English Homonyms: Short List for Beginners

Homonyms include words that have the same pronunciation or the same spelling or both but are different in meaning. Studying homonyms in typical phrases in which they are used will help you to distinguish one homonym from another when you hear them. Frequently used homonyms and some examples of their use are given in the lists below.

Омонимы включают в себя слова, которые имеют одинаковое произношение или одинаковое написание, или и то и другое, но отличаются в значении. Изучение омонимов в типичных фразах, в которых они употребляются, поможет вам отличить один омоним от другого, когда вы их услышите. Часто употребляемые омонимы и некоторые примеры их употребления даны в списках ниже.

The same pronunciation, different meaning

(Одинаковое произношение, разное значение)

AIR – HEIR (воздух – наследник): fresh air; the heir to the throne;

AISLE – ISLE (проход – остров): an aisle seat; the British Isles;

ALTAR – ALTER (алтарь – изменить): to lead to the altar; to alter course;

BALL – BALL (шар, мяч – бал): to play ball; to open a ball;

BAND – BAND (отряд, группа – тесьма, завязка): a rock band; a rubber band;

BANK – BANK (берег – банк): the bank of the river; put the money in the bank;

BARE – BEAR – BEAR (голый – нести ношу – медведь): with bare hands; I can't bear it; the polar bear;

BARK – BARK (лай, лаять – кора): the dog barked at me; barking dogs; the bark of a tree;

BAT – BAT (летучая мышь – бита): blind as a bat; a baseball bat;

BE – BEE (быть – пчела): to be or not to be; to be as busy as a bee;

BEAT – BEET (бить – свекла): to beat the drums; beets and carrots;

BERRY – BURY (ягода – хоронить): strawberry jam; to bury the dead;

BRAKE – BREAK (тормоз – перерыв, ломать): car brakes; a ten-minute break; don't break it;

BUY – BY – BYE (покупать – около, у – Пока!): to buy a car; to sit by the window; Bye-bye!

CACHE – CASH (тайник, запас – наличные деньги): cache memory; pay cash; I have no cash;

CELL – SELL (ячейка – продавать): a prison cell; my cell phone; to sell books;

CENT – SCENT (цент – запах): 100 cents in a dollar; a faint scent of roses;

CEREAL – SERIAL (крупа – серийное издание): to eat breakfast cereal; to watch TV serials;

CLIP – CLIP (подрезать – зажим, скрепка): to clip the hedge; a paper clip;

COARSE – COURSE (грубый – курс): coarse fabric; a course of lectures;

CURRANT – CURRENT (смородина – текущий, течение): red currant; current year; ocean current;

DEAR – DEER (дорогой – олень): Dear Sir; dear friend; a young deer; several deer;

DESERT [di'zərt] – DESSERT [di'zərt] (покидать – десерт): to desert the village; apple pie for dessert;

DEW – DUE (роса – должный): morning dew; When is the train due?

DIE – DYE (умереть – краситель, окрашивать): He died two years ago. She dyed her hair red.

DOE – DOUGH (самка оленя – тесто): a young doe; to roll the dough;

FAIR – FAIR – FARE (справедливый – ярмарка – плата за проезд): that's fair; book fair; bus fare;

FINE – FINE (прекрасный – штраф): one fine day; fine wine; to pay a fine for speeding;

FIR – FUR (ель – мех): pines and fir trees; a fir cone; a fur coat; natural fur;

FLEA – FLEE (блоха – спасаться бегством): a flea market; to flee the country;

FLOUR – FLOWER (мука – цветок): two cups of flour; a bunch of flowers;

FOREWORD – FORWARD (предисловие – вперёд): a foreword in a book; to move forward;

GAIT – GATE (походка – ворота): heavy gait; slow gait; to open the gate;

GRATE – GREAT (скрести, тереть – замечательный): to grate cheese; a great opportunity;

GROUND – GROUND (земля – молотый): to fall to the ground; freshly ground coffee;

HAIR – HARE (волосы – заяц): she has dark hair and green eyes; he ran like a hare;

HALL – HAUL (коридор, зал – тянуть, тащить): down the hall; a concert hall; to haul the boat;

HANGAR – HANGER (ангар – вешалка): a plane hangar; a coat hanger;

HAY – HEY (сено – эй): to make hay; hay fever; Hey!

HEAL – HEEL (излечивать – пятка, каблук): to heal the wounds; high heels;

HEAR – HERE (слышать – здесь): Did you hear what he said? She doesn't live here.

