One of the most confusing yet interesting topics in the English language is homonyms. Most students often get confused with homophones, homographs and homonyms. So, how would you explain to a student which pair of words are homonyms and which of them are homophones? Well, in this article, you will get to know all about homonyms. The following topics will be discussed in this article.
Table of Contents
- What Are Homonyms? – Meaning and Definition
- List of Homonyms with Their Functions, Meanings and Examples
- Check Your Understanding of Homonyms
- Frequently Asked Questions on Homonyms
What Are Homonyms? – Meaning and Definition
The word ‘homonym’ was derived from the Greek word “homonymos”, which means having the same name. In simple terms, homonyms are those words that have the same spelling or pronunciation but completely different meanings and functions. Homonyms, therefore, can be said to include both homophones and homographs.
According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, a homonym is defined as “a word that is spelt like another word (or pronounced like it), but that has a different meaning.” For example, “The children played with a bat.” Here, ‘bat’ refers to the sports equipment used to play cricket. Whereas “The bats feast on the nectar of flowers.” Here, ‘bats’ refers to a type of animal that generally comes out at night.
To help you understand better and to avoid any sort of confusion, you can go through the list of commonly used homonyms along with their meanings, the part of speech they belong to and sentence examples so that you can use them correctly in the right context. Take a look at them.
List of Homonyms with Their Functions, Meanings and Examples
Here is a list of homonyms for your reference.
|Homonym||Part of Speech||Meaning||Sentence Example|
|Bear||Noun||A large, wild animal||They saw a black bear.|
|Verb||Being able to accept and deal with something||You will have to bear the pain.|
|Right||Adjective||Correct or true||You are right.|
|Noun||The right side||Meena sat on the right.|
|Adverb||Correctly or exactly||Everything that you told us was right.|
|Tear||Noun||A drop that comes from your eye when you cry||She had tears in her eyes at the end of the movie.|
|Verb||To pull something apart in pieces and damage it||The little girl will tear up everything she gets.|
|Match||Noun||A game||Do you know which team won the match?|
|Noun||A small stick used to start a fire||I used a match to light up the stove.|
|Verb||To find something that is suitable||My mom was looking for a lining material that matches the pastel-coloured saree she bought recently.|
|Ring||Noun||A jewel that you wear on your finger||My father bought me a diamond ring|
|Noun||A round object||I used a ring to make a dreamcatcher.|
|Verb||To call someone||Manu will ring you in some time.|
|Verb||To cause something to sound like a bell||Did you hear the bell ring?|
|Kind||Noun||A group of people with similar characteristics||We are one of a kind.|
|Adjective||Being good, generous, helpful||Beena is very kind.|
|Lie||Noun||Something untrue||I think she is telling a lie.|
|Verb||To quote something untrue||My mom does not lie.|
|Verb||To rest||He is lying on the bed.|
|Bright||Adjective||Strong, full of light||The sun is very bright today.|
|Adjective||Intelligent, clever, learning quickly||Aarathi is a bright student.|
|Address||Noun||The name and number of a building, the location of a building||Sherly gave her address so that we would not lose our way.|
|Verb||To write or speak to someone||Today, Susan will be addressing the first-year students.|
|Watch||Noun||A device to check the time of the day||I bought a new watch.|
|Verb||To see or look at something||Can you please watch the baby for an hour?|
|Homonym||Part of Speech||Meaning||Sentence Example|
|Verb||To take something from someone without their permission||You have to be careful while travelling, otherwise, someone will steal your belongings.|
|Noun||A metal made from iron||We have a door made of steel.|
|I / Eye||Pronoun||A pronoun used to refer to the self||I am a content writer.|
|Noun||An organ that is used to see or look at what is around you||My eye is paining too badly.|
|Root / Route||Noun||A part of the plant that is normally underground||I think this tree’s roots have gone too deep into the ground.|
|Noun||A way through which one travels||I know this route really well.|
|Blue / Blew||Adjective||A colour||She has a pretty blue frock.|
|Verb||To produce an airflow||Santhosh blew air into the balloons.|
|Pair / Pear||Noun / Verb||Two similar things kept, taken or used together||I bought a new pair of shoes.
The teacher paired me with my best friend.
|Noun||An edible fruit||Do you like pears?|
|Threw / Through||Verb||To project an object to move rapidly through air||The little boy threw the ball over the wall.|
|Preposition||From one side of the opening to another||We will be going through the newly-built tunnel.|
|Weight / Wait||Noun||The quantity or mass of an object||What is the weight of that cupboard?|
|Verb||To delay an action until another occurrence||Can you please wait till we arrive?|
|Idol / Idle||Noun||An image or a representation of someone or something that is revered||My father is my idol.|
|Adjective||Not particularly occupied or engaged in anything||Danny has been sitting idle from the time he woke up.|
|Paws / Pause||Noun||The soft foot of an animal||My dog puts his paws on my lap every time I am sad as if to console me.|
|Verb||To stop for some time||We have been practising for so long. Can we pause for a while?|
|Choose / Chews||Verb||To make a choice or pick something||What would you choose?|
|Verb||To grind or crush food with your teeth||My sister chews her food well because she cannot simply swallow her food.|
Exercises on Homonyms
Fill in the blanks with the most appropriate homonym in the following sentences.
- The Queen honoured the brave ______. (knight/night)
- This dress ____ to be the perfect fit for Mary. (seems/seam)
- This _____ of the brave Queen goes back to a thousand ages. (tale/tail)
- There was a ____ in my shoe. (whole/hole)
- I can come to your house _____. (later/latter)
- This perfume has a strong _______ (cent/scent)
- Will she be able to _______ the pain? (bear)
- ___ your work, you should do it on your own. (its/it’s)
- Tina will ____ the prize tomorrow. (except/accept)
- The dog has been _____ (bark)
- The Queen honoured the brave knight. (knight/night)
- This dress seems to be the perfect fit for Mary. (seems/seam)
- This tale of the brave Queen goes back to a thousand ages. (tale/tail)
- There was a hole in my shoe. (whole/hole)
- I can come to your house later. (later/latter)
- This perfume has a strong scent. (cent/scent)
- Will she be able to bear the pain? (bear)
- It’s your work; you should do it on your own. (its/it’s)
- Tina will accept the prize tomorrow. (except/accept)
- The dog has been barking. (bark)
Frequently Asked Questions on Homonyms
What are homonyms?
The word homonym has derived from the Greek word “homonymos”, which means having the same name. Thus homonyms are those words that have the same spellings but completely different meanings.
What are homophones?
Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings. Here the word ‘phone’ means sound, and the word ‘homo’ means the same/similar sound.