Sheet vs Sh*t, Beach vs Bitch, Sheep vs Ship



Can you tell a difference between the following words Ship and Sheep, Sheet and Sh*t, Live and Leave? These are called Homophones or same-sounding words. In this episode I try to explain how to pronounce these correctly. Lots of new vocabulary here for you amigos. Enjoy! :)


Hola amigos, you are listening to the English Made Simple show this is episode number 94, numero noventa y cuatro.

Hello there amigos y amigas, welcome to the English Made Simple show my name is Milena from What’s shaking amigos? How’s it? How the bloody hell are ya?
Sorry that was my bad attempt at Australian accent.

How the bloody hell are ya? – It was a slogan displayed on the advertising boards everywhere in New Zealand when I was living there in the early 2000’s, advertising Australian tourism as part of their Visit Australia campaign.

I remember, it brought up a bit of controversy at the time, but you know what, we are not 100% proper on this show anyway so we can start using it whenever we want, we can start using this greeting any time we want, so How the bloody hell are ya?

Hope you guys are doing well. Hope you survived the last episode when we learnt about the tongue twisters or trabalenguas in Spanish.

In fact, I was practising a Spanish one, a Spanish tongue twister to test my pronunciation of Spanish. It’s easier when I read it haha. So here it goes.

Pablito clavó un clavito que clavito clavó Pablito?

Well done to all of you who attempted to practise the tongue twisters that I shared with you in the last episode, I hope it helped you become more aware of your pronunciation. That was the point of that exercise anyway.

Cool bananas. Alrighty.

And now we will continue with the show.

But firstly, let’s send a couple of greetings to some special listeners out there, who took their time to email me and message me and share their stories with me.

Hola to Thassio Alvao from Brazil who currently lives in London, who started listening to the show recently, he is enjoying it so far. Thank you so much Thassio – I am glad to hear this! So from sunny Brazil to gloomy London. It’s a big change for Thassio, I can imagine! Thanks for your nice comments and also keep listening to the English Made Simple show.

And one more raving fan from Mexico called Saul, who also stumbled upon the English Made Simple show and who now can’t get enough of it. Welcome Saul, nice to have you on board and thanks again for your nice comments.

And hello to all of you guys who took their time to write in the Facebook group, I really appreciate your comments, I am super excited to have you join the group!

So let’s rock n roll amigos.

Today, we are going to demystify this English language, once and for all. I still want to talk about the English pronunciation, because it’s just, really fun. I love it. Love it.

No I don’t! But anyway here we go.

Can you tell a difference between the following words Ship and Sheep, Sheet and Shit, live and leave?

What’s another combination of words that sound very similar but are spelt differently – ah yeah Beach and Bitch.

These are same sounding words and are called homophones.

So we have, Ship and Sheep – Ship in Spanish is embarcación o un barco, o incluso una nave, (a spaceship is nave espacial in Spanish).

So we don’t say – spacesheep – there are no sheep in the space.

Sheep with a long Iiii sound means oveja in Spanish. This is a domesticated animal that lives on the farm and eats grass and has a thick woolly coat. You can make sweaters, scarfs o bufandas, blankets o frasadas from its wool. The word wool is lana in Spanish. That’s like a fabric which you can use to make sweaters from.

Hey guys, what’s plural for sheep, do you know? It’s not sheeps, it’s sheep. The same word.

There are many sheep in the field.

There are no sheep in the space. Sheep don’t travel. No hay ovejas en el espacio.

Let me use another example: The Death Star from Star Wars is a name given to the spaceship that belongs to Darth Vader.

It’s an example for you Star Wars fanaticos, enthusiasts.

Remember, there are no sheep in Star Wars, ooookey.

But the plural for ship, is ships. Ship spelt as SH I P. You can say Ships in plural.

Example: There are many ships out at the sea.

Another example: The Romans built a fleet of three hundred ships.

A Ha! New word for you amigos: fleet. According to weon inteligente or the Online dictionary – fleet means a group of vessels or a group of ships. In Spanish this is flota – flota de naves, this is a naval fleet.

Okey dokey? Cool bananas.

You are following me so far? Awesome! Let’s continue.

