June 28, 2009

Some Common Homophones

Mark the following words they are spelled differently and have got different pronunciations or same pronunciation (lie, Lie) but have different meanings.  They seem to be same but in reality we use them in different contexts with different meanings.  I have tried to talk about some common Homographs.  In our daily writings and speaking we always come across many of them.  So here I go.  
·       Accept, Except, Excerpt:
His proposal was accepted by all members present and voting.  (Agreed)
Every one except those absent players was conferred an award for his effort to win the T20 world cup. (Barring, leaving)
This article is based on excerpts from the original War and peace.  (Selected chapters or quotes)
·       Accede, Exceed:
The minister readily acceded to the demand of the people. (Agree)
The budget of our institution exceeds Rs. 100000. 
·       Access, Excess:
He has got a free access to the manager. (Approach)
It was the excess of the police department that Amnesty international raised its voice against.  (Something more than permitted)
·       Adopt, Adapt, Adept:
Please don’t adopt this plan as this involves a heavy expenditure.
They adopted a boy as they were issueless.
The touring Australian Cricket team failed to adapt to the condition of India and failed miserably in their matches.
Ricky Ponting is adept in handling pressure situation and he gets success for his deft handling.
·       Advance, Advances:
They applied for flood advance as their locality had a flood last month. (Monetary grant)
The Pakistan Army made good advances into Indian Territory but finally the attack was repulsed successful by Indian army. (Progress)
·       Advice (N), Advise(V):
Condoleza Rice advised the Administration regarding the Israel crisis and her advices were discussed by other members of the state department.
·       Adverse, Averse:
Those who tackle adverse situations deftly, get success. (Unfavorable)
How can one prosper or get success when one is averse to hard work. (Oppose)
·       Affect, Effect:
The affected people got an ex gratia payment from the government.
They made good progresses to this effect.  This law came into effect from the next month.
·       All together, Altogether:
By working all together (In company, in unison) they were able to achieve the target.
I think this theory regarding the murder is altogether (entirely, completely) fabricated.
·       Allusion, Illusion:
In its report the commission has made an allusion to the highhandedness of a minister. (Reference)
He lives in an illusory situation as all her thoughts are but illusions and not based on facts but fictions. (False beliefs)
·       Already, All Ready:
The letter was already delivered to the party. (By this time)
They are all ready for the expedition. (Entirely)
·       Alter, Altar:
They always alter (make changes) their plans.
He was taken to an altar by the tribal people. (A raised platform for worship)
·       Alternatively, Alternately:
Rahul and Sachin played good looking shots alternately. (By turns)
You have got choices to proceed to New Delhi, you may travel by air or alternatively by train.  
·       Ancient, Old:
He is a student of ancient history. (Of yore, of times long past)
He is an old employee of the department. (Senior)
·       Ascent, Assent:
The ascent to the apex of the mountain is difficult. (The act of going up or climbing up)
The minister gave assent to the proposal and very soon it will come up in the parliament as a bill.
·       Beside, Besides:
The North Block is beside the South block. (Next to, to the side)
Besides giving me financial help, he also helped me in other ways. (In addition to, barring)
·       Childish, Childlike:
These arguments were childish. (Silly, stupid)
His childlike behavior made other his followers. (Like a child)
·       Calendar, Calendar:
Their calendar has gone out of order and he has given his clothes to the laundry man.  (Pressing machine, Cloth Iron)
The republic day in India is a calendar fixed occasion that falls on the January, 26. (Almanac)
·       Compliment, Complement:
Soon after his return he straight away rushed to his manager to compliment him for his success. (Greeting, Regards)
This is a complement to the previous article published in the blog. (That complete or enhances)
·       Continual, Continuous:
Somnath Chatterjee was continually interrupted in his working by the member of opposition in the last Lok Sabha (parliament.)
He has been doing the work continuously for the last 10 years without any promotion.
·       Council, Counsel, Consul:
Hectic preparation was made in the party advisory council before finalizing the names of the candidates.
The members counseled the party high command according to their experience.
The Indian consul in Australia was called by the Australian Prime minister to post him regarding the ongoing attack on Indian students. 
·       Credible, Creditable, Credulous:
No one was swayed by his rhetoric as he was not a credible man. (Believable)
It was certainly a creditable achievement of the group to scale the peak.
Crafty people always take advantage of credulous people. (Who believe anything on face value)
·       Discovery, Invention:
Vasco de Gama discovered sea route to India from Europe. (to search something that existed before)
Radio was the greatest invention of Marconi that is still evolving and helping people communicating faster. (To make something new)
