Magazine Cultura


Da Alba Forni @albaforni1

Now we are going to look at some more homophones, i.e. words that are spelt differently and have different meanings but sound the same.
Oggi studieremo altri omofoni, cioè quelle parole che si scrivono in modo differente e hanno significati diversi, ma che si pronunciano allo stesso modo.

Let's start with the words "flower" and "flour".

a flower (countable): un fiore

For example,
Last week I received a beautiful bunch of flowers from a friend.
La settimana scorsa ho ricevuto un bellissimo mazzo di fiori da parte di un amico.

flour (uncountable): farina

For example,
I need to buy a bag of flour before I make the biscuits.
Ho bisogno di comprare un pacco di farina prima di fare i biscotti.

Another couple of words which are spelt differently, have different meanings but sound the same are "allowed" and "aloud".

allowed is the past simple and past participle form of the verb "to allow". "To allow someone to do something" is " "permettere a qualcuno di fare qualcosa " in Italian.

Here are two examples with "allowed". In the first one "allowed" is the past simple form and in the second one it is a past participle in a passive structure.

His parents never allowed him to play in the streets when he was a kid.You are not allowed to smoke in here.
Non si può fumare qui.
I suoi genitori non gli hanno mai permesso di giocare in strada quando era piccolo.

When you say or read something aloud, you speak so that others can hear you. A synonym of "aloud" is "out loud".

For example,
Stand in front of the rest of the class and read your poem aloud.
Mettiti in piedi e leggi ad alta voce la tua poesia a tutta la classe.

I ate an apple, a pear and an orange yesterday.Last Saturday I bought a new pair of shoes.
Sabato scorso ho comprato un nuovo paio di scarpe.
Ieri ho mangiato una mela, una pera e un'arancia.

Now let's look at some more homophones: "pear" and "pair".

a pear: una pera

a pair: un paio

Look at a couple of examples:

The following list of 5 pairs are combinations of words we often get wrong - not just beginners, even advanced students.

Assent and Consent

Both verbs mean agreement, but let's look at their definitions:

assent - to agree to or approve of something (such as an idea or suggestion) especially after carefully thinking about it.

consent - to agree to do or allow something : to give permission for something to happen or be done.

So you see, one means to agree enthusiastically, and the other is to agree neutrally.

Breach and Breech

They sound the same, but are not!

breach - a failure to do what is required by a law an agreement or a duty : failure to act in a required or promised way.

breech - this word means the lower part of the body first. It is usually only used to describe a birth in which a baby is born with the feet or buttocks coming out of the mother first instead of the head.

So if a company is not acting as it promised it would in a contract, it is breaching the contract, not breeching. That would be very strange, right?

Compelled and Impelled

One is a voluntary action, the other isn't. Do you know which is which?

compelled - to force (someone) to do something.

impelled - to cause (someone) to feel a strong need or desire to do something.

So if a thief steals diamonds from an old lady and feels guilty, maybe he will be impelled to giving it back. But if he doesn't feel guilty and is caught by the police, he will be compelled to go to prison!

Infectious and Contagious

We often use these words like synonyms, but in fact they have their own, very different, meaning:

infectious - capable of causing infection, capable of being passed to someone else by germs that enter the body and suffering from a disease that can be spread to other people by germs.

contagious - able to be passed from one person or animal to another by touching.

So, infectious diseases are caused by bacteria or viruses that get into the body and cause problems. Some infectious diseases spread directly from one person to another. Infectious diseases that spread from person to person are said to be contagious.

Deserts, Deserts and Desserts

The first one, pronounced deserts, sounds like the last word, desserts. However, the second word is pronounced desert. OK, now we all understand how to say these three words, let's find out what they mean and make sure we don't get them confused!

deserts - punishment that someone deserves

deserts - an area of very dry land that is usually covered with sand and is very hot.

desserts - sweet food eaten after the main part of a meal.

Very similar words, with very different meanings.

Potrebbero interessarti anche :

Ritornare alla prima pagina di Logo Paperblog

Possono interessarti anche questi articoli :