Confusing Words Clarified: Group C; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc.
(lists of "C" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
Three words that every student of language should understand are homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms.
Homonyms are words that sound alike, but have different meanings. Synonyms are words that are related in meaning but do not sound alike (begin and commence, for example).
Antonyms are direct opposites in meaning, as hot and cold; white and black.
With homonyms, the following set of to, too, and two are all pronounced exactly alike, but by no means are they interchangeable in writing. To be sure that you choose the correct spelling for any on these, you must know the meanings of all three so you will not make wrong choices with a feeling of vagueness and uncertainty.
Efforts have been made to help you grasp the meanings of these and other words that may be confusing so you can utilize them with greater accuracy in your communication.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome by writing to: E-mail Contact (just click it for an e-mail form) or by typing, [email protected], as the address in your e-mail heading.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
When the concrete was still fresh on the side walk, two of the Ned's friends drew their initials in it to cement their friendship in a concrete manner.
Steve noticed the symmetry of construction of the tombs in the cemetery.
"A homonym is a word which is similar to another in sound, but has a different meaning; such as, in the sentence: Censers smell sweet, censors are foul."
"A censor is a faultfinder who always sticks his no's into other people's business and a moralist who is always trying to tie the nation into hard not's."
During the tour of the church, the guide demonstrated how the censer was used; however, in doing so, he activated the smoke sensor and set off the fire alarm.
This brought him the censure of his supervisor who sometimes acted like a censor by telling the guides what and what not to say.
The governor indicated that it makes sense to him to conduct a periodic census because it gives a real sense of what the issues are for the people.
2. An indication or hint of something to come: There was a scent of trouble in the air.
"Flora was sent to Australia on a mission by the government."
My friend, Charles, was sent by his wife to buy something called "penny perfume" or "cent scent".
Natasha had a few cents in her pocket which her common sense told her that she should spend on food, but she really wanted to purchase some fresh incense which she could burn to cense her apartment and to replace some of the unpleasant scents from the restaurant kitchen downstairs.
The seer wore a mask which was made to look like a bird’s head complete with the cere which was drilled with holes so the seer could breathe.
In this guise, the seer told the assembly of people that they should sear the roast over the fire and then slow roast it until it was done.
2. The kernels or seeds and the food made from them: A multitude of types of cereal for food exist for people to eat for breakfast and all of their other meals every day.
Sabrina wanted to check the serial number, or code, on the box of cereal before she bought it because the box might contain a card with the next installment of the serial novel she was reading.
Whalebone is the horny substance from the upper jaw of a cetaceous mammal. It is used to stiffen fabric for the clothing of women, and it might also have been used for the setaceous construction of industrial brushes.
2. To chew or to bite on something repeatedly: William was obviously nervous because Jane could hear him chomp on his cigar over and over again.
The black horse was the racing champ of the stables and the owners gave him carrots and apples to chomp on as a reward.
Champaign is a city of east-central Illinois adjoining Urbana. Founded in 1855 with the coming of the railroad, it is a commercial and industrial center in a fertile farm area.
After crossing the champaign in the late afternoon, the group decided to celebrate with a glass of champagne at the local restaurant.
2. An unexpected, random, or unpredictable event: The chance of a thunderstorm this time of year is 100 per cent.
3. A risk or hazard; a gamble: The group sat around the table playing a game of chance, betting food coupons instead of real money.
2. Monotonous rhythmic calls or shouts: The chants of the demonstrators at a meeting disrupted the speaker.
The visitors had the rare chance to stop at the monastery just as the monks started their chants in the chapel.
The old river pilot lived in a shanty near the river and often entertained passersby by singing a familiar chanty about the river boats of the past.
2. Descriptive information in the form of graphs or tables in order to make a plan for something: Mabel followed her own charted career path and assisted the manager who developed a diagram and grid that showed the growth of the company.
After Sabrina and Ross had charted the route for their holiday, they chartered a bus to carry them and their luggage to the mountain lodge.
2. Having caused someone or something to go away: Mildred chased the cats out of her garden so they wouldn't catch the birds.
A chaste woman is seldom chased.
My neighbor, Mildred, was chaste and upstanding. It always broke her heart if someone chased a stray animal into her yard.
Confusing Words: Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs; explained and demonstrated.
"Standard English and Nonstandard English" article with a poem of confusing English words.
Confusing Words: Units, Groups A to Z.