Most of English words have homonyms, homophones, homographs, synonyms and antonyms. You can use your favorite meanwhile speaking and writing. In this article we are going to introduce: homonyms, homophones, homographs, synonyms and antonyms.
Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms And Antonyms
Homonyms are words that have the same pronunciation and spelling, but have different meanings.
- Bat (animal)
Bat (baseball object)
- Can (be able)
Can (put something in container)
- Ball (object)
2. Homographs/ Heteronyms
Homographs are words that have the same spelling, but different pronunciation and meaning, also called heteronyms.
- Live (living)
Live (of a broadcast)
- Desert (land)
Desert (to leave)
- Close (to shut)
Common English Homographs/ Heteronyms
Below you can see a list of homographs/ heteronyms which are confusing for ESL learners. Learn about them to avoid common errors in spoken and written form.
• Close => close: Adj (near) cloze: verb (shut)
• Live => live: verb (living) lie-ve: Adj (live broadcast)
• Alternate => al-ter-net: Noun (different option) al-ter-nate: verb (interchange, substitute)
• Content => con-tent: Noun (information) con-tent: Adj (satisfied)
• Desert => de-zert: Noun (dry land) de-zert: Verb (to leave)
• Dove => duv: Noun (bird) dove: Verb (past form of dive)
• Lead => leed: Verb (to direct) led: Noun (kind of iron)
• Minute => min-it: Noun (a period of time) my-nute: Adj (very small)
• Polish => pah-lish: N,V (brush) poh-lish: Adj (from Poland)
• Tear => teer: Noun (liquid from eye) tare: Verb (rip)
• Separate => sep-ret: Adj (different) Sep-a-rate: Verb (To divide)
The words above are the most common homographs that have the same spelling, but different pronunciation and different meaning. The words which are colored in blue show the pronunciation, we recommend you to check the pronunciation of those words once at dictionary.
Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation, but have different spelling and meaning.
- Meet (to see)
Meat (the flesh of an animal)
- Weak (not strong)
Week (a period of seven days)
- See (to watch)
Commonly Confused Homophones
- Affect vs. Effect => Affect (verb) Effect (noun)
- There vs. Their vs. they’re => There (location) Their (possessive) They’re (they are)
- You’re vs. Your => You’re (you are) Your (possessive)
Other Commonly Confused Homophones
- Accept/ except
- Allowed/ aloud
Each pairs of words above have same pronunciation, but different meaning and different spelling.
Synonyms are words that are spelt and pronounced different but have the same or nearly the same meaning as another word.
An antonym is a word that has opposite meaning of another word.