What are Homophones?
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and different spellings.
The term homo has been derived from a Greek word which means same and phone which means voice.
There are seven days in a week. The man is very weak.
In the above mentioned examples both week/weak are pronounced the same, but week in the first sentence means a period of seven days whereas weak in the second sentence means not strong.
Uses of Homophones
Homophones are often used to create paronomasia in word plays and games. In order to deceive the players, paronomasias are created. Paronomasia is also very commonly used in poetries. Better known as puns, it is used to create humor in jokes and comedy shows. In a word play, puns are used to suggest multiple meanings of words that sound the same. When word pairs that sound alike (but not identical) are used, it becomes a homophonic pun.
The phrase used by George Carlin can be cited as an example.
Atheism is a non prophet institution. Here prophet has been used instead of its homophone profit.
Examples of Homophones
Some examples of commonly used homophones are as follows:
The sea is blue in colour. We see with our eyes.
Please wait for me! What is your weight?
They are singing aloud. Dogs are not allowed in children’s play area.
What is the price of 1kg of flour? The flower is red in colour.
Karan likes to eat meat. Nice to meet you!
Homophones and Contractions
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. Shortened versions of words or groups of words are known as contractions. The missing letter in a contracted word is usually marked by a apostrophe. Some common contractions and homophones are mentioned below:
Difference Between Homophones and Homonyms
Homophones are words that are pronounced similarly but they differ in spelling and meaning. Homonyms are words that sound and spelt the same but differ in meaning. Homonyms can again be divided into three categories. They are homophone (same pronunciation but different spelling/meaning), homograph (same pronunciation and same spelling), Heteronym (same spelling but different pronunciation)
Homophone: Steel (various forms of metals), steal (to take someone’s property without permission)
Homonym: rock (a large mass of stone), rock (a kind of music)
Difference between Homophones and Homograph
Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meaning and spelling whereas words that are spelt/pronounced the same but have different meaning are called homographs.
Homophone: pear (a kind of fruit), pair (two identical things)
Homograph: fair (reasonable), fair (complexion)
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