Identical twin sisters get married to two different men. And, how important it is for the two ‘husbands’ to discrete their respective ‘wives’ for the discreet-actions. Rings a bell- Discrete v/s Discreet? That is what HOMONYMS are! And there are hundreds of ’em in the English language. Presenting to you 50 such difficult homonyms with examples and sentences – solutions you won’t forget ever! Be it a grammar test, the English section of CAT, CLAT, GRE, Bank PO, CSAT or any other competitive entrance exam – trust me, you are all set.

Homonyms (words which sound similar; but have different meanings) have nuances about them; especially with respect to their usage. This 50-50 playground of homonyms with examples below contains some of the most common pairs with correct definitions and memory keys. Trust me a careful study of this note ; will put you in a good stead for most of the English section of competitive exams.

As a Motivational Speaker, I have come to really believe that sometimes ‘Slow is better than Fast‘. Enjoy reading a few of these list of homonyms every day. Do not try to mug up in a day or otherwise. And do use these homonyms with sentences of your own too. Only when you start to apply / use these words – these words will become a permanent part of your usage repertoire. Do not work on these list of homonyms with a tensed mind.

Let us begin:-

1. ABJURE V/S ADJURE

ADJURE – means to request earnestly.
ABJURE – means to renounce,to disown.

Memory tip:  I ADJURE you to ABJURE your bad habits

Examples:-

a.) Beautiful song from Euphoria: Duniya parayi ABJURE karke aaja…sau rab di tujhe ek vaari aaja….(I ADJURE {request} you to come once).

b.) Remember those Old BOLLYWOOD movies :-
Actress (To Villain):- Main tumse vinti karti hoon (ADJURE) usse chor do..tum jo bologe main karne karne ko tayaar hoon.

c.) Actress(to hero) :- Main tumhare bache ki maa banne wali hoon.
Hero:- Nahi!!!! yeh mera bachha nahi hai..usse gira do (ABJURE kar do).

2.  ACCEPT VS EXCEPT

ACCEPT– to receive something
India ACCEPTED its defeat at the hands of Australia.

EXCEPT– to take or leave out
All the children were given a share in the property EXCEPT  Rohit Sharma.

Examples:

Mr Axar Patel ACCEPTED the award for being the best motivational speaker in India.
All were dressed in blue EXCEPT one.

Memory key:

ACCEPT has an ‘A’ which means something is being added.
EXCEPT has an ‘E’ which means something is being ejected (left out)

More examples: An ideal Indian wife- can ACCEPT everything in her life EXCEPT her husband having an extra marital.

3.  AMBIGUOUS VS AMBIVALENT

AMBIGUOUS – having more than one meaning, open to different interpretations.
AMBIVALENT –  having mixed feelings.

For e.g: The expensive Amby valley gives you an ambivalent feeling- whether it’s worth it or not- mixed emotions.

Memory key: In science, we had studied – Copper has two valencies-Cupric & Cuprous aka Ambivalent.

Examples:

a.) The tenant’s character sounded a bit AMBIGUOUS. Hence, the landlady was  AMBIVALENT about renting her apartment.

b.) The prospective groom’s family background looked AMBIGUOUS so the bride’s family were AMBIVALENT about accepting their offer.

If you say ‘yes and no’ to a question, it means you are ambivalent. Feeling two emotions at the same time. 

4.  AFFECT VS EFFECT

Affect: Affect with an ‘a’ means “to influence,” as in, “The venom affected the villian” Or to “act” as in “She affected an air of superiority”.

Effect: Effect with an ‘e’ means “a result” as in “The effect of the nail was notorious” or “The lighting effects were spectacular”.

Rule:

Barring a few exceptions, Affect is used as a verb and effect as a noun. It’s easy to remember with the picture.

“The Venom affected the Villain”, Remember the ‘V’s in the sentence and you’ll remember that “affected” is a verb.

And “The effect of nail was notorious”, Remember the ‘N’s and you’ll know that “effect” is a noun.

