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Basis vs bases

  • Basis and bases are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones are a group of words with different spellings, the same pronunciations, and different meanings. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that sound the same, and homophones are commonly misused words. Said aloud, the difference is less important, because the words are pronounced the same. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones and understand the correct spelling; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the word pairs to, too and two, bridle and bridal, creek and creak, hoard and horde, toed and towed, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other and are easily confused and are commonly misused. Pronunciation is usually more ambiguous, as English pronunciation may vary according to dialect, and English spelling is constantly evolving. Pronunciation may change even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling 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 threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. Homophones are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced alike but have very different usage and etymology. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a homophone in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Homophones are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words basis and bases, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

     

    A basis is a foundation of an argument or procedure, an elemental principal, a system upon which something is founded, or the logic or justification for an idea. The word basis is derived from the Greek word, basis, which means a base to stand on.

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    Bases may mean: 1.) the plural of the noun basis; 2.) the plural of the noun base; or 3.) the third-person singular tense of the verb base. Related words are based and basing. The verb base is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object; it means to have a foundation for something physical or for an idea or a process.

    Examples

    “The defence submission is desperate and one that has no legal basis.” (Malay Mail)

    During the last three years in the federal Higher Education Commission (HEC), where the most important post of executive director (ED) has not been permanently filled, the regional offices in the provinces have also been run on an ad hoc basis, it has been learnt. (News International)

    The data, as he said, “is all over the place,” including in a Cloud One program and at various data centers at bases. (Federal News Network)

    The Reserve Bank covered all the bases today with a Monetary Policy Review that acknowledged some positive signs of economic recovery while reminding that the risk of further shocks remains very real. (New Zealand Herald)


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