Rain-Rein or Reign
Learn about rain, rein and reign – some of the most commonly confused homophones in the English language.
1. Watch the video
- Watch the video without captions to test your listening.
- Then watch it with captions to check your understanding.
You can switch on and off the captions in the video for this activity.
After watching the video, complete the following activity. Fill in the blanks with rain, rein or reign.
1. Have you looked at how you can _____________ in your spending?
2. It is expected to _____________ during the parade to celebrate the queen’s ____________.
3. I hope it’s not going to ____________ when I’m out later.
4. Has she taken over the ______________s of the company?
5. Australian TV might upend reality TV’s ________________ in the years to come.
In today’s English On The Go, we look at the difference between rain, rein and reign.
Rain is water that falls from the sky. It can be a noun and a verb.
The rain came down fast.
Rein refers to a long, thin strap used to control a horse.
“Hold on to the reins,” the instructor yelled out.
When rein is used in other situations, it’s usually used to talk about being in control in other ways.
For instance, if someone hands over the reins to you, it usually means they are handing over control.
It was time to hand over the reins to the next generation.
To rein something in can mean to control.
I decided to rein in my spending.
But free rein or full rein can mean to have full freedom to do what you want.
They had free rein over the budget for the project.
Reign is often used to talk about the rule of a royal king or queen.
It can be used as a verb or a noun.
He was a very popular king during his reign.
The queen reigned for many decades.
So how do you remember the difference?
For rain, remember the rhyme rain rain go away.
For rein, remember the word restrain which also means to control.
Rein and restrain have R-E in them.
And for reign, remember a great king or queen which will help you add the silent ‘g’ to reign.
Answers to activity:
1. Have you looked at how you can rein in your spending?
2. It is expected to rain during the parade to celebrate the queen’s reign.
3. I hope it’s not going to rain when I’m out later.
4. Has she taken over the reins of the company?
5. Australian TV might upend reality TV’s reign in the years to come.