Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs
Homonym comes from the Greek homo which means “same” and onym which means “name.” When we talk about words, however, what should we use to define their names? The spelling or the pronunciation? Probably both. Homonyms, therefore, can be defined as two or more words that share the same spelling, or the same pronunciation, or both, but have different meanings.
Since there are several “types” of homonyms (e.g., same spelling but different pronunciation, same pronunciation but different spelling, same spelling and same pronunciation), further categorization is needed. We can say that homonyms represent the big category, from which you get Homophones and Homographs.
Homophones: two or more words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings. They may or may not be spelled on the same way.
Examples: write and right, desert (to abandon) and desert (a thing deserved)
Homographs: homonyms that share the same spelling. They may or may not have the same pronunciation.
Examples: present (a gift) and present (to introduce), row (argument) and row (propel with oars).
Click on the link below and watch a couple videos that give you examples of these concepts.
If you prefer to read, please, follow this link to a written list of these words:
Here’s how you can be funny with these words:
Here’s a funny look at different meanings of a couple of common words in English. Let’s go with Ismo who was once voted the funniest man in the world:
Read some more plays on words:
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