Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Roll/role there/their no/know- Help me explain this in a simple way.

Right now my youngest is working on same sounding words that mean different things.
He is pretty good at choosing when the right spelling matches the meaning, He keeps asking me WHY we have words that sound the same that are spelled different. I have yet to come up with anything simple to tell him, other than yes I know it doesn't make and sense/cents!
If you have an easy way to explain it, please share.


Asked by 2kids2dogs2cats at 8:33 AM on Nov. 7, 2013 in Just for Fun

Level 29 (39,783 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • or two completely different meanings for same word
    just had one in sight words other day

    saw like cut wood
    or saw like i use my eyes to look

    i just tell daughter that English language is silly some times

    words in context of sentence will give clues
    but out of context, sometimes no why to know which one asking for

    Answer by fiatpax at 10:16 AM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • We have homophones because English is a language that begs, borrows, and steals from other languages. Many of our words come from Latin, but many other words have a Germanic history, instead. And then, you toss in the words we've taken from Greek and other languages - you have a mess of words that follow their own rules and sounds.

    It's what makes English both so challenging (sometimes) and so much fun (always).

    Answer by May-20 at 8:39 AM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • HOW OLD? Because we have a shit load of people on here that must have been absent that day in school!

    Answer by m-avi at 10:11 AM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • Dang, I'm trying to figure out an easy way, but no matter what I come up with it's complicated.

    Roll / role is a tough one to explain easy.  Because you have wheels or dice that roll, but you can also eat a dinner roll.  Role - we all play a role in our children's lives.  

    There / their / they're is a little easier. There is a place, their is a possessive and they're is a contraction of they are.

    No / know - no is a negative like nobody, noone, no I don't want peas for dinner. Know is indicative of knowledge. I know how to tie my shoes.

    If he's good at dissecting sentences by verb, noun, adverb, adjective, etc. then it might be easier to go that route.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:08 AM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • May's answer is the same one I use. Language has no real logic to it; it's not like math where 1 + 1 = 2.

    Answer by gdiamante at 9:17 AM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • I'd just spell the word every time I used it so the child would catch on to which is being used. :)

    Answer by Bmat at 9:32 AM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • no way to know


    Answer by fiatpax at 10:17 AM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • Or like read can be pronounced different depending on tense, but is spelled the same regardless.  


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:21 AM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • Mary Kate and Ashley did a fun song about this many years ago. See if you can find it on Google. Back when they were cute.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:01 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • I can't really explain it in simple terms, I guess this is a "that is the way it is" kind of thing.
    I used those as examples there are many more waist/waste and so on.

    Comment by 2kids2dogs2cats (original poster) at 9:48 AM on Nov. 7, 2013