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Discover the Homophone Machine

Discover the Homophone Machine - All About Spelling

Today I want to share a fun, free online tool with you. It’s called the Homophone Machine.

I developed the Homophone Machine five years ago, and it is one of the most visited pages on my website. You see, many spelling errors are caused by incorrect homophone usage.

Homophones—also known as homonyms—are tricky words that sound alike but are spelled differently. Common examples include their/there and waste/waist.

I’ve discovered over the years that having fun with homophones helps children learn to use them correctly. Hence the development of the Homophone Machine, which is all about the discovery and exploration of words.

Here’s how the machine works:

  1. Type any sentence or paragraph into the top box on the Homophone Machine.
  2. Click the “Convert” button.
  3. Out pops your newly converted sentence! All words that have homophones are converted.
Discover the Homophone Machine - All About Learning Press

Here are some fun things you can do with the Homophone Machine:

  • Have a contest to see who can create a readable sentence with the highest number of incorrectly used homophones.
  • Point out that William Shakespeare was not a careful speller—in fact, he even spelled his own name several different ways! But what if he had gone one step further? What if he had carelessly used homophones, paying no mind to choosing the proper word? We might have ended up with famous phrases like these:
    Two bee, oar knot two bee.
    This above awl: two thine own self bee true.
    A hoarse! A hoarse! My kingdom four a hoarse!
    Good knight, good knight! Parting is such suite sorrow, that eye shall say good knight till it bee morrow.
    What other silly Shakespearean phrases might have resulted? Type in some of your favorite lines into the Homophone Machine to find out.
  • Demonstrate that your computer’s spell checker, although a handy tool, will not necessarily catch incorrect usage. Then introduce your kids to the poem “Candidate for a Pullet Surprise” by Dr. Jerrold Zar, which aptly illustrates what can happen if you rely too much on the spell checker! Astonishingly, though more than 50% of the poem’s words (127 out of 224) are incorrect, all the words are spelled correctly.
  • Copy and paste another poem into the Homophone Machine to see what results.
Discover the Homophone Machine - All About Learning Press

And don’t forget two halve fun as ewe and you’re children explore homophones together!

Go ahead…give it a try! Use our Homophone Machine and leave your best sentence in the comments below!

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Leave a Comment

Kim S

says:

Interesting! I just purchased AAR and AAS for my homeschooled son. Looking forward to starting and love all the extra tools that we can use.

Carrie R.

says:

This is great! I’ll be trying it out with my two boys this year.

Ginny H

says:

This looks great! I’ll be using this with both my kids.

Sigrid

says:

This is neat. My kid will like it. I think I’m going to use it with my adult ESL students too. Homophones always make them groan.

Tammy

says:

I have never seen this “machine” before so I am very excited to use it next school year. Thank you for making education fun and enjoyable.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Tammy. I hope ewe have fun playing with this homophone machine down the road/rode. :)

Brandi

says:

This is so cool. I can’t wait to show my kids.

michelle

says:

This will be our first year using AAL. Thanks for all the encouragement in your blog.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I wish you the very best as you teach your children this year, Michelle!

Karla

says:

This looks amazing!! Always looking for online games to help my boys and free is the BEST! Thanks!!

Shelly

says:

I have not yet tried AAL but everything I have read, heard and seen sounds amazing! Can’t wait to give it a try with my son.

Jill

says:

I typed in: I do not know what to write.
out came: Eye due knot no what two right.

Not bad if I do say so myself!

I will need to remember this tool in a couple of years when my daughter will be old enough to understand it.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Eye understand if you’re daughter needs two take a reigncheck until she’s a little older, four the purpose of comprehension, butt feel free two play inn the meantime, Jill! :)

G

says:

Going to try this for sure

Jen

says:

I had no idea about this, I’m excited to try it with my boys!!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I hope you and your boys have fun playing with the Homophone Machine, Jen!

Sandra

says:

What a neat tool!

Julie B

says:

I’ll have to remember this for the future!

Yolanda Ryan

says:

I retired a year ago but still enjoy teaching my grandkids (4, 7, and 8 year old) using your AAS curriculum. I absolutely love it.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Yolanda! Your grandkids are fortunate to have you so active in their schooling!

Kim Slease

says:

How fun! Thanks for sharing!

You’re welcome, Kim. :)

Lynn M

says:

Cool! I didn’t know this existed. It should be fun to use.

Hope

says:

Thank you for all the wonderful resources!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Hope!

