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What are homonym pairs?

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Quick Answer

Homonym pairs are two words that share similar spellings and pronunciations but differ in meaning. There are two types of homonym pairs: homographs and homophones.

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Homographs have the same spelling but different meanings, such as a "bear," an animal, and "to bear," or to endure. Homophones have the same pronunciation but different spellings and meanings, such as "flew," meaning that something has flown, and "flu," which is an illness. Homonyms can cause confusion without a proper context for interpretation, especially when spoken aloud or selected improperly from a thesaurus.

Homonyms are often used as a literary technique to create humor through wordplay, and the multiple meanings of these pairs often present a particular challenge for English-language learners.

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