Hole vs. Whole (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between hole and whole with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.
Author:
Publish date:

Tackling homophones is nothing new for these Grammar Rules posts, but this one is a little different, because this week's homophones are almost antonyms. After all, one word means that something is complete, while the other word indicates an opening in something.

(How to Create the Mental Space to Write.)

So let's look at the differences between hole and whole and when to use each.

Hole vs. Whole (Grammar Rules)

Hole vs. Whole

Hole is a noun that refers to an opening in something. Like a hole in your pants or a hole in the road. Holes can also refer to weaknesses. In writing, it's not uncommon to hear someone refer to plot holes, which are unexplained openings or weaknesses in a story's plot. Hole can also be used as a verb to indicate the action of creating a hole.

(7 Great Ways to Add Subplots to Your Novel.)

Whole, on the other hand, is a noun, adjective, or adverb that refers to something being or becoming complete and/or restored. If you read the whole book, it means you read the entire book from beginning to end. 

Make sense?

Here are a few examples of hole and whole:

Correct: I need a new sock, because this one has a hole in it.
Incorrect: I need a new sock, because this one has a whole in it.

Correct: With all its pieces in place, this puzzle is now whole.
Incorrect: With all its pieces in place, this puzzle is now hole.

Correct: The whole point of miniature golf is to hit the ball in the hole.

For me, keeping these two homophones straight is as simple as how they're spelled. The four-letter hole is missing a "w," so it has a hole in it. Meanwhile, the "w" completes the five-letter whole.

*****

Grammar and Mechanics

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

Click to continue.

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

It's a common question asked by writers looking to get their first book published: Do you find an editor or agent first? The answer depends on each writer's situation.

writer's digest wd presents

WDU Presents: 7 New WDU Courses, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new WDU courses, a chance at publication, and more!

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

From Script

How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Author Dawn Secord shares her journey toward self-publishing a picture book featuring her Irish Setter named Bling.

Poetic Forms

Crown of Sonnets: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the crown of sonnets, a form that brings together seven sonnets in a special way.

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (and as a Person)

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (And as a Person)

Reflective writing—or journaling—is a helpful practice in helping understand ourselves, and by extensions, the stories we intend to write. Author Jeanne Baker Guy offers 25 ways reflective writing can help you grow as a writer (and as a person).

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your character know they're being followed.