Constance

says:

This is a great and fun tool! Thank you. It really is!
By the way, the first two sentences were converted as:

This is a grate and fun tulle! Thank ewe. :)

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Your sew welcome, Constance. I’m glad that you’ve bin enjoying yourself! This tulle is awl yours. Halve fun playing with it!

Linda

says:

This looks like fun!

Cameron

says:

I thought the Homophone Machine would only appeal to younger children, but my 12 year old loves it. We’ve been using AAS since 3rd grade, starting at level one. In 4 years we completed levels1-5 and we are now ready for level 6. This has been one of the few curriculum choices I have stuck with from the beginning of our homeschool journey.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Oh, thank you for the kind words, Cameron. I’m thankful to have heard that our curriculum has stayed with you and your family through thick and thin, for five levels so far!

Kristin

says:

This is such a fun idea.

Alice Thompson

says:

This is altogether wonderful and fun!

Naomi

says:

this is awesome!

Anne S.

says:

The homophones machine converted “I want to read their story” to red instead of reed – it changed to past tense – is it supposed to do that?

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Anne,

Thanks for letting us know. I’m not sure if that’s something that can be adjusted in the programming (It may only be programmed to switch out words versus understanding grammar to know which “read” is meant), but I’ll be sure to pass your comments on. Hope you have fun playing with it anyway!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Hi Anne! The Homophone Machine doesn’t check tenses–it just searches for homophones and swaps out any that it finds. Unfortunately it can’t distinguish between the past tense and present tense of “read.”

Jen Figueroa

says:

How clever!

Kelley

says:

I look forward to my son trying this out. I am so pleased with your spelling program.

Mary Kay Kolb

says:

Thanks for sharing many great ideas to help dyslexic students learn to read! I am an OG tutor and learn many new things from your website. Thanks!

Mary Kay,
We’re glad that we can help you! You’re welcome. And thank you for the work you do with dyslexic students.

Yavonn

says:

Thank you for sharing the website. My children have enjoyed playing on the site.

I’m glad they enjoyed it, Yavonn!

Tina Bingel

says:

My 7 year old daughter had a lot of fun with the homophone machine. Here is her converted sentences:

Eye went two the see. eye saw dear camp wear a hoarse was standing. There camp was next two for big black bears. Witch was vary scary!!! The dear screamed, “Don’t eat us!!! hour fir is inn knots!!”

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Oh, no! Whatever happened? Can we ask for the next installment in the story? :)

Wendy

says:

I didn’t even realize you had online tools!

Spring Davis

says:

My children will really enjoy this! Thank you

N. Nichols

says:

I have some training in dyslexia & have a couple of sons who struggle in all areas of language. I have been searching for an Orton- Gillingham curriculum that had lesson plans ready to go. I am excited about the possibilities of “All About Reading” & “All About Spelling. While both sons have made progress with my multi-sensory and systematic approach I believe we might progress faster if I don’t have to take off “teaching time” in order to plan the next lesson. I’m so glad I found this.
N.Nichols

N. Nichols,
I would be happy to answer any specific questions you have about All About Reading and All About Spelling, but I can verify that they are both open-and-go programs with next to no prep time needed at all. There is about 20 minutes of step-up before you begin a book. Then, occasionally in All About Reading there is a minute or two of cutting needed for the review activities, but that’s it.

Let me know if you have any questions I can help with.

Marcia Sartin

says:

So excited to try this!!! Thank you!

Lydia R.

says:

“I wish eye no how eye got hymn two sleep when eye was younger.” (My sun, talking about his sibling.)

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Perhaps he got hymn two fall asleep with a really good bedtime story? :)

Amy M

says:

Interesting! We will give this a try!

Mandi

says:

I can’t wait to try this!

Tara Kersh

says:

This looks like a lot of fun! We will try it today!

Beth Sommer

says:

The homophone machine is a fun way for children to observe spelling differences in words! I love the idea of putting in the Shakespeare quotes and Dr. Zar’s poem is quite fun and interesting to read! What a great opportunity to have my son find the word errors and make a corrected version of the poem!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I’m glad you enjoyed this online tool, Beth! I hope your son has fun playing with it and coming up with corrected versions of the poem!

Justina

says:

I love All About Spelling!!! Full of great ideas and help.

Christa

says:

A great tool!

Kris

says:

Dew ewe reed hear four awl thyme sew ewe will
bee grate students?

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Why, yes wee dew, but wee also dew it because its sew much fun. :)

Eileen Cloutier

says:

I played with it, and I’ll try it with my grandson and my tutoring student this summer. I wonder if it will help. It does look like fun.

