¤ Some words in the English language seem designed to just
confuse us. Why is that?
• Two words that sound the same, but have different
spellings and/or meaning (homophone). Ex: flour/
flower, be/bee, ant/aunt
• Two words said or spelled the same as another word,
but have different meanings (homonym). Ex: write/right
• Two words that have the same spelling, but different
meanings & pronunciations (homograph).
Ex: I live close to my grandmother.
Please close your books.
Let's sort out all of this gibberish!
¤ Meet the three "H” words!
1) Homophones: sound alike (mail, male)/may have the same spelling but
2) Homonyms: sound alike and usually spelled alike (watch, watch)/have to see
how it is used in the context of a sentence to determine meaning
3) Homographs: have the same spelling but different pronunciation and different
I wind the toy. The wind is blowing hard.
One of two or more words,such as night and knight, that are
pronounced the same but differ in meaning, origin, and sometimes
¤ Example: the words "air" and "heir"
¤ The prince is the queen's heir.
¤ I love the fresh air.
¤ Example: the words "fire" and "fire"
¤ The flames of the fire glowed brightly.
¤ The boss will fire the bad employee.
¤ 1. After he was sick for several days, his face was ___________________(pail/pale).
¤ 2. She purchased a beautiful new gown _________________(for/four) the dance.
¤ 3. Walking down the _______________(I’ll/aisle/isle) to get married can be scary.
¤ 4. Glass containers have been ________________(band/banned) on the beach.
¤ 5. The baker systematically kneaded the _____________(doe/dough) for the bread.
¤ 6. I’d rather receive my _________________(male/mail) electronically than on paper.
¤ 7. He was considered __________________(bald/bawled) because he had no hair.
¤ 8. We searched everywhere trying to ________________(fined/find) our lost dog.
¤ 9. My favorite stringed instrument is the ___________(base/bass) because it is so big.
¤ 10. The fight __________________(scene/seen) in the movie was extremely exciting!
• Two words said or spelled the same as another word, but
have different meanings (homonym). Ex: write/right
Homonyms are words with the
same sound but different
spellings and different meanings.
Puns are homonyms and
homophones that are a play on
Read the comic and determine
the pun. Comic strips are often
filled with puns!
Last but not least……
¤ Homographs are words which have one spelling, but two
pronunciations and two distinct meanings or usages. It’s all in the
¤ Function of Homographs
Homographs are used as a word play to create humorous and comic
effects in literary writings, in theaters and limerick forms of poetry.
Frequently in literary works, these make the readers think, laugh and
increase the clarity of text by playing with specific words.
Let’s practice homographs in
1. Joshua says that he can go on the field trip next week.
a. To have permission b. To preserve in a sealed container
2. We had to back the car into the driveway so we could unload the trunk.
a. The rear part of the human body b. To cause to move backwards
3. My mother allowed me to keep the change we got when we paid at the store.
a. To transform or convert something b. Money given back when paying for goods or services
4. The skies look blue and clear, so it probably is not going to rain.
a. Free from darkness or cloudiness b. Easily seen or understood
5. Grandpa Henderson lit a match to start the campfire.
a. A slender piece of wood tipped with b. To fit together, as two things
Application of Homographs
¤ Can you develop a sentence for this pair of homographs?