And once you remember that Affect with an ‘a’ is generally used as a Verb and Effect with an ‘e’ is generally used as a Noun, you’ll get it in 95% of the sentences.

Exceptions:

Well, affect can be used as a noun when you’re talking about psychology–it means the mood that someone appears to have. For example, “She displayed a happy affect.”

Psychologists find it useful because they know that you can never really understand what someone else is feeling. You can only know how they appear to be feeling.

And, effect can be used as a verb that essentially means “to bring about,” or “to accomplish.” For example, you could say, “Kapil Sabil hoped to effect change in the education system.”

5. AMORAL VS IMMORAL

AMORAL – ‘not concerned with morality’,
Studying is an AMORAL activity. We study because it is our duty and right to gain knowledge. It is not associated with our morals.

IMMORAL – ‘not conforming to accepted standards of morality’.
Cheating in exams is an IMMORAL activity as it flouts the rule of examinations.

Memory key: Immoral has an ‘I’- I can do something which is not moral- I am not moral.

6. ALLUSION VS ILLUSION

ALLUSION-an indirect reference
The boyfriend made an allusion to not getting married early.

ILLUSION-a false perception of reality, a dream
They saw a mirage: that is a type of ILLUSION- one sees in the desert.

Illusion of an oasis is not the Allusion that water is nearby.

Memory key:-
a.) Allusion (synonym: innuendo) means ‘ishara’.-Jeene ke ALLUSIONS mil gaye.

b.) Guzzarish’s Song:- Yeh jo tera zikhr hai,can be sung as:- Yeh jo tera ALLUSION hai
Illusion: Billo rani says: Raah mein tune mujhe roka hai, isme koi na koi ILLUSION hai.

7. ALL READY VS ALREADY 

ALL READY-prepared
Lunch was all ready when the guests arrived.

ALREADY-by this time
The lunch was already smelling bad when the guests arrived.

Memory key:-
ALL READY is separated. Jisme extra ‘L’ hai usko alag kar do and take the meaning of“all” and “ready” individually. You will get the phrase.

Example:
By the time we were ALL READY to leave for the movie, it had ALREADY started.

8. ALTOGETHER VS ALL TOGETHER 

ALTOGETHER – entirely
Altogether, I thought that the student’s presentation was well planned.

ALL TOGETHER– gathered, with everything in one place
We were all together at the family reunion last spring.

Memory key:
The same goes with “all together” as with “all ready”. The one with an extra ‘L’ is to be separated into two words. In altogether, the words ‘all’ and ‘together’ are joined entirely and it also means ‘entirely’.

Example:
When friends are ALL TOGETHER, it is fun ALTOGETHER.

9. AMIABLE VS AMICABLE

AMIABLE – showing good-natured personal qualities, affable, friendly
AMICABLE- peaceful, agreeable, harmonious

Memory key:

AMIABLE can be written as am + I + able to be friends with you.
AMICABLE  has a ‘CABLE’ which connects to establish peace and harmony. We use amiable for people and amicable for events or situations.

Example:
Due to the AMIABLE nature of the new neighbors in the locality, we could come to an AMICABLE settlement of the dispute that had taken place.

10. APART VS A PART

APART– to be separated
The chain-link fence kept the angry dogs apart.

OR

My old car fell apart before we reached California.

A PART-to be joined with
The new course was a part of the new field of study at the university.

OR A part of this plan involves getting started at dawn.

Example:-
A boyfriend says to girlfriend- “even though we are apart from each other…we are still a part of each other.”

11. ASCENT VS ASSENT

ASCENT – climb, upward movement, moving to a higher degree or state
The plane’s ascent made my ears pop.

ASSENT-agreement
The martian assented to undergo experiments.

Memory key:-
Ascent has a ‘c’ for climb. In Assent there is an agreement between two S that they will stay together.

Example:
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay assented that they will ascent the Mt. Everest and conquer it together.

12.  BREATH VS BREATHE

BREATH-noun, air inhaled or exhaled
You could see his breath in the cold air.