Aimee StGelais

says:

What a fun way to explore homophones! Thank you for sharing!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Aimee. Have fun exploring!

Kris H.

says:

Dew ewe reed hear awl the thyme oar knot?
This is great fun for learning and for word game lovers!
Thanks, Marie!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Owe, butt of coarse eye red awl the thyme! Eye love reading and then sum! Eye hope ewe halve tons of fun with this homophone machine, Kris! Whirred game lovers, rejoice!

Cindy

says:

What a great tool…thanks for this!

Amy

says:

Love the Homophone machine. What a creative way to get kids to really understand!

Jodi

says:

homophones are hard to remember, so this looks promising

Lizze

says:

Looking forward to introducing my son to homophones with this.

Jenelle Cheatham

says:

Im so excited to try this with our oldest dd. She so struggles with this!

ddtmom

says:

It looks like a fun machine, however, it does not seem to differentiate between correct and incorrect usage. It simply shows different ways to spell words that sound alike. How can I help my son learn the correct spelling for the usage?

ddtmom,
The purpose of the Homophone Machine isn’t to learn the correct usage or spelling of homophones, but rather to have fun playing with them and to become aware of them. By putting in correct sentences and getting incorrect ones out, the homophones become very noticeable. It is often funny too, which makes it even more memorable.

Our spelling curriculum, All About Spelling, teaches homophone usage and spelling explicitly and without confusion. The Homophone Machine is just a fun way to play with homophones.

Lesley

says:

This page shows the difference between homophones and homonyms: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/homophone

kristi

says:

Looks like fun. I added it to my son’s list of games in favorites.

Hannahlei

says:

I’m excited about the Homophone machine! I didn’t know about it, but it looks like helpful fun!

Karen

says:

I don’t get it. It seems like this will breed confusion. Perhaps the child needs to be old enough to “get” it. Although I’m 42 and I don’t get it! I guess it’s just not my kind of humor.

Karen,
Thank you for your comment on our Homophone Machine blog post.

Playing with homophones helps children to be aware of them. By putting in correct sentences and getting incorrect ones out, the homophones become very, very noticeable. It is often funny too, which makes it even more memorable.

For many students that are reading fairly well it can be helpful, and because it is fun it is something they will play with again and again. My 12 and 10 year old boys enjoy it. However, I can definitely see that some students will find it confusing, or even be upset that the outputs are “wrong”.

Basically, the Homophone Machine is just a fun little thing we offer for those students that will enjoy and benefit from it. We teach homophones explicitly, and without confusion, in our All About Spelling curriculum.

Alyson N.

says:

I remember how fun learning homophones was way back as a child!

Katie L

says:

That looks like a lot of fun!

Cassidy Austin

says:

This is great! I can’t wait for the kids to add this to their learning!

Tamara Diggs

says:

Awesome! We will have to give it a try! :-)

Kristina Richardson

says:

This is awesome!

Desiree

says:

Can’t wait to try this with my boys

Teri

says:

Care for some tea? —> Care four sum tee?

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Why, yes! eye wood love sum. Thank ewe four asking, Teri. :)

Stefanie burns

says:

Can’t wait to try this!

Learner

says:

Excited to try the homophone machine later today! it does bug me that spell check does NOT catch this problem and I am glad for a simple tool to practice correct spelling and comprehension of these words. Thanks!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Learner!

Marjorie

says:

This looks so cool ! Can’t wait for my son to try it.

The youngest daughter is in the 5th grade and spelling and reading are one of her weaknesses. i would really like to try all about reading and spelling to see it this would work for my daughter.

Kate C

says:

This sounds so fun!

Holly Caraballo

says:

The homophone machine – how ingenious! What a clever way to create fun letters, birthday cards, notes, poems, etc! It’s quite amusing, and I would think this tool would tap into and work both the right and left sides of the brain – learning and creativity!

Holly,
The Homophone Machine is one of those activities that we play with for a while, then forget about it, then “find” it again for more fun. However, I hadn’t thought of doing fun letters or such. I think my kids would love that. Thanks for sharing.

Laura Madsen

says:

We successfully used AAS in our homeschool this year.
My two middle children DS gr5 and DD gr4 both completed levels 1 & 2, they were late bloomers in reading and have struggled with spelling even though we had used conventional spelling curriculum.
My youngest DS gr1 completed level 1 and started level 2.
The kids enjoyed the program and did not complain about spelling time.
As my two middle children progressed through the course material, I incorporated dictation from their readers and or read-alouds. I would just write ‘harder’ words on the white board for them to copy from. AAS was definitely a success for us and we plan to continue this fall :)

Laura,
Thank you so much for sharing how All About Spelling has made a difference in your home, and how you are adapting it a bit. Great idea bout the dictation from books!

