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What Are Homonyms? (with Examples)
A homonym is a word that is pronounced the same as another word with a different meaning.
When the words have the same spelling, they are known as homographs
. When they have different spellings, they are called homophones
Examples of Homonyms
Here are some examples of homonyms:
- bear and bare
- site, sight, and cite
- pike and pike
(the fish and the weapon)
- This is a good place to catch plaice.
- Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. (Groucho Marx)
(flies = the verb to fly and the noun denoting small insects)
(like = conjunction meaning as though and the verb to like)
Types of Homonym: Homographs and Homophones
There are two types of homonyms:
These are words with the same spelling but different meanings:
- lead (the metal) and lead (which attaches to a dog's collar)
- pike (the fish) and pike (the weapon)
- "I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence? (George Carlin)
. These are words with the same sound but with different spellings and meanings:
- place (location) and plaice (the fish)
- bear (the animal) and bare (meaning naked)
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