BREATHE-verb, to inhale or exhale
If you don’t breathe, then you are dead.

Memory key:
Breathe has an extra ‘E’. So, it has to work more. Zada letters zada kaam. Hence, it is a verb.

Example:
Admissions are finally over. I need to breathe. Let us go for a holiday and have a breath of fresh air.

13. CAPITAL VS CAPITOL

CAPITAL-seat of government. Also financial resources.
The capital of Virginia is Richmond.
OR

The firm had enough capital to build the new plant.

CAPITOL-the actual building in which the legislative body meets
The governor announced his resignation in a speech given at the capitol today.

Memory key:-

Capitol will be in a Capital city.
The one with an ‘O’ is a building.

Example:
At the capitol, the government announced the amount of capital employed in the upcoming project.

14. COMPLEMENT VS COMPLIMENT

COMPLEMENT – (noun)  something that completes; verb, to complete
A nice dry white wine complements a seafood entree.

COMPLIMENT-(noun)  praise; verb, to praise
The professor complimented Betty on her proper use of a comma.

Memory Key:
Jab tak naa pade aashiq ki nazar (till the time he doesn’t compliment) sringaar adhura rehta hai (beauty is not complemented) [So says the song. Not my views 🙂 ]

Example:-
COMPLIMENT by the spouse COMPLEMENTS the wife’s make up and dress up.

15. CONSCIENCE VS CONSCIOUS

CONSCIENCE-sense of right and wrong
The student’s conscience kept him from cheating on the exam.

CONSCIOUS-awake
I was conscious when the burglar entered the house.

Memory Key:-
Science states-what is right and wrong. So, jisme SCIENCE hai wo right ya wrong ke baare me bataayega- CONSCIENCE.

Example:
Be CONSCIOUS of your CONSCIENCE else life will slip into a state of unconsciousness

16. COUNCIL VS COUNSEL 

COUNCIL – a group that consults or advises
The men and women on the council voted in favor of an outdoor concert in their town.

COUNCILLOR is a member of a council.

COUNSEL-to advise
The parole officer counseled the convict before he was released.

COUNSELLOR  is someone who counsels. For example he is the best career counsellor in India.

Memory key:
We can say that I am in a COUNCIL that COUNSELS people i.e. SELL them advice.

Council- ‘I’
Counsel- sell advice

17. CENSURE VS CENSOR

CENSURE – means to express strong disapproval.
The boss censured his employees for coming late every day.

CENSOR – means ‘suppress unacceptable parts of (a book, film, etc.)’.
The censored version of the film was released in India to suit the audiences.

Memory key:
A censure makes sure you don’t commit the same mistakes again whereas a censor refers to scissoring the unwanted parts.

Example:
The parents censured the telecast of the movie ‘kama sutra’ on national television because it was not censored.     

18. CLIMACTIC VS CLIMATIC

CLIMACTIC– ‘forming a climax’,
CLIMATIC – which means ‘relating to climate’.

Memory key: the word CLIMACTIC has an extra ‘C’ which can be taken to stand for climax.

Examples :

a.)It was raining cats and dogs in Delhi.
b.) The climatic conditions proved to be climactic for the trip. We had to abandon it midway.

The deteriorating CLIMATIC conditions of the world around may prove to be CLIMACTIC for life on earth.

19. COMPALCENT VS COMPLAISANT

COMPLACENT – ‘smug and self-satisfied’
COMPLAISANT – which means ‘willing to please’, obliging, gracious

Memory key: Complaisant refers to showing pleasant behavior.

Example:
Atharv is very obedient, agreeable and gracious: a COMPLAISANT child. I feel COMPLACENT of my parentage.

Remember this way:  SRK in the movie ‘YES BOSS’ sings to Juhi -“ main koi aisa geet gaaon, ki aarzoo jagaun, agar tum kaho…tumko bulaun, ki palkein bichaun, kadam tum jahan jahan rakho”…he is willing to please her. He is being complaisant.

