Homonym vs. Homophone vs. Homograph (Grammar Rules)

Learn when you're writing or reading a homonym vs. homophone vs. homograph with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of each.
Author:
Publish date:

We've presented our fair share of homonyms, homophones, and homographs in this Grammar Rules series. So what are they anyway? We should probably dig into that question a bit. In fact, that's the mission of this post.

(Analogy vs. Metaphor vs. Simile.)

Let's untangle these similar terms that aren't exactly the same, even if there is a little crossover.

homonym_vs_homophone_vs_homograph_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Homonym vs. Homophone vs. Homograph

Homonym can actually carry two meanings. In one instance, a homonym is any collection of words that can be classified as homophones and/or homographs. The other instance insists that homonyms are only instances when words are both homophones AND homographs. Either way, let's explain homophones and homographs.

Homophone is one of two or more words that are pronounced the same but have a different meaning or spelling. Here are a few examples: 

They sound the same, but they have different spellings and meanings.

Homograph, on the other hand, is one of two or more words that spelled the same but have a different meaning or pronunciation. For instance, the word "tear" is different if "you tear a page" than if "you let that tear run down your cheek when you're sad." Spelled the same but different meaning and pronunciation.

Make sense?

A final note on homonyms, homophones, and homographs:

I like to give little clues for figuring out when you're using one term or the other. So just remember that homophones sound the same, like if you were talking on a phone. Meanwhile, homographs are spelled the same, like if you used a graphite pencil. And then, homonyms are either, both, and/or only both.

*****

Grammar and Mechanics

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

Click to continue.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.

capital_vs_capitol_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Dulan_1:14

On Writing to Give Grief Meaning and Write Out of Challenging Situations

Author Lily Dulan explains why writers have to be willing to go to difficult places inside themselves for their writing to make a positive impact on ourselves, others, and the world.

Brandt_1:14

Gerald Brandt: Toeing the Line Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Science fiction author Gerald Brandt explains how this new series explores the genre boundary and how he came to find his newest book's focus.

plot_twist_story_prompts_moment_of_doubt_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Moment of Doubt

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character experience a moment of doubt.

dr_caitlin_oconnell_finding_connection_and_community_in_animal_rituals_author_spotlights

Caitlin O'Connell: Finding Connection and Community in Animal Rituals

In this post, Dr. Caitlin O'Connell shares what prompted her to write a book about finding connection and community in animal rituals, what surprised her in the writing process, and much more!

new_agent_alert_zeynep_sen_of_wordlink_literary_agency

New Agent Alert: Zeynep Sen of WordLink Literary Agency

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Zeynep Sen of WordLink Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

Henick_1:13

Mark Henick: On Memory, Healing, and Languishing Projects

Author Mark Henick shares how he was able to turn a successful TEDx talk into a memoir, even when the project didn't come as quickly as he expected.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 553

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a do-over poem.