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Frequently Misused Words

Homonyms (words that sound the same, but have different meanings and spellings) are commonly misused because of the similarities in the way they are pronounced and/or spelled.

  • Incorrect: Durham College has more sports teams then Ontario Tech University.
  • Correct: Durham College has more sports teams than Ontario Tech University.
  • Incorrect: How are you’re peers doing in school?
  • Correct: How are your peers doing in school?


  • Lists of commonly confused words are widely available in style guides and online.
  • Use a dictionary. If you have a green or blue underline in your Word document, check the definition to make sure you are using the correct word for what you are saying.

For more examples of words that sound similar, view the Words that Sound Similar Tip Sheet.