Homonyms

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Homophones, Homonyms, Homographs – Differences and Examples

The English language is full of words that either sound the same, are spelled the same, or both – but mean different things. These are called homophones, homonyms, and homographs, and their prefix, homo-, means same in Latin. And it’s no wonder they often confuse native speakers and English learners. Learning to discern these words from one another is important for written communication, and we offer definitions and examples of their differences below. What is the Difference Between Homophones, Homonyms, …

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Raise vs rays

Raise and rays are two words that are pronounced in the same manner, but are spelled differently and have different mrniangs. They are homophones. We will examine the definitions of raise and rays, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Raise, when used as a verb, means 1.) to lift to a higher point 2.) to set in a vertical position 3.) to build a structure 4.) to increase 5.) to promote 6.)to bring …

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Weather vs. Whether vs. Wether – What’s the Difference?

Is it weather or whether or not? And what is a whether? If you struggle with the spelling and use of these homonyms, you aren’t alone. All three, despite having the same pronunciation, mean very different things. Let’s look at their definitions and meanings so you better understand how to use them correctly in speech and writing.  What’s the Difference Between Weather, Whether, and Wether? Weather and whether are homophones that can be easy to confuse, but they mean two …

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Road vs rode

A road is a wide street or lane, usually with an asphalt or concrete surface. A road provides a clear pathway of travel from place to place. A road may also be a figurative path of travel on a life journey, a series of events leading to a particular ending or goal. In mining, a road is an underground passageway into a mine. Road comes from the Old English rad, meaning riding expedition, journey, hostile incursion. Road as meaning an …

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Peer vs pier

Peer means 1.) to look searchingly or with difficulty, to attempt to obtain a clearer view of something 2.) a person or thing  that is equal with another specified person or thing in status, ability, rank or age. 3.) a member of British or Irish nobility, including the ranks of duke or duchess, marqus or marchioness, earl or countess, viscount or viscountess and baron or baroness. This system is referred to as peerage. The word peer comes the Anglo-French peir, meaning …

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Rain, reign and rein

Rain is a condensation of moisture that drops to earth. Rain may be used as a noun or a verb, the verb forms are rain, rains, rained, raining. The adjective forms are rainy, rainier and rainiest. A derivitive is raininess. Rain may also be used to describe something that pours down in a fashion akin to rain. Rain comes from the Old English regn. Rein refers to the part of a horse bridle that is a long strip of leather …

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Faint vs feint

Feint is a pretended attack used to distract an enemy. In boxing, a feint may be a blow that provokes a defensive action to one part of the opponent’s body while the boxer delivers a more destructive punch to another part of the opponent’s body. A feint may be a fencing thrust that draws an opponent to protect one part of his body while the fencer delivers a fatal stroke to another part of the opponent’s body. In war, a …

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