Difference between Homophones and Homonyms

It is critical to know the right spelling of a term before using it in written English. Even though they sound the same, you don’t want to write “two” when you mean “to.” Spelling is less essential in spoken English than pronunciation. Consider the word “read,” which has two pronunciations: “red” and “reed.” Because these words produce so much misunderstanding, it’s worth taking a few moments to learn the distinction between homophones and homonyms.

So what do these words mean?

What are Homophones?

Homophones are probably the most common causes when it comes to confusions between words. Actually, they are pairs of words that are pronounced the same and have very similar spellings, usually varying through only one letter. Even so, their meanings are completely different and should be used in different contexts, without the possibility to replace one another as this would totally change the message.

Here are a few examples 👇🏾

auralrelated to the ear or sense of hearingoralspoken rather than written
banda thin strip used as a fastener or decorationbannedto officially or legally prohibit something
censorto suppress unacceptable parts of something (eg. movie)sensora device which detects a physical property
dieto stop livingdyea natural or synthetic substance used to add colour
gaita person’s manner of walkinggatea barrier used to close an opening in a wall, or hedge
holysacredwhollyentirely, fully
idleavoiding work, lazyidolan image or representation of a god used as an object of worship
prayto address a prayer to God or another deitypreyan animal that is hunted and killed by another for food
scenta distinctive smell, especially one that is pleasantcenta monetary unit in various countries
writemark (letters, words, or other symbols) on a surface with a pen, or pencilrightmorally good, justified, or acceptable

What are Homonyms?

Homonyms are words that are spelled the same but have completely different meanings (two or more). More precisely, a homonym is a word that can mean several things in different contexts, even though it is spelled the same.

Here are a few examples 👇🏾

addressthe particulars of the place where someone lives or an organization is situateda formal speech delivered to an audience
bearcarry the weight of, supporta large, heavy mammal, having thick fur and a very short tail
fairtreating people equally without discrimination(of hair or complexion) light
kinda group of people or things having similar characteristicshaving or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature
matcha contest in which people or teams compete against each other in a particular sportbe equal to someone or something in quality or strength
parka large public garden or area of land used for recreationbring (a vehicle that one is driving) to a halt and leave it temporarily
rosea prickly shrub that typically bears red, pink, yellow, or white fragrant flowersmove from a lower position to a higher one
springthe season after winter and before summermove or jump suddenly or rapidly upwards or forwards
trainteach (a person or animal) a particular skill or type of behaviour through practice and instructiona series of connected railway carriages or wagons moved by a locomotive or by motors
wellin a good or satisfactory waya shaft sunk into the ground to obtain water, oil, or gas

There are many other examples of both Homophones and Homonyms in the English language. Let us know in the comments below 👇🏾

One response to “Difference between Homophones and Homonyms”

  1. It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people for this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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