Are ‘muscle’ & ‘mussel’ different or the same?

Sep 23, 2018 | Blog

Georgie Harding

Speech Pathologist

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Are ‘muscle’ and ‘mussel’ pronounced differently or the same?

The same! They are pronounced exactly the same way.

Homophones are words that look different but are pronounced the same way.  ‘Muscle’ and ‘mussel’ are homophones. English has many, many homophones.

So you already know that ‘not’ and ‘knot’ and ‘whole’ and ‘hole’ are homophones.

What about some other lesser known homophones. See 10 homophones below that ESL speakers often don’t know are homophones.

  • muscles = mussels  /ˈmʌ.səlz/
  • missed = mist         /mɪst/
  • one = won               /wʌn/
  • chews = choose      /tʃuːz/
  • paw = poor = pour   /pɔː/
  • bored = board         /bɔːd/
  • sauce = source      /sɔːs/
  • genes = jeans        /dʒiːnz/
  • flower = flour          /ˈflaʊ.wə/
  • waist = waste        /weɪst/

So, now you know that muscles = mussels are pronounced the same way – in the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet it is –  /ˈmʌ.səlz/.

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