Steph J

says:

I really like this homophone machine, such a fun and educational game!

Jennfer Swager

says:

I am excited to try this with my girls 7 and 6 years old. We just bought All about Spelling to start this summer. We are all very excited.

Amy

says:

I’m looking forward to studying homophones this fall with my 3 oldest children! I appreciate all the hard work and dedication that goes into creating so many wonderful and practical tools that makes our homeschooling jobs so much easier! My oldest, dyslexic, APD son had absolutely no ‘natural’ ability to spell whatsoever. AAS has been life-changing for him. I no longer worry about how he will make it in his college English classes someday. I thank you with all my heart!

Amy,
Thank you for sharing how All About Spelling has made such a difference for your son! It encourages us at AALP so much to read reviews like this!

I just wanted to point out to you are All About Homophones book. It has games and workbook pages for 8 grade levels of homophones, and it’s available either in print or in ebook format. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/Supplemental-Products/All-About-Homophones/

I hope you are having a lovely week.

Gwyneth Kramer

says:

This will be amazing fun to share with my 5th and 6th grader this fall! Thank you for creating such an awesome product and wonderful tools to keep us encouraged like this one!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Janice! I hope your 5th and 6th graders have fun with it!

Susie

says:

My daughter has been working with homophones in English this semester and we’ve all had fun with them. This will be a great addition to our learning!

Jarica

says:

Thank you for making learning fun!

Emily

says:

This looks like fun! Our second oldest loves mad libs, so this would be right up her alley!

Jennifer

says:

Eye wood knot wont ewe two waist you’re to sense!

I would not want you to waste your two cents!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Awww… Thanks four being sew kind. Eye wouldn’t wont ewe two waist my to sense either, Jennifer!

Carole

says:

I think my boys are going to have fun with this.

Katy D.

says:

We have seen progress using both AAR and AAS with my son. We needed this!

Mary McDonald

says:

I am new to homeschooling and looking for a good program for my son (3rd grade).

Christine

says:

This would be great for all my children, even the older ones.

Jeri Thompson

says:

Very cool! My kiddos will love this.

Arris

says:

Looks like fun tool to learn homophones. Can’ wait to try it with my kids.

Cynthia Mercado

says:

I look forward to trying the homopnone machine out!

Thank You!

T.

says:

Sounds fun! We will check it out.

Margaret

says:

This would be great for my grandkids!

I didn’t know this was on the website. Thank you so much for telling us about it. I bet my son will love to play with it.

I saw the pale night sky.
Eye saw the pail knight sky.

Not very clever, but it was my first try. How fun!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I’m glad you’re having fun, Nancy! I personally had a little fun with Hamlet. :)

“Two bee, oar knot two bee: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler inn the mined two suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or two take arms against a see of troubles,
And buy opposing end them?”

Mercedes

says:

Homonyms are tricky!

Michelle

says:

Can’t wait to use the homophone machine with my son! He’ll have fun!!

Melissa

says:

This looks like so much fun and a game my daughter would enjoy!

Tammy Cordery

says:

That is such a great idea. I will do this with my daughter.

Alana Sankey

says:

I cannot wait to try out the homophone machine with my kids!

Kristi Daugherty

says:

This looks like a fun way to learn about homophones.

Andrea

says:

While spelling over all is not my Forte, I have always loved homophones. This looks very fun.

Sarah D

says:

This is such a wonderful idea…my 3rd grader will really benefit from a site like this! There is nothing worse than reading work by adults with homophone-type spelling errors! Can wait for her to check it out!

Sarah,
I actually pay my children a quarter for every typo they find in published work, including for homophone misuse. Doing so encourages them to on the lookout for errors, which helps them learn to find errors in their own writing. It also gives us great opportunities to discuss the errors, teaching moments I would not otherwise have had. The Genevieve Foster books (history books such as Augustus Caesar’s World) nearly broke my piggy bank! I would love to give an earful to that editor(s).

Thank you for commenting. I hope you are having a lovely week.

Julie T

says:

This looks like something that my two girls would really like.

Dawn Kennedy

says:

I think this would really help my son. We have been learning how to spell “through” all year!

