These words sound the same

English is notorious for pairs of words that sound the same but are written very differently. I came across an odd pair today: choir and quire, both pronounced /kwair/.

They came to my notice in a crossword clue in The Times yesterday. Clue: ‘Singers appearing in the papers, I hear’.

The answer is choir.


  • singers = choir
  • the papers = quire
  • appearing in …. I hear = sounds like

For more on English spelling please see

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