·       Deny, Refuse:
The arraigned person just denied the charges leveled against him. (Say that something is not true)
Narendra Modi was refused permission to enter into the US soil. (To disallow)
·       Device (N), Devise (V):
The thief used a beautiful device to deceive the police. (Plan, scheme, trick)
It is essential to devise an effective scheme to save money as the effect of the depression is seen every where. (Think out, plan)
·       Eligible, Illegible:
In India people who attain 18 years are eligible to vote. (Fit, Suitable)
His handwriting is so illegible.  (That which cannot be read)
·       Eminent, Imminent:
Karenne is an eminent blogger on the theme of ELT.
If things go on in this way in Afghanistan and Pakistan then we must say there is an imminent danger of a war.  (Impending, Likely)
·       Excite, Incite:
Everybody was excited by the news of India’s victory against Australia. (Stir up)
The trade union leaders incited the workers and the result was the closure of the factory. (Arouse, inflame)
·       Famous, Notorious:
Michael Johnson was famous for his singing.  (Widely known for something good)
All the notorious gangsters and bootleggers are the source of funding and law seems to be blind to them. (Famous in a bad sense)
·       Formally, Formerly:
The bill has not yet been formally discussed in the cabinet.  (As a rule)
Dr. Abdul Kalam was a scientist before becoming the president of India.  (Previously)
·       Honorary, Honorable:
He is an honorary secretary of the Indian Chambers of Commerce. (Working or holding office without any remuneration)
He retired from his job rendering honourbale (worthy of respect) service to the nation for 20 years.
·       Human, Humane:
To err is human and to forgive is divine. (Pertaining to human being)
His humane nature is the cause of his eminence. (Kind, benevolent)
·       Imply, Infer:
Silent sometimes implies consent. (Suggest, hint)
He has rightly inferred the secret message written in the letter. (Conclude, deduce)
·       Industrial, Industrious:
Jharsuguda in Orissa is fast coming up as an industrial town. (Related to industry)
It is the industrious nature of the students that determines the success percentage finally. (Laborious)
·       Later, Latter, letter:
I am very busy at present and will call you later. (After some time)
Both Annie and Karenne are my online friends, the former is a Montessori teacher and the latter is an English teacher.  (The second of two)
With the growth of Cell phone and E-mailing letter writing is fast dying out as a medium of communication. 
·       Lie, lay, lain:
You are exhausted, lie down for sometime. (Recline)
He lay on the beach enjoying the serene atmosphere. (Past tense of lie)
He has lain in bed all over the night reading a novel. (Past participle of lie, now rarely used)
·       Lie, Lied:
He has lied the official as he has got a habit to speak lie.  (Do not speak the truth)
·       Loose, Lose:
Don’t let loose your hairs as it retards growth of hairs. (Leave free or untied)
Be alert not to lose the opportunity that knocks your door from time to time.  (Fail to seize)
·       Prosecute, persecute:
After is father’s demise he could not prosecute his study. (Continue)
He was prosecuted for his involvement in a rape case.  (Tried in a legal court)
In a truly democratic country, minority communities are given enough protection from persecution.  (Cruel treatment, punishment)
·       Principle, Principal:
A man of principles is always respected by all. (Good conduct)
The principal food of northern India is wheat. (Main, chief)
He was made the principal of the college for his good track record in teaching.
The principal goes on increasing as time goes by if you put a certain sum in a saving bank account. 
·       Proceed, Precede:
You must proceed with your work for success. (Go on)
The preceding paragraphs have got enough references to the topic.  (That has gone by just now, previous)
·       Spacious, Specious:
This room is spacious enough to accommodate the large number of guests.  (Having ample space)
The arguments of the pleaders were specious and hence they failed to convince the jury. (Seeming right, but not really so)
·       Verbal, Verbose:
He sent me a verbal message about his coming. (Spoken)
A verbose style leads to misunderstanding in communication.  (Using too much words)
·       Stationery, Stationary:
The Office clerks failed to take note of the lack of stationery items. (Articles used in connection with writing)
The sun is a stationary body though it seems movable.  (Fixed)
·       Zealous, Jealous:
For rural development we need a group of zealous workers who can deliver results.  (With full of enthusiasm)
He is jealous of his colleagues marching in the ladder of success.  (Full of envy)
You can also refer to a dictionary for clear pronunciation and meaning along with the uses of the following words. 
Angel Angle Dairy Diary Guard Guide Trail, Trial Breaks Brakes
Minuet, Minute Desert, Dessert Lead, Led Sight, Site Current, Currant
Weather Whether Rest, Wrest Course, coarse Dual, Duel Right, Write, Rite Ring Wring Artist Artiste Artisan Ensure Insure Assure. 
Thank you all. 


  1. Great list, and useful for us all, thanks for sharing and I hope you are well. Aniya

  2. अरे वाह!! ये तो बहुत काम की चीज़ है. बधाई.


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