HI – HIGH (привет – высокий): Hi; how are you? high walls; high speed; high temperature;

HOARSE – HORSE (хриплый – лошадь): a hoarse voice; to ride a horse;

HOLE – WHOLE (дыра – целый): a small hole in my sock; as a whole; the whole world;

I – EYE (я – глаз): I can see it clearly. My left eye itches.

KNIGHT – NIGHT (рыцарь – ночь): the Knights of the Round Table; a dark night; days and nights;

KNOT – NOT (узел – не, нет): a tight knot; not a word; he is not a doctor;

KNOW – NO (знать – не, нет): Do you know him? No, I don't. I have no time.

LIE – LIE (ложь, лгать – лежать): to tell a lie; don't lie to me; to lie on the floor;

LIGHT – LIGHT (свет – лёгкий): bright light; as light as a feather; light rain;

MAIL – MALE (почта, отправить почтой – мужской, мужчина): to send by mail; a male child;

MAIN – MANE (главный – грива): the main reason; a horse's mane;

MATCH – MATCH (спичка – матч): to strike a match; a football match;

MEAN – MEAN (значить – низкий): What do you mean? It was mean of him to say it.

MEAT – MEET (мясо – встретить): meat and potatoes; to meet a girl; to meet with friends;

MOLE – MOLE (родинка – крот): a mole on the chin; as blind as a mole;

MOOSE – MOUSSE (лось – мусс): to hunt moose; chocolate mousse;

NONE – NUN (ни один – монахиня): none of them; she is a nun;

OAR – OR – ORE (весло – или – руда): a four-oar boat; one or two; iron ore;

PAIL – PALE (ведро – бледный): a pail of water; his face is pale;

PAIR – PEAR (пара – груша): a pair of gloves; apples and pears;

PEACE – PIECE (мир, покой – кусок): peace and quiet; a piece of bread; a piece of paper;

PEAK – PEEK (пик – заглянуть, взглянуть): a mountain peak; to peek into the hole;

PEER – PEER (сверстник, ровня – вглядываться): peer group; she peered into the dark room;

PLAIN – PLANE (ясный, простой – самолет): plain answer; plain food; to go by plane;

POLE – POLE – POLL (столб – полюс – опрос): a telegraph pole; the North Pole; public opinion poll;

POUND – POUND (фунт – колотить): a pound of cheese; to change dollars for pounds; to pound on the door;

PRINCIPAL – PRINCIPLE (главный – принцип): principal cause; a man of principle;

PRAY – PREY (молиться – жертва, добыча): to pray to God; easy prey; birds of prey;

RACE – RACE (раса – скачки, гонка): the human race; horse racing; a race horse; race cars;

RAIN – REIGN (дождь – царствование): it looks like rain; during his reign; a pair of reins;

READ – REED (читать – тростник): to read a book; reed grows near water;

REST – REST (отдых, отдыхать – остаток, остальное): rest a little; leave the rest of them here;

RIGHT – WRITE (правильный, правый, право – писать): that's right; my right hand; civil rights; to write a letter;

RING – RING (кольцо – звонить): a wedding ring; to ring a bell;

ROLE – ROLL (роль – рулон, катить): to play a role; a roll of toilet paper; the ball rolled away;

ROOT – ROUTE (корень – маршрут): the roots of the tree; Route 10; bus route;

ROW [rou] – ROW [rou] (ряд – грести): to sit in the first row; to stand in a row; to row the boat;

SAIL – SALE (парус, плыть – распродажа): to sail on a ship; I bought it on sale;

SEA – SEE (море – видеть): Have you ever seen the sea at sunrise?

SEAM – SEEM (шов – казаться): Please take it in at the seams. She seems to be a little nervous.

SEW [sou] – SO – SOW [sou] (шить – так – сеять): to sew a dress; be so kind; to sow the seeds;

SIGHT – SITE (вид, зрение – место): a beautiful sight; to see the sights; good eyesight; construction site; website;

SOLE – SOLE – SOLE – SOUL (единственный – подошва – камбала – душа): sole heir; shoe sole; fillet of sole; body and soul;

SOME – SUM (некоторый – сумма): I need some money; a large sum of money;

SON – SUN (сын – солнце): he is my son; she has three sons; the sun is shining;

STAIR – STARE (ступенька – пристально смотреть): go down the stairs; don't stare at people;

STAKE – STEAK (ставка – бифштекс): the stakes are high; I'd like a steak for dinner;

STEAL – STEEL (красть – сталь): to steal money; stainless steel;

STRAIGHT – STRAIT (прямой – пролив): a straight road; the Strait of Gibraltar;

SUITE – SWEET (номер-люкс – сладкий): a hotel suite; this cake is too sweet;

TAIL – TALE (хвост – рассказ): a bird with a long tail; a long and interesting tale;

TIP – TIP (кончик – чаевые): the tip of the tongue; a one-dollar tip; to give a tip;

TOAST – TOAST (тост, гренок – тост за): a piece of toast; I'd like to propose a toast to Alan's health;

TOE – TOW (палец ноги – буксир, буксировать): I stubbed my toe; a tow truck; to tow a car;

TOO – TWO (тоже – два): I like it too. I spent two days at the lake.

