Homonyms – how to understand them

free pages from our English Language software program

Homonyms – definition

homonyms Homonyms are words which are spelled the same, but which have different meanings.


Examples

bear – an animal
bear – to carry

bore – to drill a hole
bore – a tedious person

down – at a lower part
down – bird’s feathers

draft – preliminary sketch
draft – a money order


Use

redbtn The apparent similarities in these words sometimes causes confusion — particularly to non-native speakers.

redbtn Such words may or may not have the same etymological origins.

redbtn NB! Homonyms are a rich source of puns in English.

redbtn Strictly speaking, homonyms may be broken down into two different categories – homophones and homographs.

redbtn Homophones are words which are pronounced in the same way, but which have different spellings:

threw flung
through from end to end
bow incline from the waist
bough large tree-branch

redbtn Homographs are words which have the same spelling, but which are pronounced differently:

lead a heavy metal
lead to walk in front
wind air movement
wind to coil

redbtn One reason for these similarities is that spelling is only a rough approximation to pronunciation.

Self-assessment quiz follows …

© Roy Johnson 2003


English language links

Red button English Language – free guidance notes

Red button English Language 3.0

Red button Improve your Writing Skills


  • English Language 3.0 (.html)English Language 3.0

    English Language 3.0 tells you everything you need to know about English — language rules, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Improve your written style. Get rid of mistakes. Quiz questions and exercises help you to check your understanding. Learn how language works. Suitable for all levels – from beginners to advanced. Latest version allows you to […]

    Order English Language 3.0 English Language 3.0 @ £4.95

Buy from Amazon US     Buy from Amazon UK

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

If you found this article interesting you might want to Tell-A-Friend.

Tell A Friend
  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)
  4. (valid email required)
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Leave a Reply

 
 
 
 
 
 
css.php

Powered by eShop v.6