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Homophones - Homonyms

The knowledge of ìist of Homophones is vital for candidates preparing for any competitive exam or government examinations. Homophone words form an important part of the competitive exams. Candidates appearing for Government exams like SSC, RRB, Bank, IBPS and more, frequently face questions related to Homophones in the English language section of these exams. The list of homonyms/ homophones is also helpful in day to day communication as well.

What are Homonyms?

The word "homonym" comes from the prefix "homo", meaning "the same", and the suffix "-nym," means "the name". Hence, Homonyms are words that sound alike and have different meanings. They either sound the same or are spelt the same, but their meanings are different. Two or more words with the same spellings but different pronunciation and meaning are called heteronyms.

E.g.: Address – location/ to speak to

Bark – the sound of dogs/ tree's outer layer  Band – a ring/ a musical group

What are Homophones?

Homophones sound the same but have different meanings and have different spellings too.

Homophones Examples:

Altar/ Alter, Berth/ Birth, Cast/ Caste, Days/ Daze, Earn/ Urn

Model Questions

1. Select the correct pair of homophones to fill in the blanks. Before I eat them, I will ..... this ..... of pears.

A) pare, pare      B) pair, pair    C) pare, pair     D) pair, pare

Explanation: The first blank requires a verb as it refers to 'I' about to do something. This cannot have 'pair' as it makes no sense. The verb 'pare' means to trim or cut off the skin. The second blank requires a noun

that refers to the number of objects (pears). This blank cannot contain a verb and so option A is incorrect.

Ans: C

2. Which of the following is not a homophonic pair?

A) Kite-Kit     B) Stare-Stair    C) Principal-Principle    D) Steel-Steal

Explanation: A homophonic pair is a pair of words that is pronounced the same way (to a varying extent) as another word but differs in meaning. A homophone may also differ in spelling. The two words may be spelt the same, as in rose (flower) and rose (past tense of 'rise').

Let us explore the options:

'Kite-Kit' is not a homophonic pair as the pronunciation of both words is differe. Stare-Stair' is a homophonic pair as the pronunciation of both words is same. 'PrincipalPrinciple' is a homophonic pair as the pronunciation of both words is same. 'Steel-Steal' is a homophonic pair as the pronunciation of both words is same. Hence, the option 'Kite-Kit' is not a homophonic pair. Additional Information Homophone derives from the Greek, homo means "same" and phone means "voice, utterance". Homophones that are spelt the same are also called homographs and homonyms. Homophones that are spelt differently are also
called heterographs 

Ans: A

3. Fill in the blank with the most appropriate word. Improper waterproof ........ is a common reason for the leaking ........ 

A) Sealing; sealing     B) Ceiling; sealing   C) Ceiling; ceiling     D) Sealing; ceiling

Explanation: The correct words to fill in the blank are "sealing" and "ceiling". "Sealing" refers to the process of making something waterproof and "ceiling" is the top covering of a building that protects the inside of the building from the weather. The other options do not make sense in the context of the sentence since they are incorrect spellings of the same or are in the wrong order. 

Correct sentence: Improper waterproof seal ing is a common reason for the leaking ceiling.

Ans: D

4. Fill in the blanks with the correct pair of homophones. Due to this ........ handwriting, he is not for the post.

A) adapted/ adopted    B) illegible/ eligible    C) weak/ week    D) credible/ credulous

Explanation: Let us look at the meanings of the words in the correct pair. Illegible: not clear enough to be read.

Eligible: qualified to participate or be chosen. According to the given sentence, since his handwriting is too poor to be read, he is not fit to be chosen for the job. So, the homophones given in option B fit appropriately in the given blanks. Complete sentence: Due to this illegible handwriting, he is not eligible for the post.

Ans: B

 5. Insert an appropriate Homonym: She is ........ in the art of painting

A) adapt    B) adept   C) adopt    D) adipt

Explanation: Let's explore options:

Adapt: to change, or to change something, to suit different conditions or uses.

E.g.: Many software companies have adapted popular programs to the new operating system.

Adept: very skilled or proficient at something.

