When kids are learning Spanish there are different things that could make them feel confused. It’s normal; they’re learning how to express themselves in a new language. With time, they’ll improve.

One of the things that kids tend to find confusing are the Spanish homophone words. Even when they’re more advanced into their language journey, they could get confused with these words. There’s no shame in that, sometimes even native speakers get lost in the homophone words.

The sooner your kids learn the differences in these words, the better. That way they won’t struggle very much with the context of a conversation where someone uses homophones.

Here we’ll teach you some basic Spanish homophones kids must know, because they’re very common.

What are Homophones?

To understand homophones, kids need to know about homonyms (in Spanish: palabras homónimas or homónimos). Homonyms are words that are written or sound the same, but have different meanings.

There are two types of homonyms: homophones (Spanish: palabras homófonas or homófonos) and homographs (Spanish: palabras homógrafas or homógrafos).

This blog is all about homophones, which are words who are pronounced the same way, but have different writing and meaning. For example: “fare” and “fair” or “red” and “read”. This phenomenon happens in English and so it does in Spanish.

Homophones in Spanish


1. Casa vs Caza

“Casa” means “house”. “Caza” means “hunting” or “hunt”.

For example:

  • Mi casa es muy grande. / My house is very big.
  • No me gusta la caza. / I don’t like hunting.
  • Mi tío caza animales. / My uncle hunts animals.

2. Hola vs Ola

“Hola” means “hello”. “Ola” means “wave”.

For example:

  • Hola, yo soy su nueva maestra. / Hello, I’m your new teacher.
  • Vamos a ver las olas del mar. / Let’s go see the waves of the sea.
  • Mi mamá me vacunó, porque hay una ola de gripe. / My mom got me vaccinated, because there’s a wave of flu.

2. Bota vs Vota

“Bota” means “boot”. “Vota” is the present tense of the verb “votar” (to vote) in third person singular.

For example:

  • Mi perro mordió mi bota. / My dog bit my boot.
  • Él siempre vota por quien mejor le caiga. / He always votes for who he like the best.

4. Tuvo vs Tubo

“Tuvo” is the past tense of the third person singular of the verb “tener” (to have). “Tubo” means “tube”.

For example:

  • Él tuvo la culpa. / He was to blame.
  • El tubo se rompió. / The tube broke.

5. Bello vs Vello

“Bello” means beautiful. “Vello” means “body hair”.

For example:

  • Mi perro es muy bello. / My dog is very beautiful.
  • Mi brazo está cubierto de vellos. / My arm is covered in hair.

6. Hierva vs Hierba

“Hierva” is the present tense of the first and third person singular its subjunctive form of the verb “hervir” (to boil). To make it easier for kids, you can explain it as when someone makes something boil. “Hierba” means “herb”.

For example:

  • Deja que hierva el agua. / Let the water boil.
  • ¡Ten cuidado! Esa hierba es venenosa. / Be careful! That herb is poisonous.

7. Cierra vs Sierra

“Cierra” is the present tense, third person singular of the verb “cerrar” (to close). It’s also used as imperative; that is as an order for someone to close something. “Sierra” means “mountain range/highland”. “Sierra” also has other meanings but that would be homographs.

For example:

  • Él siempre cierra de un golpe la puerta del coche. / He always closes the car door with a slam.
  • Cierra la puerta, por favor. / Close the door, please.
  • Vamos a la sierra. / Let’s go to the mountain range.

8. Echo vs Hecho

“Echo” is the present tense, first person singular of the verb “to throw” (echar). “Hecho” means “made/done”.

For example:

  • Ahorita nos vamos, solo deja echo esto a la basura. / We’ll leave in a second, just let me throw this in the trash can.
  • No he hecho mi tarea. / I haven’t done my homework.

9. Rallar vs Rayar

“Rallar” means “to grate”. “Rayar” means to scribble on something.

For example:

  • Hay que rallar queso sobre las enchiladas. / Let’s grate cheese over the enchiladas.
  • Deja de rayar tu cuaderno. / Stop scribble on your notebook.

2. Hola vs Ola

“Hola” means “hello”. “Ola” means “wave”.

For example:

  • Hola, yo soy su nueva maestra. / Hello, I’m your new teacher.
  • Vamos a ver las olas del mar. / Let’s go see the waves of the sea.
  • Mi mamá me vacunó, porque hay una ola de gripe. / My mom got me vaccinated, because there’s a wave of flu.

11. Sé vs Se

“Sé” means “I know”. “Se” is a third person singular and plural personal pronoun.

For example:

  • Yo sé todo lo que vendrá en el examen. / I know everything that will come in the exam.
  • Se sabe todo el abecedario. / (He-She) knows the whole alphabet.

12. Vaya vs Baya vs Valla

“Vaya” is the present tense of the verb “ir” (to go) in its subjunctive form. “Baya” means “berry”. “Valla” means “fence”.

For example:

  • Por favor, vaya a su salón. / Please, go to your classroom.
  • El pastel está adornado con una baya. / The cake is decorated with a berry.
  • La valla está rota. / The fence is broken.

13. Hora vs Ora

“Hora” means “hour”. “Ora” means “he/she prays”.

For example:

  • El recreo dura una hora. / Recess lasts one hour.
  • La monja ora tres veces al día. / The nun prays three times a day.

14. Calló vs Cayó

“Calló” is the third person singular of the verb “callar” (shut up); that is someone kept quiet. “Cayó” is the third person singular of the verb “caer” (to fall).

For example:

  • Regina no se calló en toda la clase. / Regina didn’t shut up the whole class.
  • Mi amigo se cayó jugando fútbol. / My friend fell playing soccer.

15. Zeta vs Seta

“Zeta” means “zeta”, is the last letter of the alphabet. “Seta” is a type of edible mushroom.

For example:

  • Es muy difícil pronunciar la zeta en inglés. / It’s very difficult to pronounce the zeta in English.
  • Mi mamá va a cocinar setas para el desayuno. / My mom is going to cook mushrooms for breakfast.

Watch Your Kids Master the Spanish Language with TruFluency Kids

If your kids need help to stop confusing Spanish words, they need to practice. Otherwise, they might end up learning just for the exam and then forgetting everything.

Or they might just learn the writing of the words, but not how to use them. So, practice is the best way for them to memorize and understand the meaning of a word. That’s what TruFluency Kids is here for!

Our native teachers prepare your kids to be fluent in Spanish through fun Spanish speaking practice. We encourage children to speak in every lesson. So they’ll learn how and when to use their new vocabulary.

Because we know how energetic kids can be, all our classes are full of fun Spanish activities. They’ll sing Spanish songs, dance, craft and even cook. Remember that the best way to learn is by creating a full Spanish environment.

Sign up for our next four-week session and watch your kids become bright bilingual children, or take two trial classes now to see for yourself how much fun we are!