ai, aye, eye, I

The words ai, aye, eye, I sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do ai, aye, eye, I sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: ai, aye, eye, I are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    See sloth.

  2. :: abbreviation

    airborne intercept

  1. :: noun

    An affirmative vote or voter: The ayes outnumber the nays on this issue.

  2. :: adverb

    Yes; yea: voted aye on the appropriations bill.

  3. :: adverb

    Always; ever: pledged their love for aye.

  1. :: noun

    The faculty of seeing; vision.

  2. :: noun

    An organ of vision or of light sensitivity.

  3. :: noun

    Either of a pair of hollow structures located in bony sockets of the skull, functioning together or independently, each having a lens capable of focusing incident light on an internal photosensitive retina from which nerve impulses are sent to the brain; the vertebrate organ of vision.

  4. :: noun

    The external, visible portion of this organ together with its associated structures, especially the eyelids, eyelashes, and eyebrows.

  1. :: pronoun

    Used to refer to oneself as speaker or writer.

  2. :: noun

    The self; the ego.

  3. ::

    The symbol for the element iodine.

  4. ::

    Electricity The symbol for current.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").