Horrible Homonyms, Part One
A homonym mimics the sound of another word, but means something
else. Here are a few examples:
This one is fairly easy. Just remember that hear is a verb meaning what one does with his
ears. That leaves here, which is an adverb referring to a particular place.
I can’t hear you.
Did you hear what he said?
Come here. (Come where I am.)
Wish you were here.
It’s cold in here. (In this room)
a contraction for They Are
Their is possessive
There refers to
a place somewhere else.
to fly to Rio tomorrow.
Did the boys ride their bicycles?
Have you seen their baseball?
Stand over there by that tree so I can take your photo.
I want to go to Ireland. Have you ever been there?
Let’s take the easy one first. Bare means naked, empty, or unadorned. Bared
is a verb, meaning to lay bare, to remove a covering.
Bear is the name
of an animal, but it also means to endure.
He walked across the bare floor. (Unadorned by carpet or rugs)
Her gown revealed her bare shoulders.
The wolf bared its teeth as we approached.
I think I saw a grizzly bear!
“I cannot bear the pain!” she screamed.
The chair collapsed, unable to bear the 700 pound man.
This is so sad! I am just unable to bear it!
His suffering was too much to bear.
Born means to have
been given life. It can be combined with words, for example American-born meaning born in America. Sometimes
it is used to describe a talent supposedly held since birth, i.e., he’s a born leader.
Borne means carried
or endured and is the past-perfect tense of "bear" (as in to bear children.)
He was born on Christmas Day.
As a foreign-born girl, she had a difficult time with the language.
John was a born politician.
She’s a born liar.
The heavy sacks were borne on the backs of pack mules.
she had borne twelve children, she called it quits.
Some of the women had never borne children.
(two words) is a measurement of time, i.e., they did it every day.
Everyday (one word) is
an adjective meaning something commonly used or done.
The old man goes to the city every day.
I think we should do it every day.
She wore her everyday shoes, not her high heels.
For the two of them, fighting was an everyday occurrence. (They fought every day.)
A strait is a narrow channel connecting two bodies of water, as in the strait of Gibraltar.
Straight means not
curved or bent, as in “He drew a straight line.”
This is one of those confusing times when the apostrophe DOES NOT show possession. Who’s
is a contraction, meaning “who is.”
Whose is the possessive.
to win the game?
Whose little boy
Whose car are we
I hope you enjoyed this, and in the next issue, I'll be posting part two.