22 Confusing English Words | HOMONYMS | Fix Common Vocabulary Mistakes & Errors

Homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings. They can be quite confusing if you are beginner in English. In this English lesson with Michelle learn 20 commonly confused homonyms and avoid some common errors made in English writing. Improve your English writing skills with the practice of these homonyms in English.

Complete Lesson Transcript : –

These are glasses and these are also glasses. Someone told me that these are also called glasses and these are also called glasses. You know there are more words like that in English? Which have same pronunciation sometimes but they always have the same spelling and different meanings, how will you know which word means what? Don’t worry I’m here, my name is Michelle and I’m going to help you learn homonyms in English, so stay tune with me for new homonyms that you’re learning today. So we have some sentences here on the board and you have a task today in this lesson, you’ll have to find out which words have the same spelling, it’s not a very difficult task, isn’t it? So all let’s look at the first sentence so which two words have the same spelling in this sentence? Of course these two words, right? But they have different meanings and also different pronunciations. Let me speak out the sentence for you, “the bandage was wound around the wound” I pronounce this word as it is written wound, but this one is pronounced as wound. So what do we mean by the word, ‘wound’? Have you heard of the word ‘wind’, which is a verb, wind means to tie something around something, to wind something… this is simply a past tense or a past participle for the verb ‘wind’, for the verb wind. And a wound as you would know or if you don’t know then a wound is an injury or maybe a cut that you have somewhere on your body whenever you get hurt. So ‘wound’ is an injury, right, and wound is also a noun. So as you can see that, this one here is a verb and this one is a noun but they have same spelling but different meanings and also different pronunciations, so be careful with their use, do not mix them up. Let’s read the next sentence, first find out the words that have the same spelling, you may have already done that, these two words so, “he could lead, if he would get the lead out”, what does that mean? So you might have heard of the word ‘lead’, this is a verb again. So lead means to show someone the way or to guide someone. So my friend Marc, he could lead but only if he would get the lead out… but what is lead? So a lead is a heavy metal, it’s actually the heaviest metal and it is a noun and we pronounce this word as /l-e-d/ and this one as, /l-e-e-d/ so this is pronounced as lead, he could lead if he would get the lead out, this means that he could lead us if he could be a bit more faster, if he could get the metal out of his body and get faster he could lead all of us, so “to get the lead out” is a phrasal verb. Right, so let’s look at the next sentence that we have, “the soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert” or that’s almost like a tongue twister, isn’t it? Let’s look at these two words, so in this sentence the homonyms are these two and not this one because it has a different spelling, so let’s not get into this one right now but otherwise dessert is basically a sweet dish or you know sweet item that you eat. So let’s look at the first one, “the soldier decided to desert…” we are stressing this word on the second syllable we’re pronouncing it as /di-zert/ ‘desert’ means to leave something so when you have a duty to fulfill and you do not fulfill it, that’s when you desert it. So if a husband leaves his wife, he’s deserting her or abandoning her, it means same as abandoning. ‘The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert’. So this one is pronounced differently, here the stress is on the first syllable we do not call it /di-zert/ we call it /de-zert/ and desert is a noun. Desert is a very common word an arid area where there is no water and there’s a lot of sand, I didn’t need to explain that though. So we have a verb here and a noun there. Same spelling but different meaning and different pronunciation because we are stressing at different syllables. Let’s look at the fourth sentence, “since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present”. So ‘no time like the present’ with the stress on the first syllable, present means the time that is going on right now and it’s a noun, time that is going on, and he thought it was time to present the present, so present, what do we mean by present? Present means to offer something to somebody. But here the stress is on the second syllable, ‘he thought it was time to present the present’ and this present actually means a gift, a wrapped gift that you would like to offer to someone. A gift and this is also a noun. But to present something which means to offer something is actually a verb. Right. Now we move