IP Writing Tips: A Handful of Homophones

A homophone is a word with multiple spellings and meanings, but only one
pronunciation.

The most common homophonic gaffe involves to, too and two. It’s pretty easy
to deal with by keeping these simple rules in mind:
-
Two is a number.
-
Too means also.
-
To is a preposition indicating transfer or direction as in “give the gun
to Dr. Watson.”

There, Their, they’re. It seems like a big problem, but it’s pretty simple,
really.
-
“There” indicates a location.
-
“Their” is possessive.
-
“They’re” is the contraction of “they are.”
-
“They’re over there, examining the storm damage to their house.”

The words principal and principle share at least five uses between them. If
you have trouble with their usage, it’s best to check every time you use
them:

Principle: Guideline or rule: “The most basic principle of our democracy
is inalienable rights.”
-
Principle: Moral or ethical rule: “It’s against my principles to kill an
unarmed man.”
-
Principal: Primary or major: “The principal purpose of our meeting is to
discuss the crime.”
-
Principal: The head of a school
-
Principal: A capital sum of money, as distinguished from interest.

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