yew, you, ewe

The words yew, you, ewe sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do yew, you, ewe sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: yew, you, ewe are homophones of the English language.

ewe
  1. :: noun

    A female sheep, especially when full grown.

yew
  1. :: noun

    Any of several poisonous evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Taxus, having scarlet cup-shaped arils and flat needles that are dark green above and yellowish below.

  2. :: noun

    The wood of any of these trees, especially the durable, fine-grained wood of the Old World species Taxus baccata, used in cabinetmaking and for archery bows.

you
  1. :: pronoun

    Used to refer to the one or ones being addressed: I'll lend you the book. You shouldn't work so hard. See Regional Notes at you-all, you-uns.

  2. :: pronoun

    Used to refer to an indefinitely specified person; one: You can't win them all.

  3. :: pronoun

    Nonstandard Used reflexively as the indirect object of a verb: You might want to get you another pair of shoes. See Note at me.

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").