In episode 235, we spoke about Homophones, words with the same pronunciation but different spelling and meanings. This week we’re speaking about homonyms. (homo = the same, nym = name)
Homonyms are spelled the same and sound the same but they have different meanings.
Right – correct – That’s the right answer.
Right – the opposite of left – Turn right at the traffic lights and the pub is on your right.
Right – something you’re entitled to – The accused’s right to defend herself in court
Some examples of homonyms
Address – to speak to / location
Arm – body part / division of a company
Band – a musical group / a ring / a grade
Bark – a tree’s out layer / the sound a dog makes
Bat – (an implement used) to hit a ball / a nocturnal flying mammal
Bright – very smart or intelligent / filled with light
Current – up to date / flow of water or electricity
Express – something done fast / to show your thoughts by using words
Kind – type / caring
Lie – to recline / to tell a falsehood / to be situated
Mean – average / not nice / stingy / signify / intend
Rock – a genre of music / a stone / to abruptly move from side to side
Spring – a season / coiled metal / to jump
Tender – gentle / offer of money
Well – in good health / a source for water/oil in the ground / OK
Bank – where money is kept / side of a river / deposit of data, fish, blood, sand, etc.
Fine – alright / financial punishment
Head – body part / to lead / person in charge/ to go in a specified direction
Sort – kind, type / to organise
Dog – animal / to persistently bother
Theatre – place for acting / place for surgery / place for war operations
Chair – furniture / to be the chairman or chairwoman
Spell – use individual letters / magic power / short period
Bear – animal / tolerate
Just – only / fair / recently
Examples of homonyms in the same sentence
I can’t bear to see that poor panda bear suffer.
Well, doctor, do you think I’ll be well soon?
The Municipal Band of Llíria are definitely in the top band of groups in Valencia province
When I had that spell of amnesia I couldn’t remember how to spell words I know well
A – I don’t understand what you’re saying.
B – What I mean is that we didn’t mean to be so mean to you – sorry!
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English.
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On next week’s episode: Body Language
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