English Grammar: HOMONYMS, HETERONYMS, HOMOPHONES & HOMOGRAPHS

Updated: Sep 1

Learning English is difficult enough with its many grammar rules, especially because each rule has an exception, or three.

Then the English language also confuses us with words that look the same but sound different, sound the same but look different, or look or sound the same but have different meanings, or all. In this lesson there are sentences that show some examples of these words.

You do not have to know the exact definitions, but you do need to be aware that they exist.


Homonyms are words with the same spelling or pronunciation but have different meanings.

Homophones are words with the same pronunciation but different meanings or spelling.

Homographs are words with the same spelling but possibly different meanings and pronunciation.

Heteronyms are words with the same spelling but have different pronunciation and meaning.


Here are some sentences that include examples.

Read them out loud with your tutor and see if you can identify them, understand the meaning, and get the pronunciation right.


1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

2. The farm was cultivated to produce produce

3. The dump was so full that the workers had to refuse more refuse.

4. We must polish the Polish furniture with polish.

5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7. Since there is no time like the present, he decided to present the present to his girlfriend.

8. A bass was painted on the base of the bass guitar.

9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10. I did not object to the object which he showed me.

11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid in his hospital bed.

12. There was a row among the oarsmen about who would row.

13. They were too close to the door to close it.

14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into the sewer line.

16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail around the mast.

18. Upon seeing the tear in her painting she shed a tear.

19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

21. There is a whole cow in the hole.

22. We will have our meeting in an hour.

23. I can close my left eye.

24. You need to knead the dough to make it rise.

25. I knew I would get a new costume for summer.

26. The knight only comes out at night.

27. I will not tie the knot.

28. I know that she will say no.

29. We will lessen the lesson time today.

30. The maid made a sandwich for lunch.

31. The male received mail in the post.

32. Let’s put some meat on the fire when we meet.

33. I tore a muscle while removing the mussel from the rock.

34. Two pears make a pair of pears.

35. To keep the peace, give them each an equal piece of the pie.

36. She read the story about Little Red Riding Hood.

37. I’m sure that this is the right way to write this sentence.

38. I have never seen such a beautiful scene.

39. I see the sea from where I live.

40. When I fly I soar, but when I fall I am sore.

41. The sole purpose of soul searching is to find yourself.

42. If I add some numbers I will get the sum.

43. They put their belongings there. I wonder why they're looking for them way over there.

44. My truck got towed after the toad toed my tyre.

45. I will tire while changing my truck's tyre.

46. This time I added some thyme to the recipe.

47. When you put sequins in a nice sequence it can really make a big difference to a design.

48. It would be great if you would grate the cheese for the pizza.

49. After riding my horse in the cold my throat is a little hoarse.

50. A lion's mane is it's main feature.



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