What are English homonyms, homophones, and homographs?

Before we answer this question, let’s keep in mind that the English language is a bizarre language. Despite having rules, they also have many exemptions.

To take you further with these peculiar rules and exemptions, we give you the English homonyms, homophones, homographs and their differences.

You will be amazed at how English words work in strange ways.

Without any more highways and byways, here are English homonyms, homophones, and homographs. Be amused and be informed with these unique learning.


A homograph is a word which has the same spelling as another word. However, they have different sound or pronunciation and have different meanings.


lead  (to go first with followers behind) vs. lead (a type of metal). Listen to their pronunciations.

Please lead the marching band.

Lead is the black part of the pencil that is used for writing.

Bass (low, deep sound) vs. Bass (a type of fish). Hear their difference.

The two friends went to the river to catch some bass fish.

A tenor should be paired with a bass voice to achieve blending.

Minute (the term for 60 seconds or 1/60th of an hour) vs. Minute (extremely small). Lend us your ears as how to pronounce these words.

It took him a minute to finish the activity.

Bacteria and viruses are minute being.


A homophone is a word which has the same pronunciation or  same sound with another word but has different spelling and meaning.


Ate (past tense form of the verb eat)  vs. Eight (a number after seven)

He ate a bowl of pasta last night.

Eight is my favorite number because it shows an infinity symbol.

Son ( a boy child) vs. Sun (a burning ball of gas)

He is the only son of famous Singapore’s business mogul.

Avoid directly staring at the sun, it emits harmful uv rays which can damage your eyes.

Air (an invisible gaseous substance) vs. heir (someone who will receive or inherit his family’s fortune or title)

The air in the mountains is much fresher than in the city.

Prince Charles of England is the next heir to the throne and fortune of the Royal family.


Homonym can be a headache because it can either be a homophone or a homograph. Yes, it’s true the reason is that homonyms consist of the quality of the two- homograph and homophones. By definition, a homonym is a word having the same spelling (homograph) and same pronunciation (homophone) but has different meaning.

So, to avoid confusion, some linguists prefer to label homonym as the third type, a whole new category.

bat (a nocturnal flying mammal) vs.  bat (an equipment used to hit a baseball ball)

New York Yankees loves to hit the ball with their bats.

Bats are nocturnal flying mammals.

Bow (a part of an armor, the other half of arrow) vs. bow (a pair of loops)

You have to be very careful with that bow and arrow.

Let me see your hair bow, they are really pretty.

There are still more English homonyms, homophones, and homographs in the English language. They are also waiting for you to discover. Hence, dive your noses to your books or any piece of things that can be red opppps read [pun intended] and be listened tooo, ohhh to rather [sorry can’t help it].

Read this, “ 10 Mispronounced Phrases in English you Should be Aware of”.