Homonyms and homophones

Homonyms are all words that are spelled or pronounced the same, although their meanings are different from each other.

Homophones are a type of homonym, since they are words that are pronounced the same although their writing and meanings differ.

SpellingPronunciationMeaning
HomonymsThey are written the same (homograph homonyms).Same.Different.
HomophonesThey are written differently.Same.Different.

Index

What are homonyms?

The homonymous words are those that, although they have similar form (writing) or pronunciation, do not mean the same thing.

Homonym comes from the Greek and is a word composed of the terms ὁμós (homos), which means equal, similar or similar and ὂνομα (onoma), which means name. Therefore, homonym refers to the same names or words.

In this sense, homonymous words are classified into two types:

  • Homograph homonyms : they are written the same, but have different meaning.
  • Homophone homonyms : they are pronounced the same, but have different meaning.

Examples of homonyms

HomonymsMeanings
Bank
  • Furniture to sit on
  • Public or private institution for the administration of monetary resources.
Sail
  • Object of a combustible nature used to generate artificial light.
  • Part of a boat.
Capital
  • Main city of a country or province.
  • Tangible assets of a person or company.
Lima
  • Proper name of the capital of Peru.
  • Citrus type.
  • Object to reduce or wear out surfaces.

What are homophones?

Homophone words are those that are pronounced the same, although their writing and their meanings are different.

Homophone is a word of Greek origin that is made up of two terms: ὁμós (homos), which means common or equal, and φωνή (phōnḗ), sound. So its meaning would be “equal sounds”.

Examples of homophones

HomophonesMeanings
  • tip
  • Council
  • Suggestion or warning.
  • Institution of local power.
  • Toward
  • Asia
  • Preposition.
  • Proper name of a continent.
  • Barón
  • Male
  • Noble title.
  • Person of male sex and gender.
  • Bello
  • Old
  • Person or thing with beauty.
  • Fur.

See also Difference between hiatus and diphthong .

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