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Check out my spelling courses:

Spelling Rules Course

How to Punctuate Spelling (including homophones with apostrophes)

there/they’re/their, your/you’re, to/too, whose/who’s, its/it’s…

Do you have problems remembering which one to use?

Frustrated, annoyed, fed-up with yourself that you don’t
know which is which?

Now you can spell well even if you think you’re too old, too jaded, or
have too many nasty school experiences.


were/we’re/where, bear/bare, here/hear, whether/weather, past/passed, course/coarse,
break/brake, pour/pore/paw, pear/pair…

These are homophones = same sound, different spelling & different meaning.

There are hundreds of these words that trip up the most accomplished speller.

Homophones are tricky because the computer won’t tell you if you’ve used the wrong one.

For example: I want to buy that pear or

                    I want to buy that pair? 

To tell you the truth, I used to get words like there, their, they’re, were, where, wear, it’s its, to, too, two wrong until I learnt all about how to remember which is which.

Now I want to teach you all the tricks & strategies on how to master these tricky words that I’ve learnt over 16 years of teaching them.


Introducing the Homophones Masterclass

I’ve just finished working on this Masterclass and it’s taken me months of hard work to develop it and to find the best information, techniques & exercises to help you.

The course consists of over 10 Modules with exercises, games, spelling tests & videos (including guest videos, & exercises from some of the best in the business.)

I’ve also included words that are near homophones, and also the most commonly confused words such as lose/loose, advice/advise, quiet / quite… 

This masterclass will help you:

  • learn all the ways & tricks to remember these words
  • become super confident that you’re using the right words
  • increase your vocabulary
  • understand the common mistakes & spot the ‘danger’ zones
  • write & proofread with confidence

Module 1: 10 of the the most common homophone mistakes – there/their/they’re, to, too, two, you’re your etc.

Module 2: 10 more common homophone mistakes – allowed/aloud, pause/paws/pores/pours…

Module 3: The 5 most difficult homophones – its/it’s, bear/bare, whose/who’s, passed/past…

Module 4: “business”, “academic” homophones- stationary/stationery, due/dew…

Module 5:  “family” , “home” homophones – aren’t/aunt, son/sun, father/farther…

Module 6: Homographs – words that are spelt the same but have different meanings and pronunciation e.g. row/row, content/content, minute/minute…

Module 7: Confusing words (nearly homophones) e.g. lose/loose, advice/advise…

Module 8: homophones + apostrophes

Module 9: regular past

Module 10: irregular past

Module 11: silent ‘e’/magic ‘e’

And much much more.

Using memory tricks & spelling strategies to remember which word to use is important so I’ve included my Spelling Strategies video as a bonus for you.


homo = same     phone = sound

There are about 300 homophones but not all are commonly used. We use about 50 on a regular basis.

In this Masterclass we’ll look at the most common ones. Using visual clues, dictionary definitions, common phrases, idioms, memory tricks you’ll discover how to learn these words and hopefully write them automatically. 

In his book, (with the homophone title) Eyes before Ease, Professor Larry Beason says:  

If you write, “We need too right a letter,” the spell-checker will not detect a misspelling. In terms of writing done on a computer, such homophone errors are the most common type of misspelling, sometimes the only type you might see in a word-processed document.

One way to avoid these misspellings is to be aware of the most common homophones and proofread carefully when using them.

[And work on the ones that confuse you the most] and if in two weeks you can thoroughly remember the difference between three or four homophone errors, that would be an important victory.


Test your knowledge of homophones – 1.

Can you spot the 6 homophone mistakes?

Hi Joanne

I want to thank you fore you’re emails and lessons. Their are too many words I don’t no how to spell.

Is they’re a way to learn to spell well? I hope to here from you soon.

Thank you again.


1. Did you spot the mistakes?
2. Did you spot the correct usage? (he used to, too correctly)

“I want to thank you fore/ for you’re / your emails and lessons. Their /There are too many words I don’t no / know how to spell.

Is they’re / there a way to learn to spell well? I hope to here / hear from you soon.”

*Concentrating on the homophones you have trouble with is very important.

*There’s no need to work on words you don’t have trouble with.

And that’s why the Homophones Masterclass has a series of self-assessment tests (do one below). And also you can email me a short paragraph and I will tell you your problems.  What a bargain for a tenner!!!

Test your knowledge of homophones – 2.

self-assessment test 1 - Module 1

Press Start
then press View Questions when you want to see your results.

Did you find the other tests easy? Then try this advanced test.
Test your knowledge of homophones – 3.

Click on the right meaning.
(Thanks to the Oxford Dictionary Online)

One of the difficulties in learning the English language, and being able to spell well, is to be able to cope with the many words which sound exactly the same or very much alike, but which are spelt differently.

People from every walk of life, regardless of their educational level and background, make mistakes when spelling words such as “principle” and “principal”, “desert” and “dessert”, “stationery” and “stationary”, as well as dozens of other everyday, same-sounding words, i.e. homophones.


The good news is you can remember which word to use by using simple strategies such as memory tricks and word-within- a word.

The most common mistake is with there, their, they’re

there = place. Use a word within a word memory trick – here there where

their = possession. My car, their car.  their – i  I/my – my – his – her – our – their.  

or word within a word – their heir to their heirlooms

they’re is a contraction of they are so when reading your work back say they’re as ‘they are’ and you’ll soon see if it fits.

hear or here?  Can you see the word within a word you can use?

Listening  hear with your ear 

  here = place – here there where


stationery or stationary? e or a

Stationery = envelopes, pens, paper etc.
Stationary = at the station.

piece or peace? Use the word within a word trick, can you see it?



piece of pie  


peace or piece

 peace and love

I use memory tricks all the time. Even if you know how to spell these words you still need to be able to proofread your emails and spot the mistakes. (Sometimes these homophone mistakes are straightforward typos when your brain types the first homophone automatically so that’s why you need to always proofread.

So go on and do yourself a favour and start to really learn these awkward, tricky but great words.

Click below & you’ll get instant access for such a small fee – I must be crazy but I know you need this. 

Learning to spell well has made a huge difference to my life, job prospects and my writing. I cringe at the mistakes I used to make. Spelling can be learned in a few simple lessons if you work at it.

Like anything in life if you want it and work at it you’ll get it.

Dreaming about improving your spelling & writing won’t improve it, but joining this course will.

Don’t think you can’t spell well because you can – yes, you really can.


OK, OK, pep talk over. See you on the course.



Thanks for reading this, Joanne, look forward to working with you.

 BBC Learning English have named How to the number 1 site for spelling: “We often get asked questions about spelling and How to is a great site and videos… and fantastic games and quizzes…”