First off, if you missed the BIG NEWS about my first e-book, WORK IT!, you can find out all about it here. Only 9.95E for 80+ pages of exercises, helpful phrases, and more! A great way to keep you ACTIVE in English! Use it or lose it, honey!

And now. Let’s get to a problem area that never shows up when you speak. You’re always safe when talking. However, these little monsters rear their ugly heads when you write. I’m talking about the famous problem of HOMOPHONES! Say what, mama? HOMO WHAT? A HOMO PHONE?! HOMOPHONES, yo! These are words that sound EXACTLY the same but have different spellings and totally different meanings!

Let me help you straighten out a few….I see these popping up so often on official documents, posters, social media posts, etc…you can do better! Here’s how:

1. TO/TWO/TOO:
TO: To show direction-  I went TO SCHOOL yesterday. Can also be part of a verb- I really need TO IMPROVE my English!
TWO: A number – I’ve got TWO SCOOPS of ice cream – lucky me! (And no, I’m not sharing!)
TOO: Means ‘also’ – OMG, you like chocolate-covered crickets? ME TOO! Also used to express a degree of comparison – Don’t buy that car, it’s TOO EXPENSIVE!

2. THEN/THAN:
THEN: This is an element of time, used to show the order of something happening. Let’s play Twister first, THEN watch the movie afterwards.
THAN: To express a preference – I’d rather have my health THAN be rich. Also used to compare things – That diamond-encrusted fidget spinner was less expensive THAN the other one we saw, so let’s get that one for Grandma.

3. WHOSE/WHO’S:
WHOSE: Used to express possession – WHOSE umbrella is this? Can I borrow it? I love Hello Kitty!
WHO’S: Is short for ‘WHO IS’ – WHO’S going out in that storm? That’s crazy! Hope your mascara is waterproof!

4. ITS/IT’S:
ITS: Shows possession – The company changed its diversity policy last year.
IT’S: Is short for ‘IT IS’: IT”S raining men! Hallelujah! (A fun way to remember this one is the apostrophe (‘) looks like a little raindrop! :))

5. THEIR/THEY’RE/THERE:
THEIR: Shows possession, belonging to ‘they’ – THEIR new fashion line for poodles was very well received by the international dog press.
THEY’RE: Short for ‘THEY ARE’ – THEY’RE not going to go ahead with that plan for underwater bungee jumping, are they?
THERE: The opposite of HERE: Please put that huge slice of stinky French cheese way over THERE. MERCI!

I hope you now know more about the wonderful world of HOMOPHONES. So…who you gonna call (when you want to get better in English)? Hopefully yours truly!

Have a super week!
With love,
Buffi xx