Some homographs and their proximity in meaning [Archives:2004/798/Education]

December 13 2004

By Abdulkhaliq Obad
Mobile :71650703
& Ahmed Al-madhaji
Department of English
Faculty of Arts
Sana'a University

There are words which are homographous; that means these words have either the same pronunciation or the same spelling, as well as similar meanings. For instance, the following pairs of words are broadly synonymous. Some of these words can be used interchangeably.

1. flush=blush
Both mean 'to become red in the face.'
– The girl flushed (up) when the man spoke to her.
– Shame flushed her cheeks.
– She blushed for (with) shame.
– He blushed as red as peony

2. last=past
Both of them mean 'previous.'
– The last month of the year.
– The last time I saw you.
– The last letters of the alphabet.
– I stayed for the past few days.
– Yemeni people are proud of their past

3. Announce=pronounce
Both mean 'declare.'
– Mr. Ali announced his engagement to miss Aisha.
– The government announced the danger to be past.
– The book was announced as in preparation.
– The doctor pronounced him to be out of danger.
– Has the judgment been pronounced yet?

4. elect=select
Both of them mean 'choose.'
– They elected him the president.
– Purchasers can elect to pay in monthly installments.
– She was elected to the Parliament.
– The child was elected to stay with his mother.
– I selected him to be our leader in the journey.
– He was selected to represent us in the conference.

5. preserve = reserve= conserve
Both of them mean 'keep from (changes, loss).'
– You must preserve fruits in the fridge.
– God preserve us all.
– Reserve your strength for the climb.
– These seats are reserved for my friends.
– You must conserve your health.
– Insulating the walls will help to conserve heat

6. grumble =rumble
Both of them mean 'produce sound.'
– Thunder is grumbling in the distance.
– Is that your tummy grumbling?
– Heavy carts are rumbling along the street.
– The smell of cooking made his stomach rumble.

7. proffer =offer
Both of them mean 'give something to somebody.'
– Sami sipped from the glass proffered by the attendant.
– I proffer him advice.
– They offered a reward for the return of the jewels that had been stolen.
– He offered to help me .
– He offered some coffee to the guests.
– They offered him a very good job but he refused.

8. quiver =shiver
Both of them mean 'tremble .'
– He is quivering with cold.
– The Moth quivered its wings.
– He is quivering with rage.
– Suddenly the child's mouth began to quiver, and he burst into tears.
– He is shivering from fear.
– He stayed outside shivering.
– The wind is shivering the leaves of the tree.

9. corrode=erode
Both mean 'eat away or destroyed by the effect of something.'
– Rust corrodes iron.
– Iron corrodes easily.
– Rain corroded the metal pipes.
– All the electrical components have corroded.
– East-facing cliffs are being constantly eroded by heavy seas.
– Metals are eroded by acids.
– The coastline is slowly being eroded by the sea.

10 fusty =musty
Both of them mean 'old-fashioned.'
– There are many fusty old professors.
– These fusty ideas about education should be brought up-to-date

– I have bought musty books.
– he lives in a musty room.
– He is a professor with musty ideas.

11. compel =impel
Both mean 'to force somebody to do some thing.'
– I compelled him to bring back my money.
– He felt compelled to resign from his job.
– His conscience compelled him to confess.
– He said he had been impelled to crime by poverty
– The dean's speech impelled the students to greater efforts.
– Ahmed felt impelled to tell the truth.

12. cram =ram
Both mean to push heavily or fill too much.
– Sameerah crammed her clothes into the bag.
– He crammed food into his mouth
– The refugees were crammed into the truck
– He rammed down the soil.
– The car rammed from behind.
– He rammed the papers into the drawer.