The next word that I would like to bring to your attention, the next word that has different spelling but when pronounced it kind of sounds the same…is:

Sheet and Shit – you have to be careful with this one.
If you say it with a short “I” sound that would just mean mierda. Shit.

Oh shit, I left my keys at home.

I use this word every day…

It’s not too bad when you say it in English, it’s not a bad swear word, but still you have to be careful of the way you pronounce these 2 words, (sheet and shit)

In fact, I hear the word ‘shit’ being used in the workplaces, my manager used to say it when he was angry about something, he would say – Oh this project is shit, we will never be able to complete it on time.

And the other word I mentioned that sounded similar was: Sheet. Longer Iiiii sound. Sheet. Spelt as S H E E T.

A sheet of paper – oja de papel in Spanish. Synonyms for sheet of paper are piece of paper or a page.

Another example I can give you: Bedsheets – sábanas – we sleep on the bedsheets.

I’ve recently started to use Google Docs, and inside Google Docs is something called Google Sheets which is similar to Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Excel calls it spreadsheets.

Yup, I hope I am making sense. And enough about this shit, let’s move onto the next.

Beach and bitch – the two words that easily get mispronounced by English learners but have completely different meanings.

So what does beach mean? To go to the beach – ir a la playa.

Beach in this case is pronounced with a long ‘I’ – beach – For example, in Sydney Australia, Bondi beach is quite famous among tourists. You can go swimming or surfing on Bondi beach, and it’s not too far away from the city.

Right that’s the word BEACH.

Right, the other word that sounds similar is bitch. Pronounced with a short sounding ‘I’ – bitch and it means – a female dog in Spanish perra. That’s a formal meaning.

However, this word is quite often used informally. And it’s also used as a verb informally, as slang.

It can be used as a noun to offend someone, you can call someone a bitch, but you can also use it to describe a difficult or an unpleasant experience as well, for example – working long hours is a real bitch.

Ok so in most cases you would use this word in an informal way.

When used as a verb it means to make critical comments, to complain or to whine about something.

To bitch about something or someone is to complain about something or someone.

And here we go, just now I mentioned the word WHINE. New word amigos. To whine. Spelt as W H I N E. It sounds the same as WINE. Wine is my favourite drink of choice next to water. Wine or Vino in Spanish is an alcoholic beverage made of grapes or uvas in Spanish. I call it grape juice.

To Whine means to complain, quejarse.

Ok cool.

Do you know the difference between To Live and To Leave?

To Live – vivir in Spanish – where do you live? I live in Melbourne. It’s a short sounding ‘I’
And the other word.

To leave – means dejar, irse. It has a longer sound ‘I’.
For example, Leave me alone! Dejáme sola. Ándate.

Example: Every day, I leave work at 5pm. I finish work at 5.

And now the grand finale, this is going to be fun, listen to this, three words that sound very similar to one another.

Piece and Peace and Piss.

A piece of paper means a sheet of paper or a page, in Spanish ojas de papel.
This word piece is spelt as P I E C E. In Spanish pedazo o trozo.

A piece of cake – un pedazo de queque.

This morning I broke my favourite coffee cup into many pieces. What can I say, I am very clumsy (torpe)

Peace spelt as P E A C E – means tranquillity, no war, no fighting. A peaceful place for example.

Both of these words are pronounced the same with a long ‘I’ sound. Piece and peace.

So what about the third word, piss? Can be a noun and a verb as well.

Piss – to take a piss, go to the loo and take a piss. To pee or to urinate.

In Australian slang this means, the word PISS means alcoholic beverage. In Australia, when someone is pissed, means they are drunk, they had too much to drink.

Wow, you are pissed man!

So here we are amigos.
There are more words in English that sound the same but are spelt differently, that’s what makes English so much fun…yeah right. Yeah, fun!

My advice to you is to keep practising, take things slowly, step by step, poco a poco and slowly but surely you will start pronouncing words correctly. Be persistent.

And then one day soon people will stop and ask you, wow that’s an interesting accent you have, where are you from?

Thanks for joining me today amigos, it’s been a pleasure. If you have enjoyed today’s show, please share it with your friends.

You’ve been jamming with Milena from English Made Simple, I’ll catch ya next time. Peace out.
Peace out is slang for Goodbye.
Hasta la proxima.

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