Dove vs dove

Dove and dove are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. These word pairs are often misused words. Heteronyms exist because of our ever-changing English language, and these words with the same spelling and different pronunciation and meaning are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that look the same but are not pronounced the same, and how to use them in sentences, because they are easily confused. The way the pronunciations and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling and misuse by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word tear meaning a liquid drop that falls from an eye is derived from the Old English word tear, meaning a drop or nectar; tear meaning to pull apart comes from the Old English word tearan, which means to lacerate. Heteronyms are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced differently but are spelled the same and come from a different etymology. They are often used in puns and riddles. When reading, it is sometimes difficult to know which word is being used in a sentence and how to pronounce the word phonetically. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check for these commonly confused words but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a heteronym in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Do not confuse heteronyms with homophones, which are two or more words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings like sow and sew; do not confuse them with homonyms, which are words that have the same spelling and pronunciation but different meanings like spring as in spring forth and spring as in the season of the year. Heteronyms are a type of homograph, which is a word that is spelled the same as another word but has a different meaning. We will examine the definitions of the words dove and dove, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Dove (duv) is a small bird with short legs that belongs to the Columbidae family. Generally, small Columbidae are called doves and large Columbidae are called pigeons. There are many species of doves, including the rock dove, the mourning dove, the Eurasian collared dove, the European turtle dove, the spotted dove, the white-winged dove, the whistling dove, and hundreds of others. The dove has been a symbol of peace, innocence and purity for thousands of years. The word dove is derived from the Middle English word, douve.

Dove (dohv) is the past tense and past participle of the verb dive, most probably styled after the words drove and wove. Dove has been in the language approximately two centuries and is now standard in American and Canadian English. Outside North America the word dived is still more commonly used; some might consider the use of the word dove to be incorrect.


“It’s hard to say exactly how regional dove populations are affected by hurricanes and other extreme weather events,” said Owen Fitzsimmons, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department dove program leader. (The Valley Morning Star)

The “Giving Wings to the Dream” mural of multi-coloured arms and hands releasing a dove of peace into a bright blue Alberta sky is so popular it is highlighted online by international travellers as a “destination” to see and photograph in Calgary. (The Calgary Herald)

A fire captain said the man dove into a too-shallow pool, which led to the injury. (Metro West Daily News)

A friend suggested creating a blog as a way to find a community, and Clarke dove right in. (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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