Fun Easy English Classroom March 20


Learn about
English homonyms

Today in the Fun Easy English classroom you will learn about homonyms.
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Video: Homonyms
Video Script: Homonyms

Hi. In the classroom today you will learn about homonyms.

Homonyms are two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning.

For example the word BANK can be an embankment or a BANK, a place where money is kept.

Another example would be FLOWER and FLOUR.

Other examples would be RED and READ, or LED and LEAD.

Still another example would be REED and READ.

Knowing the differences between these words is extremely important and will be good for your English pronunciation and writing.

Until next time.
Note: A homonym is actually one of a group of words with the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. The term "homonym" is often used to refer to words that are either homographs or homophones which is the case in this lesson.
  • Homographs (literally "same writing") are usually defined as words with the same spelling, regardless of how they are pronounced.
  • Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words with the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.
From YOUR Teacher: Homonyms

Studying homonyms, homographs, and homophones is actually really good pronunciation practice. Very often English language students pronounce words incorrectly because the spelling of a particular word is the same as another. For example in the following sentences the word read is pronounced differently.

She is planning to read the entire book today. (read is pronounced as reed)
She read the entire book yesterday. (read is pronounced as red)

In this example read is a homograph. You can see why studying homonyms, homographs, and homophones is very important.
Test: Homonyms

This is a test of your understanding of homonyms. For each question decide which is the correct word to fill in the blank. There are 50 questions. Good luck.
1.  A ________ is a type of tall, slender grass.

     a.  read
     b.  reed
2.  After lunch, she noticed the ________ in her pants.

     a.  hole
     b.  whole
3.  I think you ________ to get a new pair of shoes.

     a.  need
     b.  knead
4.  He was much ________ after taking first place in the competition.

     a.  bolder
     b.  boulder
5.  A computer usually has a model number and a ________ number.

     a.  cereal
     b.  serial
6.  I ate a ________ for lunch.

     a.  pair
     b.  pear
7.  It is common to ________ when meeting for the first time in Japan.

     a.  bough
     b.  bow
8.  The king talked to his favorite ________ almost every day.

     a.  knight
     b.  night
9.  A ________ is the basic unit of storage capacity in a computer system.

     a.  bite
     b.  byte
10.  It is ________ hot today.

     a.  sew
     b.  so
11.  I had to ________ 16 potatoes for the party.

     a.  peal
     b.  peel
12.  The ________ is located on the belly.

     a.  naval
     b.  navel
13.  Many people go to the ________ during the summer.

     a.  sea
     b.  see
14.  I often call my friend my ________.

     a.  pal
     b.  pail
15.  Maybe you ________ too much food last night.

     a.  ate
     b.  eight
16.  The ________ trees are really beautiful during the summer.

     a.  beach
     b.  beech
17.  I usually eat ________ with butter for breakfast.

     a.  bread
     b.  bred
18.  Please read the story ________ to the class.

     a.  aloud
     b.  allowed
19.  Recently, a ________ ring has become very fashionable.

     a.  toe
     b.  tow
20.  She ________ the group through the mountains.

     a.  lead
     b.  led
21.  The mountain ________ is about an hour away.

     a.  peak
     b.  peek
22.  I think you need to ________ your plans since it is raining today.

     a.  altar
     b.  alter
23.  You can ________ many birds in the park this time of year.

     a.  here
     b.  hear
24.  The high ________ was earlier today.

     a.  tide
     b.  tied
25.  The mountains are my favorite ________ to go hiking.

     a.  place
     b.  plaice
26.  The room was ________ except for a table and four chairs.

     a.  bare
     b.  bear
27.  She decided to eat ________ pieces of bread.

     a.  to
     b.  two
28.  There has to be an easier ________ to get there.

     a.  whey
     b.  way
29.  She has a ________ on her foot.

     a.  sore
     b.  soar
30.  She ________ the bus and had to wait 30 minutes for the next one.

     a.  missed
     b.  mist
31.  The clothing store has a big ________ today.

     a.  sail
     b.  sale
32.  Many people ________ when they go to a religious service.

     a.  pray
     b.  prey
33.  That restaurant is famous for serving a bigger than average ________.

     a.  stake
     b.  steak
34.  You have to ________ that garbage away with a truck.

     a.  hall
     b.  haul
35.  There was a loud ________ from the class when they saw their exam scores.

     a.  groan
     b.  grown
36.  The class ________ a mess.

     a.  made
     b.  maid
37.  The sunset was an incredible ________.

     a.  sight
     b.  site
38.  She liked ________ from the beginning.

     a.  him
     b.  hymn
39.  Usually the ________ students complain about getting too much homework.

     a.  mail
     b.  male
40.  That was a ________ movie.

     a.  grate
     b.  great
41.  She felt ________ when she closed the door on her finger.

     a.  pane
     b.  pain
42.  They ________ about the sale and decided to go shopping instead.

     a.  heard
     b.  herd
43.  The ________ is actually a star.

     a.  son
     b.  sun
44.  I think that was a ________ trade.

     a.  fair
     b.  fare
45.  The supermarket is located on the opposite ________ of the street.

     a.  sighed
     b.  side
46.  There is only one ________ answer to the question.

     a.  right
     b.  write
47.  Some people like an ________ seat when they go to the movies.

     a.  isle
     b.  aisle
48.  The ________ spent all afternoon sleeping in the barn.

     a.  hoarse
     b.  horse
49.  They had an interesting ________ to tell after returning from their vacation.

     a.  tail
     b.  tale
50.  The couple reserved the honeymoon ________ at the hotel.

     a.  suite
     b.  sweet
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