Know About Homonyms: Homophones and Homographs
Homonyms are confusing words. No, I did not define homonyms. I said it because the definition of homonyms itself refers to two different yet same types of words - homophones and homographs.
Homographs have the same spelling but convey different meanings in different contexts. For example, ‘tie’ could mean a neck-tie and also mean to bind something with a string or rope.
Homophones refer to words that have the same pronunciation but have different meanings, as ‘no’ and ‘know.’
Both homographs and homophones are homonyms.
We can very easily get confused. For example, consider the words, chilly, chilli, and chili. All three sound and spell similar. If you know all their meanings, you are a genius. But if you do not know, then I suggest you to please read the article till the end.
We will explain ten words of each category with examples and sample tests to enhance your knowledge.
We do not eat meat.
We meet our colleagues daily.
She ate the biggest piece of the cake.
India is a peace-loving nation.
The whole world is badly affected.
There is a hole in my pocket.
I bought a new cell phone yesterday.
Both these boys sell ice-cream.
He is the sole breadwinner in his family.
A soul never dies as per holy books.
She has a very thin waist.
Do not waste time.
He gave me a small piece of chocolate.
She cut off the topmost part of the tomatoes.
One is the first number.
We won the match.
The weather is fine today.
Tell me whether you want coffee or not.
He said sorry to his father.
She kept two books in her bag.
This dress is too good.
The cell is the basic unit of all living things.
The prisoner fainted in his cell.
This torch has no cells inside.
Fill all the cells in the table.
Camel is the ship of the desert.
He can easily desert his old friends for new ones.
I strongly object to your suggestion.
The object of a sentence comes after the verb.
It is a very tiny object, as you can see.
My object is to help the poor.
Give me a minute to finish, please.
She chopped the ginger into minute pieces.
Do not lock the door.
A big lock was on the door.
The soldiers stood in a row.
How will you row the boat, without the oars?
I was not involved in the row you are talking about.
Have you observed the life of the people living in villages?
He gave away a major part of his earnings in charity.
The actor played the part of the old man very well.
Well, I am going to stay here for three years.
He is quite well-off.
This well is very deep.
I am not feeling well today.
Well-meaning and well-being
This my second visit to Melbourne.
A second is 1/60 of a minute.
I cannot bear to see a single tear in my child’s eye.
I gave the child a few sheets of paper to tear because he enjoyed the sound.
Test Your Knowledge
Now, before I proceed with some tests to challenge your wits, there are some more facts about homonyms that you should know.
- There a lot more homonyms than the ones listed above.
- Some of the homonyms are used as different parts of speech; for example, lock as a noun and as a verb.
- The pronunciation in some, not in all, homographs is different. For example, read and minute. Please do check this point.
This means every time you are in the slightest doubt, be sure to check the dictionary.
Honestly test your knowledge by filling in the blanks below. Score one point for every correct answer.
- First, I had coffee and ____ finished the sandwich.
- We work in the ______ office here; the head office is in Kolkata.
- She had prepared custard, my favorite _____.
- Sand-dunes are found in a ______.
- We must take a ____ opinion.
- Tell me everything about blood ____. How are they different from the other cells in our body?
- What is the ___ by your watch?
- Every ____ we meet you are in a hurry to leave.
- I like tea better _____ coffee.
10. She likes to make new friends; this earns her more ____ on her blog.
Answers: 1. then 2. branch 3. dessert 4. Desert 5. Second 6. Cells 7. time 8. time 9. than 10. likes
I hope you enjoyed doing the exercise above. Were you happy with your scores?
Now, as I promised above, here is the explanation of chili, chilli, chilly.
Chilly means cold like in chilly weather.
Chilli is the pepper usually red or green chillies.
Chili is the American spelling of chilli.
Another such homonym is check and I leave it to you to find out yourself.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.