Word Relationships

DEFINITIONS OF:homograph

two words are homographs if they are spelled the same way but differ in meaning (e.g. fair)

DEFINITIONS OF:heteronym

two words are heteronyms if they are spelled the same way but differ in pronunciation

lead /lid/ (to go in front of) 

lead /led/ (a metal) 

wind /waɪnd/ (to follow a course that is not straight)

wind /wɪnd/ (a gust of air) 

bass /beɪs/ (low, deep sound) 

bass /bæs/ (a type of fish) 

DEFINITIONS OF:homophone

two words are homophones if they are pronounced the same way but differ in meaning or spelling or both (e.g. bare and bear)

to – two – too /tu/

there – their – they’re /ðeər/

eight – ate /eɪt/

ant – aunt /ænt/

prey – pray /preɪ

DEFINITIONS OF:homonym

two words are homonyms if they are pronounced or spelled the same way but have different meanings

tire (fatigue) – tire (wheel) /tɑɪər/

well (good health) – well (water reservoir) /wel/

suit (clothes) – suit (fit) /sut/

So, how do we differentiate between two words in a sentence? Which word is being said? — Easy! Just pay attention to their context in a sentence. For example, when I say /ˈaɪ nu ɪts ɪz nu kɑr/  The first /nu/ in /ˈaɪ nu/ is knew (verb), and the second  /nu/ in /ɪz nu/ is new (adjective). 

“I knew it’s his new car.” /ˈaɪ nu ɪts ɪz nu kɑr/ 

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