Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs

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Basic Rules of Grammar

Homonyms are two words that are spelled the same and sound the same but have different meanings.

Examples:

Express / express
One’s opinion
Something done quickly

Address / address
To speak to
Location

Kind / kind
Type
Caring

Homophones

Homophones are pairs of words that sound the same, but have distinctly different meanings and different spellings.

Example:

Brake/ break
Sell/cell
Hear/here
There, their, they’re
Where, were, wear

Homographs

Homographs are words which are spelled the same, but have different meanings and are not necessarily pronounced the same.

Example:

Advocate
To advocate for intersex rights
She’s an advocate for Human rights

Bat
The bat he used for baseball.
bats are nocturnal animals.

Bow

The little girl has such a pretty bow on her dress.
She bow before the king.

Another example of a homograph, is the word appropriate. Appropriate can mean suitable or proper in one context, but can also be pronounced appropriate, which changes the meaning and or definition of the word. When pronounced appropriate, the definition means to devote money or assets.

When words have multiple meanings, how do you know which definition applys?

Answer: Rely on context clues and parts of speech.

Context clues: the words and sentences that surround a word and help explain the word’s meaning. There are different types of context clues, i.e. – definition, contrast antonym, inference and punctuation. DFOWW will do a presentation in detail on each of these context clues sometime next month.

Context clues, can come before the word (you’re trying to identify) in a sentence, after the word (you’re trying to identify) in a sentence, or in the following sentence. 

If you ever noticed DFOWW always list the part of speech, i.e. – noun, verb, adjective etc., of a word, before sharing sentence examples, in our “Word of the day”, presentations. The reason for this is because, understanding the different parts of speech is important in understanding how words can and should be joined together to make sentences grammatically correct. An understanding of the parts of speech is also important for knowing how to correctly punctuate sentences.

Now it’s your turn, on a sheet of paper or in the comment section below, write a few sentences using the following words:

Mine/mine
Peace/piece
Bark/bark
Jam/jam

Remember the word mine, can be a possessive adjective or a noun.

The green dress is mine. (Possessive adjective)

The miners went to the mine and began mining. (Noun)

If you have additional questions about today’s presentation, please dont hesitate to ask your questions, in the comment section below. DFOWW staff writers and editors are here to help.

Remember, writing should be fun!
We hope you enjoyed this presentation.

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