Difference between Homonyms and Homophones

Homonyms are the words that have the same spelling and same pronunciation, but different meanings. These words are also known as multiple meaning words. An example can make it clearer.


Bear (an animal) – Bears are one kind of mammals and they have different classifications.
Bear (tolerate)- Bear can bear the cold temperatures.
Left (opposite of right)- Go straight and then turn left to reach the park.
Left (departed from) – The red car took left and then left the highway.
Suit (fit) – Wear something that suits you.
Suit (costume)- Wear a new suit for the reunion party.

On the other hand, Homophones are the words that sound alike but they have different spellings as well as different meanings. However, Homophones are a kind of Homonyms. Moreover, both of these are linguistic terms. Students must understand these two to use words appropriately.


See- look, visualize
Sea- lake, ocean
Steel-metal made from iron
Steal-to take something from someone
Prey- target of attack

Here, the pronunciation is same, but the spelling and meanings are different.