Miss-Elaineous Proofreading

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Polished English

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Pair, pear, and pare

In most blog entries I discuss pairs of homonyms, but oddly enough pair itself is part of a homonym trio.

As a noun, pair signifies two of something, whether separated or not.  Thus a pair of glasses and a pair of jeans, as well as a pair of gloves and a pair of cards

As a verb, pair is to join or connect two things: The teacher paired students with similar interests to write the report together. 

A pear is something you eat: My favourite fruit is a fresh summer pear.

Pare is a verb meaning to cut away at something, usually in small stages.  The gardener carefully pared dead branches from the pair of pear trees that flanked the end of the driveway.

Filed under common error homonym homophone

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