Represent vs represent

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

Represent (reh preh ZENT) means to serve as a symbol of something, to stand in for someone else or to be appointed to speak for someone else, to be a typical example of something, or to function as a substitute for something or someone else. The word represent is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are represents, represented, representing, representative, representation. The word represent is derived from the Latin word, repraesentare, which means to express or depict.

Represent (REE pree ZENT) means to show, introduce, announce, or award something again. Represent means to present something again. Represent is a transitive verb; related words are represents, represented, representing. The word is derived from the Latin word, praesentare, meaning to show or exhibit, and the prefix, re-, meaning to do again. Often, the word represent is rendered with a hyphen, as in re-present, to avoid confusion.


Rep. Cynthia Lee Almond, R-Tuscaloosa, was sworn in to represent the Alabama House District 63 on Wednesday. (Tuscaloosa News)

Arundhathi Subramaniam seeks out women who represent the minority in India’s spiritual lineage in her latest book Women Who Wear Only Themselves (Indian Express)

In a release, Island Innovation said the UN High Level Climate Champions had appointed a small group of global leaders, including Moses, who is a Trinidadian, to represent the region. (Trinidad and Tobago Today)

A merchant or collection agency must provide notice to the consumer that they are going to represent the check before the check is received. (ACA International)

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