Where, wear and were; these three words may have different spellings, but they all sound similar and are often mixed up. This article will teach you a few tips on how to differentiate between them and tricks for remembering how to use them correctly.
‘Where’ is probably the most commonly used of the three words, as it functions as an adverb, conjunction, and a pronoun. The uses of ‘where’ all relate to a place, location, or situation.
Where are you going?
I don’t know where my hat is.
She moved to a town where nobody knew her.
To remember when to use ‘where’ correctly, think about the word ‘here’ which makes up the last part of the word. ‘Here’ could be used as the answer to your question or instead of ‘where’ when you rearrange the sentence:
Where are you going? – Over here
I don’t know where my hat is – It is here
She moved to a town where nobody knew her – Nobody knew her here
The word ‘Wear’ has two main meanings.
It can be used as both a verb and a noun, to describe having something on one’s body e.g clothing or makeup.
I don’t have anything to wear.
I never wear makeup.
Or, it may mean to damage, erode or destroy something over time.
Be careful not to wear yourself out.
She returned the dress due to wear and tear.
One way to remember the spelling for this word is that you wear earmuffs. Both have the word ear in them. So if you are talking about clothing, think of earmuffs to remember which spelling you need.
If you are talking about something being worn down then remember wear and tear which have the same ending.
‘Were’ is pronounced slightly differently to wear and where (unless you are talking about a werewolf), and is the past tense of are.
What were you thinking?
They were his favourite jeans.
If you’re unsure whether were is the correct word to use, try putting ‘are’ in it’s place and seeing whether the sentence still makes sense. For example;
What were you thinking? – What are you thinking?
They were his favourite jeans – They are his favourite jeans
Where, wear and were
With these tips to remember the different uses and a little bit of practice, we’re sure you’ll be feeling much more confident with these homophones in no time. Here are a couple more examples to help you out:
Where is the party?
What should I wear?
Were you there?
Is there a pair of homophones you commonly confuse? Let us know – we may even write our next blog post on it and find some handy ways to help you remember the differences.