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Homophones 1 - Hunt the Homophone
Was the parcel delivered by the MAILMAN or the MALEMAN?

Homophones 1 - Hunt the Homophone

We come across words in the English language that often confuse us. Look at the sentence ‘I love the colour of his CELL phone’, and also the sentence ‘The salesman knocks on many doors to try and SELL his wares.’ The meaning of the words is clear when we see the sentences in the written form and understand the context; there is no ambiguity in understanding the two words CELL and SELL. However, since both are pronounced the same way, we may get confused when they are spoken!

Take another example. When you listen to a running commentary on cricket you might come across this sentence spoken by the commentator:

"Virat Kohli hit thirteen FOURS in his knock and all the shots were with the use of minimum FORCE but maximum timing."

You will be wondering what this commentator is talking about. But when you see it in print and find the spellings different your mind immediately adjusts and you understand what the commentator meant. Such words, with different spellings and meanings but the same pronunciation, are known as HOMOPHONES. We come across many such words in our daily usage of English. The trick to understand homophones, especially while listening, is to quickly put the spoken words into context and you will not get confused but correctly understand what is spoken. However, when you read a passage, in addition to the context, you would also be aided by the spelling which would be different as in the cases of CELL/SELL and FOURS/FORCE.

Take this quiz and see how many homophones you can use correctly.

1.
"He needs to take a --- as he has been exercising for two hours." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Broke
Bray
Brake
Break
'Broke' is to be without money, 'bray' is a donkey's cry and 'brake' is something used to stop a vehicle from moving
2.
"You should --- the clothes well so they will dry faster." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Ping
Cringe
Ring
Wring
'Ping' is a sound, 'cringe' is to shrink in fear and 'ring' is to form a circle
3.
"The dress still looks --- even after two months of use." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
New
Knew
Gnu
Know
'Knew' is to have known something, 'gnu' is an animal and 'know' is to be aware
4.
"The --- man delivered the letter today." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Male
Mail
Melee
May
'Male' refers to men, 'melee' is confusion and 'may' is a word used to express possibility. 'May' is also the fifth month of the year
5.
"The money he gave me helped me to --- over the difficult period." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Tied
Tried
Tide
Tired
'Tied' is to bind, 'tried' is to attempt and 'tired' is to be exhausted
6.
"I have been wearing this --- of shoes for a long time." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Pear
Pare
Pair
Payer
'Pear' is a type of fruit, 'pare' is to cut and 'payer' is one who pays
7.
"He was asked to display his --- at the exhibition." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Wear
Ware
Where
Were
'Wear' is something you don, 'where' is an adverb and 'were' is a verb
8.
"This tree has a --- that is eight feet deep." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Root
Route
Rate
Rite
'Route' is a way to a location, 'rate' is some measure per unit and 'rite' is a religious procedure
9.
"He had a --- memory and he failed the memory test." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Week
Eke
Woke
Weak
'Week' is a period of seven days, 'eke' is to enlarge and 'woke' is to get up from sleep
10.
"Eat everything on the plate, you should not --- food." - Fill up the blank by choosing one of the four options.
Waste
Waist
West
Vest
'Waist' is a body part, 'west' is a direction and 'vest' is a piece of clothing
Author:  V T Narendra

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