Commonly Confused Words: pour / pore

Pour and pore can be confused when pore is used in its unusual sense as a verb. First, let us review the words’ common definitions.

Pour is a verb that means “to make (something) flow.”


Pore is usually a noun that means “a tiny opening in.” For example, human skin and plant leaves both have pores through which they release and absorb substances.


Sometimes, however, pore is a verb that means “to study carefully” or “to reflect on (something) carefully.”

Pore has this meaning in the expression “pore over,” as in study a book or notes.


Pore as a verb means to study carefully—to look at a thing so closely that its tiny pores are visible.
Also, none of the words pore, book, or notes contains a “u.”

Link to exercise on pore / pour.