A proper understanding of Homonyms helps the students to attempt Verbal Aptitude questions like ‘Fill in the Blanks’ or ‘Cloze Test’ in most competitive exams like Banking and SSC. So let’s understand what are Homonyms and their various types along with some tips for improving your vocabulary.
Homonyms are words that sound like one another but have different meanings. The word “Homonym” comes from the prefix “Homo” which means the same, and the suffix “-nym” which means name.
Example: The word “book” can mean something to read or to reserve something. In both the cases, the sound and spelling of the word are same and only the definition changes.
Let us now look at the different types of Homonyms:
These are the words with same spelling but different meanings.
Example: Tear means to pull something apart with force. It also means a drop coming out of a person's eye when they cry.
Here are some more examples of Homographs:
These are words with the same sound but with different spellings and meanings.
Example: ‘Compliment’ means a polite expression of praise or admiration and ‘Complement’ means a thing that contributes extra features to something else.
Here are some more examples of Homophones:
The best way to understand the proper usage of the Homonyms is developing an extensive vocabulary. Let’s look at some ways of doing this:
This is an easy way to study and memorize words. There are a lot of online thesauruses like Oxford, Cambridge, etc., available in which a word and its Homonyms can be found in one place.
Keep a pocket note book in which you can jot down a few words every day, say 10-20. The most important thing is you must go through the list frequently.
If you use a mobile or a tablet you can download free flash cards that may help you in learning or remembering new words.