Have you ever, even for a long time studying English, face the problem of the full or partial lack of understanding speech? Here you listen, listen, and not understand; what is in question. Or, for example, you are experiencing difficulty with writing dictation or any other work that requires a written speech playback heard? Have you wondered what’s the deal? And like a good vocabulary, grammar, you know, but something is not glued. I offer you one more thing, which may be the source of the problem. And the name for this phenomenon — homonyms in the English language (homonyms), namely homophones (homophones) and homographs (homographs). What it is and what it eats, we now face it.
What words are called homonyms in English?
The word «homonym» comes from the Greek words homos, meaning «same» and onyma — name. In other words, homonyms in the English language — words that are similar in spelling or sound but different in meaning (value). It turns out that sometimes we hear any word, and determine its value can not, because of the sound it may correspond to a few words. In addition, the homonymy is another difficulty — heard the word, you can not determine what is at stake and, therefore, you will be problematic search for a word in the dictionary.
Fight homonyms in the English language is possible and necessary. As the «methods of struggle» I would suggest an increase in vocabulary memorization in pairs or groups, the most common homonyms in English, practice writing with homonyms. The work on the system of homonyms in the English language, you can use an interesting book titled «How much can a bare bear bear?» By Brian P. CLeary, including funny poems and comic illustration, telling about homonyms and homophones. What are homophones?
Homophones and homographs in English
Homographs — words that are spelled the same, no matter how pronounced. Example: lead. Homophones same are words that are pronounced identically, irrespective of how the reproduced on the letter. Example: rose (flower) and rose (past tense of the verb to rise). If you are interested in the topic itself homophones or homographs in English, get acquainted with the same name from a series of handbooks Collins Cobuild English Guides.
To the theme of homonyms in the English language looked clearer, presenting a few examples to help you quickly master this phenomenon in the English language:
- can (tin) — can (modal verb)
- wreak (retribution) — reek (stench, bad smell)
- soul (soul) — sole (only)
- route (route) — root (root)
- cent (penny) — sent (the past tense of the verb to send) — scent (fragrance)
- cell (cell) — sell (sell)
- flat (apartment) — flat (planar)
- lie (lie) — lye (caustic)
- lead (lead) — lead (lead)
- pray (pray) — prey (victim)
- need (need) — knead (kneading the dough)
- isle (island) — aisle (aisle)
- foul (a dirty, disgusting) — fowl (poultry)
- die (die) — dye (paint, paint)
Examples could be many more, but I think the very meaning of homonyms in the English language you understand. That is why it is necessary to have such a large vocabulary to seamlessly identify hear the words, comparing it with the context. As you learn the language you will encounter homographs and homophones, pay special attention to them and try to remember, because in the future they will help to more accurately recognize the spoken and written language.