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Commonly Confused Words: Son vs. Sun


Now that springtime is finally here, we thought we would look at a weather-appropriate word!

Scroll down to read about the differences between sun and son and for tricks to help you tell them apart.

What does each word mean?

The word son is used to describe male offspring.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is son used in some example sentences:

  • They had two sons and one daughter.
  • The son and daughter each inherited an equal share in the family business.

Click here to create a Spellzone vocabulary list including the word son.

The sun is the star at the centre of our solar system. It is the source of light and heat for the planets. The word sun is also used as a verb to describe the act of exposing yourself to the sun (i.e. sunbathing).

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is sun used in an example sentence:

  • Now that the sun is out, it’s finally starting to feel like spring.
  • She went to the beach and spent the morning sunning herself.

Click here to find the Spellzone vocabulary lists related to the word sun.

Where does each word come from?

Both son and sun have Old English Proto Germanic roots. Son comes from the Old English ‘sunu’ which comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘sunuz’. Sun comes from the Old English ‘sunne’ which comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘sunnon’.

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between these words?

  • Think of the u in sun as a smile – after all most of us are happy when the sun comes out!
  • Imagine someone talking to their son on the phone to help you remember the word is spelt with an o.

Where can I find other posts about easy-to-confuse words?

Sources: The Online Etymology Dictionary.


04 Apr 2017
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One of the students has put in a huge amount of effort in completing Spellzone at least 3 times a week since his arrival with us in January. Looking at his scores after the latest GL testing, his standardised score has risen from 99 to 131. This is a truly phenomenal result. I just wanted to share the best result I have ever seen.

Terrie Penrose-Toms, Casterton College

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