E.g.: She is adept at cutting through red tape.

Adopt: to legally take another person's child into your own family and take care of him or her as your own child.

E.g.: There are many people eager to adopt a baby.

Adipt: There is no word in the English dictionary or there may be some spelling mistake. Thus, from above, we can say that 'adept' will be used in the blank.

Ans: B

6. Fill in the blank with correct Homophone. The police tried to ........ information from the bootlegger who sells ........ liquor. 

A) illicit, elicit    B) illegible, legible    C) elucidate, illicit     D) elicit, illicit

 Explanation: The most appropriate word for the given blanks is 'elicit and illicit'. Elicit means to manage to get information, fact, or reaction from somebody.

 E.g.: 'It is difficult to elicit sympathy for a silly man'. Illicit (used about an activity or substance) is not allowed by law or by the rules of society 

E.g.: 'The illicit trade in ivory'. Therefore, as per the point mentioned above, we find that the correct answer is 'elicit, illicit'.

 The correct sentence will be: 'The police tried to elicit information from the bootlegger who sells illicit liquor'. 

Let's look at the meaning of other words: 

Illegible: Difficult or impossible to read. Legible: That is clear enough to be read easily. 

Elucidate: To make something clear by explaining it. 

Ans: D

7. The words 'stationary' and 'stationery' are called...

A) Synonyms    B) Antonyms     C) Homonyms   D) Homophones

Explanation: Homophones: Each of two or more words has the same pronunciation butdifferent meanings, origins, or spelling. 

E.g.: New and Knew, stationary and stationery.  Stationary means not moving or not intended to be moved. Stationery means writing and other office materials. 

Synonyms: It means a word similar in meaning  to another.

E.g.: Important and main

Antonyms: It means a word opposite in meaning to another.

E.g.: Good and bad.

Homonyms: Each of two or more words has the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins. 

Homonyms are of two types: Homophone and Homograph

E.g.: Maid and Made In this maid means a female domestic servant and made is the past and past participle of make, means create.

Ans: D

8. Fill in the blank with the suitable Homophone. Neem leaves are used to diseases ........ skin.

A) hale   B) heel    C) heal    D) hail


Heal: To become healthy again, recover, mend.

E.g.: Ravindra's mental scars will take time to heal.

Complete Sentence: Neem Leaves are used to heal skin diseases 

Hale: Strong and healthy.

E.g.: Being a hale woman Rohini never takes leave in her entire career.

Heel: Back part of our foot.

E.g.: As the holiday is coming, so Natasha needs a low heel.

Hail: to proclaim somebody/ something is very good or very special, to call somebody/ something, fall of ice balls.

E.g.: Mohini hails Minakshi when she needs some urgent work to be done. We need a verb in the blank (to + V1) to make the sentence meaningfully correct.  As heal is a verb, it is the best and contextually correct word to fit in the blank.

Ans: C

9. What do the underlined words below respectively mean? The defusion has been effective. The diffusion has been effective.

A) release of tension and distribution    B) distribution and release of tension   C) separation and obliteration   D) obliteration and separation

Explanation: In the given sentence 'The Defusion has been effective.' underlined word 'Defusion' means to relieve tension from the situation.

E.g.: The two groups will meet next week to try to defuse the crisis/ situation/ tension. Diffusion means the act of dispersing something, spreading it out from a central point.

E.g.: Diffusion of knowledge is possible through social media networks.  Distribution and Diffusion are similar in meanings to each other, where 'Distribution' means  the act of dividing something among people or spreading or supplying something.

Ans: A

10. Fill in the blank with the most appropriate word. The ........ was caught with a consignment of ........

A) heroine, heroin    B) heroin, heroin    C) heroine, heroine    D) heroin, heroine

Explanation: Here we need to fill in the blank with the appropriate word according to the meaning of the sentence. The sentence implies that the actress was caught while delivering the drugs. Here heroine means a real-life or fictional woman who has a lot of courage and fights on the side of good. Heroin means a powerful illegal drug. From the above explanation, it is clear that the correct answer is heroine, heroin.

Ans: A

Posted Date : 24-05-2023

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