Difference Between Homonymous and Homophone

Although we remember being told something about homonymous and homophone words in school, many of us have forgotten what differentiates them. Difference Between Homonymous and Homophone

Homophones and homonyms are terms that every language teacher uses, for this reason, it is important that we know them and be able to give examples of each one.

The prefix “homo” derives from the Greek “homos”, which means “one or the same”; Therefore, the two concepts that we mentioned above describe a certain equality between some words in the language, but what is this equality based on? That is what you will be able to know if you continue reading below, because below we clearly explain the difference between homophone and homonymous words.

HOMONYMS  Difference Between Homonymous and Homophone

The word “homonymous” is a combination of a Greek word: homo (equal) and a Latin one: nymos (name) or (word). The word itself offers us a clue about its definition.

As you may have already noticed, homonymous words are those that are spelled the same and have the same pronunciation; but they have different meanings. For example, we have the word “wine” that can refer to the drink or the verb to come, “I love” that can be the owner of something or be related to the verb to love, “weight” that can refer to the coin or the verb regret, “code” (law or inscription difficult to understand), “cholera” (anger or illness), “treat” (make a deal with someone or try something) and “flame” (animal or fire).

Note:  homonymous words differ from polysemic words, because in the case of the latter the root is the same.

HOMOPHONES

On the other hand, homophone words (homo – equal, phone – sound, voice) are those that have the same pronunciation, but differ in writing.

For example, the words male (male and masculine) and baron (which is a noble title); also sling (depth) and wave (ripple effect), up to (limit or level that something reaches) and pole (animal horn or flag pole), tube (pipe) and had (verb to have); among other.

Finally, something that cannot be forgotten to mention is that all homonymous words are homophones; but not all homophones are homonyms.

Key differences between homonymous and homophone words

  • The homonymous words are spelled and pronounced the same, but have different meanings; while homophones are pronounced the same, but vary in writing and meaning.

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