"English is a very funny language",a popular dialogue in a famous movie years ago. Today, if you see a native speaker converse, you may find the language easy, but if we go out and pronounce like they do, we will find most words as a tongue twister. There are times when you say a word to someone and the other person understands it in some other way. In English language, you will find words that sound same, but actually mean different. No, we are not talking about homophones. These words are called as homonyms.
A Homonym is a word that is pronounced in the same way as another word but has a different meaning. The homonyms will have the similarity among them in their spellings or in their pronunciation or in both.
The bear was unable to bear the pain.
Let’s have a look at the following homonyms.
1) Cue and Queue
Cue means a signal for action.
Queue means a line.
Her ‘no’ was a cue for him.
She was in the queue for half an hour.
2) Bear and Bare
Bear has many meanings. It means to tolerate, to carry and also a large mammal.
Bare means exposed or completely unclothed.
She couldn’t bear the pain.
The bare dogs were left stranded in the rain.
3) Heal and Heel
Heal means get healthy again or provide a cure.
Heel means the bottom of a shoe or boot; the back part of a shoe that touches the ground and provides elevation.
Give sometime and your wound will heal by itself.
She has bought a new pair of high heel shoes.
4) Mail and Male
Mail means sending a post.
Male signifies a man.
I sent a mail to Karthik.
Only the males are allowed to take the dip in the holy river.
5) Meet and Meat
Meet means to come across or encounter someone.
Meat means the inner flesh.
I will meet her tomorrow.
My mom prepared meat for lunch.
6) Plain and Plane
Plain means simple and not elaborated.
Plane means an aircraft.
He wore a plain blue shirt.
Last year Mary traveled in a plane for the first time.
7) Right and Write
Right means correct or a direction.
Write means to communicate or express by writing.
You need to turn right after the signal.
He is writing a letter.
There are many such words, which sound same but the spelling and meaning differ entirely. What matters is how clearly you say a word. Fluent pronunciation can help you with every aspect. Clear pronunciation will help you to improve your english speaking skills as well as communication skills.
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-By Shailja Varma
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