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Homonyms and homophones: comparative table, what they are, examples,

the homonymous words are those that are written or pronounced the same, even if their meanings are different.

For example: stock market, it can refer to a type of bag or the economic institution.

the homophone words they are a type of homonymous words, since they are pronounced the same, even if their spelling and meanings differ.

For example: leafing means turning the pages of a book and leafing means looking.

the homograph words are those that are written the same way, but the meaning is different.

An example would be: salsa as a musical style or salsa as a gastronomic accompaniment.

What are homonymous words?

Homonymous words are those which, even if they have a similar form (writing) or pronunciation, do not mean the same thing.

Homonym comes from the Greek and is a word composed of terms ὁμος (men), meaning equal, similar, or similar, i ὂνομα (onoma), which means name. Therefore, homonym refers to names or words that are the same.

In this sense, homonymous words are classified into two types:

Homographous homonyms: they are written the same, but have different meanings.

Homophone homonyms: they are pronounced the same, but have different meanings.

What are homograph words?

Homographs are words that, written the same way, have a different meaning.

Homograph is a word of Greek origin that is made up of two terms: ὁμος (homs), meaning common or equal, and γραφή (graphḗ), writing. That’s why its meaning would be “same writing”.

Examples of homograph words

  • bank: furniture for sitting
  • bank: public or private institution for the administration of monetary resources.
  • candle: combustible object used to generate artificial light.
  • candle: part of a boat
  • Capital: main city of a country or province.
  • Capital: tangible assets of a person or a company.
  • Lima: proper name of the capital of Peru.
  • Lima: type of citrus fruit.
  • Lima: object to reduce or wear surfaces.

What are homophone words?

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same, although their spelling and meanings are different.

Homophone is a word of Greek origin that is made up of two terms: ὁμος (men), meaning common or equal, i voice (phōnḗ), sound. That’s why its meaning would be “equal sounds”.

Examples of homophone words

  • advice: suggestion or warning.
  • advice: institution of local power.
  • none: preposition
  • asia: proper name of a continent.
  • baron: noble title.
  • man: person of male sex and gender.
  • beautiful: person or thing with beauty.
  • hair: hair

See also Difference between hiatus and diphthong.

Eva Andres Vicente

Reviewed by Eva Andrés Vicente

Degree in Classical Philology from the Complutense University of Madrid (2007).

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