Carly

says:

Oooh, that’s fun! What a great invention. Wish it had been around when I was a kid. LOL

Marika

says:

I think this sounds great! I really want to try both the spelling and reading programs,

Nicki

says:

Looks like fun!

R Goff

says:

My kids will love this! Thank you!

Laurie

says:

This looks like a grate weigh two practice a sometimes confusing skill!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Knot only is it grate practice, butt its hopefully a hoot four ewe as well! Hope ewe halve fun, Laurie!

Roseanne

says:

Thanks so much for sharing. I had NO idea you offered this on your website!

Leigh Owens

says:

I can’t wait to use this with my students! Thanks!

Sarah

says:

So thankful for this fun tool that makes learning easier!

Loreen G

says:

You always have the greatest ideas & fun games! Thanks for all your help in making our spelling journey less painful!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome, Loreen. Why not have fun while you’re at it? Isn’t that when learning truly becomes a joy?

Kelly

says:

perfect! love the game suggestions.

Peta

says:

My dotter is happy to finally bee able to join her brothers in dewing spelling “with the bored”. Thank ewe four the PRIVILEGE of starting spelling!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Ha, ha, ha! Your sew welcome, Peta. I’m glad that you’re daughter is enjoying herself amongst her brothers at last! Thanks four making me laugh! :)

G A

says:

I find all of your suggestions so helpful! Thanks for sharing your experience and ideas.

Krista

says:

So excited to use All About Spelling with our 6 year old next year! Thank you for your hard work on this program!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I hope your son loves AAS next year, Krista!

Myra

says:

This looks fun for when my kids are a little bit older!

Amy

says:

We have used your free sample pages that are sent out and the kids love them! My oldest is 5 so we are considering what reading program to use.

Amy,
We recently put together a list of all of our free reading resources. You can see it here. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/reading-resource-center#FreeDownloads

Let me know if I can help you in your consideration of reading programs. Thank you for commenting.

Jennifer Madigan

says:

What a great resource

Susan

says:

All homonyms are homophones but not all homophones are homonyms. Homophones with different spellings are not homonyms (same name, same spelling, different meaning). I have to keep that straight when my boy discovers a “new” homophone. He gets frustrated if I have to tell him that it’s a homonym…same spelling, multiple definitions, but that’s correct. Right?

Ani

says:

Thank you. I was hoping someone would catch this. A homonym is a word that has multiple meanings, such as I went to the fair where I saw a girl with a fair face. A homophone is a word which sounds the same as another word, but is spelled differently, such as, I had to pay a fare to get into the fair. Add to that a homograph which is a word that is spelled the same, but has a different pronunciation and different meaning, such as, the bow fell out of her hair when she took a bow.

Susan and Ani,
Thank you for initiating this fascinating discussion (we love words here at AALP).

I think Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary explains the homonym/homophone/homograph issue most fully.
http://www.kdictionaries-online.com/DictionaryPage.aspx?ApplicationCode=18#&&DictionaryEntry=homonym&SearchMode=Entry

In short, a two words are homonyms and homophones if they sound alike, whether or not they are spelled alike. Two words are homonyms and homographs if they are spelled alike, whether or not they sound alike. Homonym is the more general, non-technical usage.

Thank you for commenting.

Stefanie

says:

This looks like an excellent resource. I’m excited to give it a try.

Leslie

says:

I can’t remember how I was taught about these, but I have always been able to figure out which homophone was correct when writing.

Dayana

says:

I want to try this program! I want my son to learn the right way of pronouncing and writing!

I can’t wait to try this out.

This looks really cool!

Nakia Biles

says:

wow.

susan navas

says:

I think this would be great for my almost 5 year old daughter!

Jennifer

says:

what a great fun idea!

Amanda

says:

Sounds neat.

Jennifer

says:

This is great. Can’t wait to try it!

Rebekah

says:

What a fun way to show how important proper spelling is. :-)

Jenna

says:

I can’t wait to try this with my son!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Maxine Nunez

says:

This looks so fun! We tried, “I like to read books.” It was converted to, “Eye like two red books.”

Mindee McCollom

says:

Thanks for Sharing!!

Sarah

says:

Wow – cool idea!

Carrie

says:

How fun!! Will be doing this with the children today. Thanks for sharing this fun site!

CARA KIDDER

says:

What a great resource! Thanks for sharing this!

Kristen

says:

So glad you highlighted this resource! I’ve browsed your website a fair amount (and used AAR for a couple years) but hadn’t discovered this.

Megan

says:

This looks really neat! And right
On time for us!

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