TRUNK – TRUNK (туловище, ствол – сундук): the trunk of a tree; an elephant's trunk; a wooden trunk;

VAIN – VEIN (тщетный, тщеславный – вена): in vain; she is vain; veins carry blood to the heart;

WAIST – WASTE (талия – излишняя трата): a slender waist; a waste of time; to waste money;

WAIT – WEIGHT (ждать – вес): to wait for an hour; her weight is 65 kilograms;

WARE – WEAR – WHERE (изделия – одежда, носить одежду – где): glassware; women's wear; she is wearing a suit; Where is Mike?

WAY – WEIGH (путь – взвесить): to find a way; the shortest way; she weighs 65 kilograms;

WEAK – WEEK (слабый – неделя): weak eyes; weak tea; next week; for two weeks;

WEATHER – WHETHER (погода – ли): nice weather; ask her whether she wants to go;

WELL – WELL (хорошо – колодец): very well; to feel well; a deep well;

WHICH – WITCH (который – ведьма): which of these; Which bag is yours? She is a real witch.

WHINE – WINE (скулить – вино): my dog often whines; stop whining; red wine; French wines;

The same spelling, different pronunciation, different meaning

(Одинаковое написание, разное произношение, разное значение)

BOW [bou] – BOW [bau] – BOW [bau] (лук для стрельбы, смычок, галстук-бабочка – поклон – корма судна);

DESERT ['dezərt] – DESERT [di'zərt] (пустыня – покидать): the Sahara Desert; he deserted her;

LEAD [li:d] – LEAD [led] (вести – свинец): this road leads to the lake; as heavy as lead;

ROW [rou] – ROW [rau] (ряд – ссора): Please stand in a row. My neighbors had a row yesterday.

SOW [sou] – SOW [sau] (сеять – свинья): to sow the seeds; to raise sows;

TEAR [tiər] – TEAR [teər] (слеза – рвать): tears in her eyes; to tear up his letter;

WIND [wind] – WIND [waind] (ветер – извиваться, заводить): a cold wind; to wind the clock.

Homonyms with certain word forms

(Омонимы с определёнными формами слов)

Many other homonyms occur when certain verbs, nouns, and pronouns are used in their forms showing person, number, or tense. Word order and meaning help us to distinguish between such homonyms aurally. Examples: I knew it. I bought new books. She rose from her chair. He gave her a rose. The list below provides examples of word forms that have the same pronunciation as some other words.

Многие другие омонимы возникают, когда некоторые глаголы, существительные и местоимения употреблены в их формах, показывающих лицо, число или время. Порядок слов и значение помогают нам различить такие омонимы на слух. Примеры: I knew it. (Я знал это.) I bought new books. (Я купил новые книги.) She rose from her chair. (Она поднялась со своего стула.) He gave her a rose. (Он дал ей розу.) Список ниже дает примеры форм слов, которые звучат так же, как некоторые другие слова.

Third person singular: sees – seize – seas (видит – схватить – моря), knows – nose (знает – нос), links – lynx (соединяет – рысь);

Past Indefinite: allowed – aloud (разрешил – вслух), fined – find (оштрафовал – найти), passed – past (прошёл – прошлое), read [red] – red (прочитал – красный), blew – blue (подул – синий), threw – through (бросил – сквозь), won – one (выиграл – один), left – left (ушёл – левый);

Past Participle: ground – ground (молотый – земля), thrown – throne (брошенный – трон), seen – scene (увиденный – сцена);

Plural form of nouns: rays – raise (лучи – поднять), rows – rose – rose (ряды – роза – поднялся), brows – browse (брови – просматривать);

Pronoun forms: him – hymn (его – гимн), mine – mine (мой – рудник, мина), our – hour (наш – час), their – there (их – там);

Contractions: who's – whose (кто есть – чей), it's a book – its cover is black (это книга – её обложка черная), he'll – heel (он будет – пятка), we'll – wheel (мы будем – колесо);

Two-word combination – one word: all ready – already (всё готово – уже), all together – altogether (все вместе – вполне, совсем), any way – anyway (любой путь – во всяком случае), he may be there – maybe he is there (он может быть там – возможно он там).