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English Pronunciation: Homophones  

2012-06-25 21:37:53|  分类: Pronunciation |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Homonyms are words which have the same spelling and pronunciation as each other but different meanings and origins. 

Homographs are words which are spelt the same as each other but which have a different pronunciation and meaning.


Homophones

Words that sound the same, but have different meanings and spellings. For example when you hear /pein/ you don't know if it's a flat piece of glass (a pane) or an unpleasant sensation (pain). You have to work it out from the context.


More about Homophones

1 : one of two or more words pronounced alike but different in meaning or derivation or spelling (as the words to, too, and two)
2 : a character or group of characters pronounced the same as another character or group (courtesy www.Webster.com)


Why do Homophones exist at all?
The English language is a "Melting Pot" of words derived from many other languages, businesses, trades, sciences, and industry jargon.

New technologies, social changes and regional dialects also contribute to new homophone sets.

The same words are often pronounced differently in various sections of the country. In all fairness, many words commonly used in day to day language have one or more homophones that may never be used.

Examples:
  • aloud/allowed = /..'laud/
    You're not allowed to talk during the test.
    Read this passage aloud.
  • faze/phase = /feiz/
    Mark was embarrassed, but it didn't faze Steve a bit.
    The project is only in the initial phase as yet, but it's looking quite promising.
  • flu/flew = /flu:/
    She couldn't go because she had flu.
    The window suddenly flew open.
  • knew/new = /nju:/
    No one knew where Jackie was.
    Have you seen their new baby?
  • meat/meet = /mi:t/
    I don't eat meat.
    Let's meet for dinner.
  • our/hour = /au../
    You can stay at our house.
    The exam lasted an hour and a half.
  • pane/pain = /pein/
    I watched the rain as it pounded against the window pane.
    He felt a sharp pain in his stomach.
  • sole/soul = /s..ul/
    There is a hole in the sole of my shoe.
    She knew in her soul that Jim was never going to change.
  • some/sum = /s^m/
    I've got to do some more work before I can go out.
    My aunt left me a small sum of money when she died.
  • weak/week = /wi:k/
    She felt weak with emotion at the sight of him.
    I go to the cinema about once a week.
  • weather/whether = /'weTH../
    What will the weather be like tomorrow?
    She asked me whether I was interested in working for her.


Activity 1

Choose the correct homophone to complete this sentence.

(a) The boy put shampoo on his (hare/hair).

(b) Mum put some (flower/flour) in the cake mix.

(c) James didn't have a very good (nights/knights) sleep.

(d) A rabbit is a bit like a (hare/hair).

(e) Tony got chased by a large (bare/bear).

 

Activity 2

The words below have homophones. Write down what they are, e.g. sun / son.

plane

right

see

there

which

where

be

for

here

knew

no

so

Activity 3

Choose the correct homophone to complete the sentences.

(a) Lucy couldn't wait to (meet/meat) her friend.

(b) Andrew (missed/mist) the bus.

(c) The mouse got his (tale/tail) caught.

(d) Glen has a long (wait/weight) for the bus.

(e) The cat hurt its (pour/poor/paw).

(f) The old man had no money, he was (pour/poor/paw).

(g) "Could you (pour/poor/paw) the orange juice, please?"

(h) Mark got a letter in the (mail/male).

 

Activity 4

Explain the differences between these words.

(a) or and oar

(b) sail and sale

(c) saw and sore

(d) maid and made

(e) main and mane



Challenge

Try and find homophones for some of these words.

allowed

ball

base

beach

boy

check

days

die

due

faint

fur

great

in

key

lane

leek

war

waste

might

week

packed

pale

place

rain

read

profit

seen

road

sight
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