In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. Thus homonyms are simultaneously homographs (words that share the same spelling, irrespective of their pronunciation) and homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, irrespective of their spelling). The state of being a homonym is called homonymy. Examples of homonyms are the pair stalk (part of a plant) and stalk (follow/harass a person) and the pair left (opposite of right) and left (past tense of leave). A distinction is sometimes made between "true" homonyms, which are unrelated in origin, such as skate (glide on ice) and skate (the fish), and polysemous homonyms, or polysemes, which have a shared origin, such as mouth (of a river) and mouth (of an animal). In non-technical contexts, the term "homonym" may be used (somewhat confusingly) to refer to words that are either homographs or homophones.
Welcome to the homonyms section of Busy Teacher. This is one of several subsections in the word building category. Currently there is one worksheet posted on this page but more will be added soon so check back regularly. Dominoes can be used to practice many different ESL topics and is well suited to practicing homonyms. This twist on a classic game has been used successfully by other busy teachers to work on homonyms and word building. Be sure that students know not just the pronunciation but also the meanings of all of the words before beginning the game. This activity would be best for intermediate students. Customize the dominoes as you choose and print them out on heavy duty paper to make them more durable. Some homonyms such as your and you're are especially important and require extra practice. If you have any homonyms worksheets please upload them today to help other busy teachers. All of our worksheets are free, printable, and editable so you can't go wrong starting here for lesson materials
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