Homonyms definition and characteristic features

characteristic features of homonyms

State the definition and characteristic features of homonyms in the English language. Illustrate answer with examples. 

The problems of polysemy and homonymy always go hand in hand and cause no little difficulty for research workers of English.

Definition and characteristic features:

Homonyms are words identical in pronunciation and/ or spelling but different in meaning.


– ball ( a sphere ; any spherical body )

– ball ( a large dancing party )


– sent(gửi đi) – cent (đồng xu)– scent (đánh hơi, mùi thơm, mùi hương)

– site – cite – sight

– right – rite – write – wright

Most English homonyms are monosyllabic:

“fast – fast; here – hear”

“tear – tear; write, rite, wright, right”.

Homonymy sometimes make its impossible to understand each other even if there are contexts and of course further explanation is needed (discussed in section VII above). Let us look at one more example which is a pun (sự chơi chữ)

– Is life worth living?

– It depends on the liver.

Homonymy is a source of ambiguity

Ghi chú: Hãy chia sẻ bài để mọi người cùng học và thảo luận.

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