How might you choose a homonym that is spelled correctly and communicates your meaning accurately?
Consult a dictionary or thesaurus: If you experience a niggling feeling that you haven’t used the correct word, consult a dictionary or thesaurus.
Make cautious use of your computer’s word processor: Correct errors that are indicated by the grammar and spell check function. However, keep in mind that a homonym that is spelled correctly may not have the correct meaning in the context of your paper.
Ask someone else to read your paper for you: Another set of eyes looking at your paper will increase the chance of catching a homonym error.
Make a deposit in your memory banks: One of the most effective ways to facilitate the correct use of homonyms is to store them in your memory.
Read widely and often: The more frequently you see words spelled and used correctly in reliable text, the more likely you are to use them correctly in your own writing.
Some of the most commonly-confused homonyms include:
there, their, and they’re
its and it’s
your and you’re
to, too, and two
affect and effect
accept and except
complement and compliment
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