Homonyms: Homophones and homographs

Homonyms are words which are pronounced alike but have different meanings.


From Composition for Elementary Schools, by James Hosic

1. There are two types of homonyms.

a. Homophones

In Greek, homo means “same” and phone means “sound.”  Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings.
 1. All shoemakers use an awl.
 2. One day I ate eight apples.
 3. The maid made corn bread for breakfast.
 4. Lucia read that red book all afternoon.
 5. We see a ship tossing on the sea.
 6. The capitol is in the capital.
 7. It is a great feat to jump ten feet.
 8. I hear the voices of children here.
 9. We heard a herd of cattle coming.
 10. We know no way of learning but by studying.

b. Homographs

In Greek, homo means “same” and graph means “to write.” Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, and are sometimes pronounced differently.
 1. Do not bow when shooting the bow.
 2. The painter lost his brush in the brush by the side of the road.
 3. You can pour the left over paint into the tin can.
 4. The bear could not bear to leave the berries uneaten.
 5. Joshua loafed on the sofa with a loaf of bread in his hand.
 6. The knight asked his page to bring him a page from the imperial document.
 7. The Yankees pitcher was doused with a pitcher of water after the game.
 8. The swallow swooped and swallowed a mosquito in mid-flight.
 9. The cat watched the fly fly across the room.
 10. The old lady socked the intruder with a sock full of coins.

2. “To,” “Too,” and Two

Two goats met on a narrow path.
They began to butt each other.
They were too wise to continue the quarrel.
a. “Two” refers to the number indicated by the figure 2.
b. “Too” denotes degree or means “also”. 
c. “To” is used in all other cases.

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