Homonyms VS Homophones VS Homograph
A general blanket term for confusing words. It can mean either two or more words that are spelled the same but pronounced different, OR, words that are spelled different but pronounced the same. Both homophones and homographs are members of the homonym family.
Two, or more, words that SOUND the same, but are spelled differently. Think of the ending. Phone. You listen to phone calls, the phone rings, phones make noise. Anything you need to associate phones with sound. Homophones are words that sound the same.
Examples to/two/too eye/I/aye your/you're/yore
There is a great website, with definitions of the words to help if you can't decide. www.homophone.com I use it whenever I get stuck on which one to choose. Also, see my previous POST on some common homophones that I noticed tripping people up in the novels I have read lately.
A homograph is two or more words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, and sometimes different sounds. (There is also a term called a heteronym. The words are spelled the SAME, but pronounced different and have different meanings. Yes, a heteronym is a type of homograph.) A clue to this is graph. We see graphs; we see that these words are spelled the same.
"I'm going to lie down." homograph
"Please don't lie to me."
Hair bows heteronym
"Mermaid off the Port Bow!"
"He likes to lead the expedition every year." heteronym
"That paint has lead in it."
"My husband plays the bass guitar."
"I took my daughter bass fishing."
"I am going to read ten new books this week."
"I have already read all those books."
Tricky, Tricky English language!