-tair): To rip, rend. "If you two do not stop arguing about it I'll tear it up and put it in the bin and that will be the end of it.
Tear (pronounced-teer): A drop of liquid from the eye. Despite her making no sound, I could see the tears streaming down her face as the only indicator that she was crying.
Tier (pronounced-teer): Rank, level. The tier structure looked like a staircase.

Their: Belonging to them. It is their right to do what they want.
There: Direction. "If you go over there, you will then find what you are looking for."
They're: Contraction of 'they are'. "Oh, they're going to go to the movies tonight."

Threw: Past tense of throw. He threw that ball so hard I thought he would dislocate his shoulder.
Through: In one side out the other. Not knowing what was in there, he went through the door.
Thru: (USA) informal - In one side out the other. Not knowing what was in there, he went thru the door.

Tire: To wear out. I tire so easily these days that I'm napping by lunch time.
Tire: (USA) Wheel of a car. The tire on my car just went flat.
Tyre: Wheel of a car. The tyre on my car just went flat.

To: Used to indicate a terminal point or a destination. "If you are going to do that then let me know before hand so I won' be here when you do."
Too: Something that is excessive, extra. I can't believe he did that! That was just way too over the top for my liking. Anyway, I wonder if Terry will be there too.
Two: This is the number 2 written out. "Oh yeah, I saw the two of them go that way."

Toe: The digits on the end of a foot. Tears streamed down my face after I had kicked my toe on the big box.
Tow: To pull something along behind you. After attaching the rope to Johnny's car, I hopped in mine to start towing his to the local service station.

Tortoise: A shelled reptile with legs similar in design to those of an elephant. The tortoise moves in a slow, plodding manner across the dusty ground.
Turtle: A shelled reptile with flippers for limbs. The turtle moving its flippers on the sand is not as graceful as when it is in the water.

Troop: Group of military personnel. The troop of soldiers made camp for the night.
Troupe: Group of performers. The travelling theatrical troupe had just arrived in town for their show tomorrow night.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - V:

Vain: Excessive pride in one's appearance. While she was attractive, she was so vain about it that people around her found it annoying.
Vane: An object that spins on its axis by wind or water. The weather vane on the roof of the house was spinning so fast it looked like it was about to take flight.
Vein: Tubular vessels blood travels through. The veins in a body carries de-oxygenated blood back to the heart.

Vial: A small closable vessel for holding liquid. The wizard handed me phial smaller than my little finger; it was filled with a purple liquid of some sort.
Vile: Something unpleasant. The strong stench of rotting food was so vile it almost made me sick.

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - W:

Wail: To cry with voice. He wailed so loudly for his dead wife that it brought out the neighbours to see what was wrong with him.
Whale: Sea creature. One of the things I would like to do is to go whale watching one day.

Waist: Middle of the torso. He looked like a power pole, with no obvious waist he was just straight up and down.
Waste: To discard. While she hated to waste food, she was so full she couldn't eat another mouthful.

Wait: To pause. "Wait, wait..." She cried as she ran for the bus.
Weight: A heaviness. The weight of this table requires two people to move it.

Want: The desire to have. She wanted those shoes because they matched her new dress perfectly.
Wont: archaic - accustomed or used to. I can not think of a sentence to use this in properly.

Ware: Manufactured items. "Wares for sale. Who'll buy my wares?"
Wear: To put on. I think I will wear this hat today.

Watt: A unit of power. I am going to change this 40 watt light bulb to a 80 watt so I can see better in here.
What: Used to ask. "Hi, what are you doing?"

While: During the time of. "Here I am slaving away, while you're out and about having a good time!"
Wile: Cunning, deceitful. Oh, he was wily. That fox seemed to know that trap was there.

Who's: Contraction of who is, who has. "I wonder who's going to turn up to this party tonight?"; "Who's gotten the pizza this time?"
Whose: Possessor of object or action. "Whose hat does this belong to?"; "Whose turn is it to bat next?"

Will: Used to express an action to come. "Will you get the sugar while I get the milk?"
Will: Mental thought process. I will do this no matter how much it hurts
Will: A document. The lawyer just showed me Mum's last will and testament.

Wood: From a tree. The coffee table was just a simple teak wood, light in colour.
Would: The past tense of will. "If I got the milk, would you get the sugar?"

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Common Sounding/Spelt Words - Y:

Yaw: Side-to-side movement. I can not think of a sentence to use this in properly.
Your: Belonging to someone. "I believe this is your hat. Please don't leave it lying around the place."
You're: Contraction of you are. "You're so in deep trouble for breaking that."

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