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

Sep 23, 2018Blog

Georgie Harding

Speech Pathologist


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 and these are often difficult for ESL speakers – because words can look quite different to how they are pronounced in English. 

Correct over 100 homophones with our English Homophones List with Listen & Record Tools 
and download a printable .pdf on homophones too. 

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/
  • career = Korea        /kəˈrɪər/
  • 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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You’ll practise your new speech skills while practising in conversations for networking, meetings, conference calls, casual and professional situations and more. 

Remember to check out our English Pronunciation Youtube channel. 

Good luck, have a great day.