When two words that sound alike mean different things, they are called homophones. English is full of homophones, and some of them can be quite confusing.
Brooch and broach sound the same, but they are completely different words. They are not even the same part of speech. Luckily, there is an easy way to tell them apart. Continue reading to find out how.
What is the Difference Between Broach and Brooch?
In this article, I will compare broach vs. brooch. I will use each in an example sentence to demonstrate its proper use and context.
Plus, I will give you a useful memory tool so you can be sure that you pick the correct word when choosing between broach or brooch in your own writing.
When to Use Broach
What does broach mean? Broach is a verb. It means to introduce or to engage.
- I will broach the subject with our interns during the next staff meeting.
- If you broach the subject of nonmonogamy with your spouse, be sure to remain open and affirming.
- “Jerry, the bow of the company gondola is not an appropriate setting to broach the subject of petty grievances with your coworkers,” said Beth.
- Son wasn’t planning to broach a future T-Mobile deal with Mr. Trump, Mr. Son’s advisers said. Details of what the two men ended up discussing at the meeting couldn’t be learned. –The Wall Street Journal
In everyday use, broach is usually paired with the object the subject.
- He didn’t want to broach the subject.
Uncommonly, broach may also refer to the act of piercing a casket or other container before drawing out the liquids inside, as in winemaking and distilling.
When to Use Brooch
What does brooch mean? A brooch is an ornamental jeweled pin worn as a fashion accessory. This word functions as a noun in sentences, such as the ones below:
- “Oh, Mathilda, I just love your brooch, and I simply must know where you got it,” said Miriam.
- Andy bought his wife an emerald brooch for her birthday, because emerald is her birthstone.
- The detective identified the suspect by her distinctive brooch, which featured a constellation of diamonds suggesting the outline of a dove in flight.
- The couturier seized upon a leaf brooch by Verdura at an auction preview, bypassing some of the more extravagant marvels on display for the graphic piece. –The New York Times
How to Pronounce Brooch
Brooch is pronounced the same as broach—rhyming with coach.
It is sometimes pronounced to rhyme with mooch, but this is increasingly uncommon.
Trick to Remember the Difference
Although brooch and broach are homophones, they are actually different parts of speech.
- You should choose brooch if you are using the word as a noun.
- Conversely, if the word in question is a verb, broach is the better choice.
If you examine the spelling of the word broach, you will find a helpful clue that you can use to remember that it is a verb. Broach is spelled with the letter A, like the word action. Since broach is a verb, and verbs are action words, the letter A serves as a helpful link between these concepts.
Is it broach or brooch? Broach and brooch are homophones.
- Brooch is a noun, and it refers to a decorative pin worn with fashionable clothing.
- Broach is a verb, and it means to introduce a topic into conversation.
Since the two words are different parts of speech, they do not share any usage cases. You can remember that broach is a verb since it is spelled with an A, like the word action.
If you require additional assistance, you can check this article for a quick refresher.