on to the next sentence that we have, “I did not object to the object” as you can hear I pronounced them differently because of the word stress, I repeat myself, “I did not object to the object”. So the stress here is on the second syllable ‘I did not object…’ Object means to disagree with something. Let’s find out what I did not disagree with, I did not disagree or ‘I did not object to the object’, so object could be anything that you can see or touch, like a marker or a chair if you do not object to an object this means you are agreeing with it or you like it, to the object, this is a noun. So to disagree with something is obviously a verb but to… but an object that you can see or touch is a noun and it stressed on the first syllable. The next sentence that we have, “the insurance was invalid for the invalid.” I’ll repeat, ‘the insurance was invalid for the invalid’, so here I stress on the syllable in the middle invalid. So invalid is something which is not applicable anymore, not applicable. Who do you think insurance will not apply to? I believe to a person who is very, very sick, so a person who is sick is called an ‘invalid’ with the stress on the first syllable, ‘a sick person’ and this is a noun and this is an adjective. So /in-VA-lid/ and /IN-v-lid/. The next sentence that we have is, “there was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.” So there was a ‘row’, this word is a noun but what does it mean to have a row? ‘To have a row’ means ‘to have a quarrel’ or a disagreement with someone. So if you have a verbal disagreement or an argument with someone that is, ‘having a row’. To have a quarrel. So there was a quarrel among the oarsmen…, oarsmen are people who row the boat, okay? And they were having a disagreement about how to row, this is also same as this row, but it does not mean the same thing. To row means to propel the boat or to move the boat. To move the boat in the water using propellers. And to move the boat is of course a verb and this one is a noun which means to have a quarrel. But be careful this one has the same pronunciation, both of them. So you need to be utterly careful because their same pronunciation, same spelling, but different meanings. Now we look at the next sentence that we have, “they were too close to close the door.” So the first one ‘too close’, when someone is too close to you it means they’re very near to you, in space, someone is standing next to you means they’re very close to you, very near. So this marker is too close to me, it’s very near to me, this is an adjective. Something which is close to you it’s an adjective. But ‘they were too close to close the door’ so if someone is just standing next to the door, maybe they are not able to close the door. So this close means to shut the door which is now a verb. So again it’s time to be very careful because ‘close’, ‘close’ have same pronunciation, same spelling but entirely different meanings. Right, so the next sentence that we have is, “the buck does funny things when the does are present.” You must have guessed which words are we talking about ‘does’ and ‘does’. You might be thinking what are ‘does’, but to tell you that I’ll first tell you what a ‘buck’ is, so a buck is a ‘male deer’ or an antelope and ‘does’ is a female deer but in plural they are called ‘does’. Female deer and of course deer is a noun. And this one here the ‘buck does…’ does is the second person for ‘do’ as you would know, for the verb ‘do’. So you know when you read the sentence you might be really confused, but you can obviously understand when I pronounce it, that this is /du-z/ and this is /do-s/. Let’s look at the last sentence that we have, “upon seeing, the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.” So I’m pronouncing these two words very differently. This is a very common mistake we end up pronouncing both of these words in the same manner, but they’re pronounced differently. ‘Upon seeing the tear, /t-a-i-r/ is how I would pronounce it, but I’d write it of course like that. So ‘upon seeing the tear in the painting…’ tear is when something is cut into parts or something is you know there’s a cut in the painting that’s when I say ‘tear’ and it is a verb. So ‘upon seeing a tear in the painting’ I was so sad that ‘I shed a tear’, ‘tear’ is like obviously you know what it tears and you’re crying, or when you’re sad, there’s water floating out of your eyes. So I would pronounce this as /t-e-e-r/, so /t-a-i-r/ and /t-e-e-r/, this one being a noun and this one being a verb, yeah, already written that for you. So you’ve seen all these sentences and you’ve learned a lot of homonyms, these are the words you need to be very careful about when you’re speaking, reading or writing or maybe even listening… some areas of frequent errors by native speakers, non-native speakers almost everyone. So I hope this is really helpful for you, come back for more lessons with me, bye-bye

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