Putting vs putting

Putting and putting 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 putting and putting, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Putting (puhtting) is the act of hitting a golf ball into the hole from a short distance. Putting is a gerund, which is a verb acting as a noun. Putting is also the present participle of the verb putt, meaning to hit a golf ball into the hole from a short distance. The verb putt is derived from the Scottish verb putt, meaning to shove, which dates from the 1500s.

Putting (puuting) is the act of placing something, of moving something to a different position. Putting is a gerund of the verb put or the present participle of the verb put. The verb put is derived from the Old English word, putian.


His putting, always a strong suit, slipped last season, but he inserted a mallet putter in the bag last fall in Las Vegas and noticed an improvement in starting his putts on line. (Golf Week)

The club has evolved from its humble beginnings as a 9-gole golf course with putting greens made from a mixture of cotton seed hulls and oil flattened with a heavy roller. (Golf Course Industry Magazine)

Rain will come to an end late Monday night into very early Tuesday morning, putting down at least a half inch of rainfall in Southern Indiana, with some seeing far more than that. (Evening News and Tribune)

Younger savers still not putting away enough for retirement (Irish News)

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