Easily Confused Words: Grown vs. Groan

Grown and Groan are homophones and easily confused words. Homophones mean words that sound alike, but are spelled differently and mean different things. They are also easily confused words. The spell-check application in word-processing software doesn’t catch words that are spelled correctly even if the other word should have been used in that context.

Grown is an adjective, it describes recognizing the subject has experienced growth, has been growing, for example children, plants, animals, and companies.

Groan is a verb. It means to make a noise, like a sigh or a moan, in an irritated, tired tone. When kids are reminded to do their least favorite chore, they might groan. When someone reminds you to do something that you don’t want to do, you might groan, too. Another time groaning takes place is when strangers say or ask the same person the same statements over an over. That person may not groan, but they probably feel like doing it.

The following is a sentence using both words correctly:

Gerald, a lanky teenager, would always groan when distant family and friends remarked how much he had grown since they last saw him. It was like they all had the same copy of a movie script.

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