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Lessons for topic Vocabolario

Homonyms in English - Part II

In English, there are many words that sound and are spelled the same but have different meanings. These are called homonyms. It may sound confusing, but in this second lesson in the series (the first lesson was back in October), we'll look at some examples to help clarify the differences so that mixing them up can be avoided!

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A good example of a homonym is the different meanings of the noun "bat":

 

And they'd go in. Skill Cole had a baseball bat. You know they don't play baseball.

And they'd go in. Skill Cole had a baseball bat. You know they don't play baseball.

Caption 28, The Wailers - Talk About the Early Days with Bob Marley

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Well, he'd tell you it was because of that time a bat flew through his window.

Well, he'd tell you it was because of that time a bat flew through his window.

Caption 37, Pop Psych - Batman Goes To Therapy

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Thus "bat" can mean the large wooden stick used in the game of baseball, as well as the flying mammalian species for whom the superhero Batman is named.

 

I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree.

I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree.

Caption 3, A Charlie Brown Christmas - True Meaning

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Turn left and carry on going until you reach Brushfield Street

Turn left and carry on going until you reach Brushfield Street

and turn right down it.

and turn right down it.

Captions 26-27, Giving Directions - with Lauren and Matt

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In the above, you can see that "right" can mean either "correct" or the direction that is the opposite of "left."

 

We're putting out special little clips that aren't in the film.

We're putting out special little clips that aren't in the film.

Caption 28, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World - Electric Playground Interview

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Fill a glass with water and challenge your friends to float a paper clip

Fill a glass with water and challenge your friends to float a paper clip

on top of the liquid. Every time they place something into the glass.

on top of the liquid. Every time they place something into the glass.

Captions 9-10, Richard Wiseman - 10 Bets You Will Always Win

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A "clip" can be a segment of film or video footage, or the small metal object used to hold papers together.

 

Let's start with the letter "r".

Let's start with the letter "r".

Caption 18, British vs American - English Pronunciation Lesson

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We're going to explore how to write a successful cover letter.

We're going to explore how to write a successful cover letter.

Caption 2, Business English - Cover Letter

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The noun "letter" can thus be referring either to the alphabet or to the piece of paper you write upon to send in the mail.

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Further Learning
To find more instances of homonyms like these, have a look at Yabla English and see if you can find more examples in a real-world context.

Continuer la lecture

Homonyms in English - Part I

In English, there are many words that sound and are spelled the same, but they have different meanings. These are called homonyms. It may sound confusing, but in this first lesson in the series, we'll look at some examples to help clarify the differences so that mixing them up can be avoided!

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

A good example of a homonym is the noun "rose" (the flower) and the verb "rose" (the past tense of "to rise"). Take a look at the two examples of "rose" and their different meanings:

 

A sprinkling of rose petals.

Caption 32, English Afternoon Tea - Victoria Sponge - The Royal Connection

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The verb "to rise" has many meanings, such as "to get out of bed," or to assume a standing position" after lying or sitting down. It can even mean "to return from the dead" as shown in this example:

 

He was crucified on Good Friday, and on Sunday, after that, he rose again.

Captions 20-21, Holidays and Seasons with Sigrid - Easter

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The noun "bank" can mean either a financial institution or "a raised portion of seabed or sloping ground along the edge of a stream, river, or lake." 

 

Two people have a bank account together: a joint account.

Caption 25, The Alphabet - the Letter J

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My favorite place, uh, is probably the, uh, BFI on the south bank of the Thames [river] here in London.

Caption 19, Chris - I.T. Professional - Learn About His Work in Information Technology

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The word "bow" has a multitude of very different meanings, both as a noun and a verb:

 

Tie a ribbon in a bow

When you meet the queen, you bow

Captions 48-49, English with Annette O'Neil - Words

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The noun "bow," in this case the bow on a wrapped birthday gift for example and the verb "bow," as in bending from the waist in honor of somebody, are pronounced differently. Watch the video above to hear the pronunciations.

 

Yeah, I got two orcas off my port bow. [Port bow equals left front side]

Caption 38, National Geographic WILD - Killer Whale vs. Great White Shark

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In this case, "bow" is a nautical term meaning the front of a boat or ship.

 

Bow hairs are being shredded like crazy!

Caption 45, Sting - Symphonicity EPK

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Here the noun "bow" referred to is the bow of a violin.

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Further Learning
To find more instances of homonyms like these, have a look at Yabla English and see if you can find more examples. Perhaps you know some already that confuse you again and again — the Yabla videos can help you put these words in an everyday context! 

Continuer la lecture