Can You Ace This Homophone Quiz?

By: Mark Lichtenstein
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

I'm with the band! Or are you with the banned? When it comes to the English language, there are tons of homophones ready to trip you up. Only someone with an IQ of 125+ can pass this quiz. Can you?

As if English class wasn't hard enough, the language comes with a series of homophones. If you've made it here and still don't know what a homophone is, it's when two or more words have different spellings but identical pronunciations. Can you think of a few?

Two of the most popular homophones are "your" and "their." Or is it "you're" and "they're?" These two often trip users up because of the very slight changes in spelling, but the words have completely different meanings. "Your" and "their" are meant to show possession while "you're" and "they're" are contractions for "you are" and "they are." The latter of these is more confusing because there is "there," which is used to show a location or position. If you can master these, you're well on your way to mastering this quiz, but what about the other homophones?

Do you know the difference between air and heir? With a slight change in vowels, can you also spot the change in meaning between stationary and stationery? Are you wondering if there are criminals out to steal steel?

Can you master this quiz? Only people with an IQ of 125+ can, so you have a lot to prove! Let's see if you can ace this quiz.

The results will be sweet! Or is it suite?

Let's go!

What kind of game might you play at a party that isn't exciting?

To be bored is to not be excited or interested. A board is a flat surface.

What do you call something bereft of life or fertility?

Barren refers to the state of being bereft of life or fertility, whereas a Baron is a kind of peer.

This is a nice hotel, but the best thing is the stuff they leave on your pillow! That stuff is:

Sweet refers, in this case, to the taste of things. A suite refers to a room in a hotel.

My dietitian isn't into alternative medicine, but they take all my health factors into account, meaning they are:

Wholistic refers to the practice of taking all medical details into account. Holistic derives from holism, which refers to the practices of alternative medicine, often rooted in the occult, not medicine. To be fair, much of the time these woolly terms are used interchangeably.

Jack the Ripper was a:

A serial killer is a murderer who kills many people, often without a clear motive. A cereal killer isn't really a term, but it could refer to someone who either kills cereal, or kills with cereal. Of course, if you killed enough people using cereal, that would make you a serial killer.

What would you call a collection of children belonging to someone?

A brood is a family, often of young animals, whereas brewed refers to the act of making something by soaking and fermentation.

My group of football buddies were:

Teeming is to be so full of something it shows on the surface, whereas teaming refers to joining a team.

Russia was part of The Warsaw:

The Warsaw Pact was the Soviet answer to NATO. A pact is an agreement. Packed refers to a state of fullness.

The number of cats in this room gives me:

To be given pause means to be given a reason to stop and think. To be given paws means to be given the extremities of certain animals, cats in this case.

I'm headed to a very formal funeral before breakfast, and I don't have a tux, so I'd best wear my:

A morning suit is a formal item of clothes worn to black tie events held during the daytime. Mourning is what you would do at a funeral, but there is no specific item of clothing for the act.

I'm a great runner, leaving the competition:

"out-Paced" refers to the act of making progress faster than something else. Out-paste isn't a thing at all, as "paste" refers to an adhesive.

Our conversation was interrupted by a:

A peal is a loud noise, whereas a peel is a removable covering.

The roadkill was all over my car's:

A grill is a surface for exposing a food item to flame, whereas a grille is the opening at the front of a car.

After my boxing lesson, I ate a:

A beet is a root vegetable. A beat is a percussive noise.

I couldn't believe that movie got past the:

A censor is one who selectively obstructs information or art. A sensor is a device used to detect things.

The sharpest weapon still needs to be swung around the correct:

An axis is an imaginary line around which an object or objects rotate. Axes is the plural of ax, which is an edged weapon or tool.

If I needed religious advice, I'd talk to a:

A friar is a male member of certain religious orders, mostly referring to the four mendicant orders. A fryer is a device used for immersing things in hot oil.

We were raided by a barbarian:

A hoard is a large collection of something. Whored often refers to selling services cheaply. A horde is a large gang or large gathering.

What I would do with all this cheese is hold it in one hand and:

Great refers to the quality of something being of a maximal nature. To grate something means to cut it into many small pieces by rubbing it against a rough surface, like a cheese grater.

I enjoyed watching the cute puppy:

To gambol is to jump about playfully. To gamble is to wager. Gamblin is an old Scandinavian name.

The impact opened a:

A fissure is a gap or opening in something. A fisher is one who captures fish. A phisher is someone who tries to get personal information off of unsuspecting victims using the internet.

I borrowed some money from a friend, and to pay him back I wrote him an:

An ode is a poem in praise of something. Owed means to have borrowed something and be in a state of debt. OED stands for the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the oldest dictionaries in the world.

What word means to be carried?

While "born" generally refers to birth in the past tense, "borne" refers to the state of being where someone or something is bearing something else.

I look forward to Prince William's coming:

Rain is a kind of precipitation. A rein is a type of device used to control animals. A reign is a period in which a sovereign rules his or her domain.

The bodybuilder possessed incredible:

Might, in this use, refers to strength or potence. Mite can mean a tiny animal such as a class of tiny arachnids, or it can mean a tiny contribution of money.

If you want me to care about this endeavor, you need to give me:

"A stake in something" refers to having an interest in its outcome, usually through the possession of equity. A steak is a cut of meat.

Check out this wildebeest! It's certainly not old! It's a:

A gnu is a type of wildebeest with a sloping back, dark coat, beard and mane, and long head. To be new is to have just come into being, or more subjectively to have just come into knowledge of being.

When I get to the shopping center, I'm going to go crazy in the shops! I'm going to _____ them!

To maul something is to attack by scratching and tearing at it, and there is also a weapon by that name, for obvious reasons. A mall is either a shopping center, or a promenade.

I love the taste of:

Mussels are bivalve mollusks with black/purple shells, whereas muscles are organs used to generate motion.

I need something to freshen my breath after eating meat, but I really do love some:

Mince is a term often used to describe ground beef, whereas mints are things you use to freshen your breath. Smint is a brand of mint.

To neutralize a strong acid, I'd use some:

Lye is a strong base, but a lie is an untruth.

If I were a cowboy banker, I'd call myself:

Lone is an adjective meaning by oneself, whereas a loan is a thing that is borrowed.

When I entered the church, I saw a dishonest friend of mine, a real:

A nave is a part of a church, whereas a knave is dishonest person.

I look forward to my vacation on the African:

A step is a stage or an object you put your foot on to climb, whereas a steppe is a large grassy area without forests.

When I went to the clothing store, I asked to see their:

Wares are items, often used to describe retail items. Wears refers to the act of donning an item.

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