In the same movie he sings : “jo bhi chahun, wo main paaon, zindagi se, jeet jaaon…bass itna sa khwaab hai…” here, he wishes to be self satisfied i.e. complacent.

20. CONTINUOUS VS CONTINUAL

CONTINUOUS: primarily means ‘without interruption’, and can refer to space as well as time, as in the cliffs form a continuous line along the coast;

CONTINUAL: on the other hand, typically means ‘happening frequently, with intervals between’, as in the bus service has been disrupted by continual breakdowns

Memory key: continuous has ‘U’ and ‘S’ which appear continuously in the English alphabets. But continual has an ‘L’ at the end which is far away and causes disruption.

Example:
Ruk jaana nahi, tu kabhi haar ke (keep going CONTINUOUSLY, without interruption)
Thode anadi hain, thode khiladi, ruk ruk ke chalti hai apni gaadi (continual)

21. DISCREET VS DISCRETE

DISCREET–  ‘careful not to attract attention or give offence’
DISCRETE – which means ‘separate, distinct’.

Memory key: Discreet has two ‘E’s together but ‘T’ ‘separates them in Discrete.                      

Bribery is done discreetly.
Two discrete bubbles.

Examples:-
Geeta and Seeta were talking DISCREETLY at the back of the class. So, the teacher made them sit at DISCRETE places, away from each other.

22. FLAUNT VS FLOUT

FLAUNT- means ‘display ostentatiously’
FLOUT- means ‘openly disregard (a rule)’.

Memory key:

a.) When you FLAUNT, your get a taunt.
b.) When you FLOUT, you are thrown out.

Example:
The girls FLOUTED the dress code of the college by FLAUNTING their micro minis.

23. FOREGO VS FORGO

FOREGO – means ‘precede’, but is also a less common spelling for forgo.
FORGO – means ‘go without’.

Memory key:
Fore comes from ‘before’. So forego can be taken as before something i.e. precede. On the other hand, forgo comes from forgot. So it can be taken as – you forgot so you had to without it.

Example:
Wife threatened the husband- “Shopping can forego the movie. But I cannot forgo it today.”

24.  INGENIOUS VS INGENUOUS

INGENIOUS: creatively intelligent, cleverly inventive
INGENUOUS: candid, free from reserve or restraint; naïve/innocent.

Memory key:

a.) Ingenious has the word ‘GENIOUS’ which itself has the meaning.
b.) Ingenuous- remember ‘genuine’. Jo sahi hai, innocent hai, saccha hai (candid)

Examples:
Anu Malik INGENUOUSLY told the media that the song was his INGENIOUS work. As if, the world around is deaf.

25. LOATH VS LOATHE

LOATH: reluctant, unwilling
LOATHE: dislike greatly

Example:

a.) I LOATHINGLY accompanied my mom to her kitty party; something I LOATHE absolutely.
b.) Atharv to his mom, “I loath going to school and I loathe studying. There are no pretty girls in my class.”

26. ELICIT VS ILLICIT

ELICIT: to draw or bring out
The teacher elicited the correct response from the student.

ILLICIT-illegal
The drug lord was arrested for his illicit activities.

Memory key:
ILLICIT has a double ‘L’ and ILLEGAL has a double ‘L’ too. From this we can ELICIT that ‘illicit’ means ‘illegal’.

Example:
The jailers ELICITED the truth revolving the ILLICIT drug racket in the city from the drunk thug.

27. EMINENT VS IMMANENT VS IMMINENT

EMINENT-famous, respected
The eminent doctor won the Physician of the Year award.

IMMANENT-inherent or intrinsic
The meaning of the poem was immanent, and not easily recognized.

IMMINENT-ready to take place
A fight between the two sisters becomes imminent from the moment the younger ones returns from her job in Patiala.

Memory keys:

a) The one with an ‘A’ is very different. Jisme ‘A’ hai wo ALAG sa hai. Imagine a typical saas bahu serial episode. When the bahuein got to know about the immanent value of their mother-in-law’s jewellery, a game of politics and cold war became imminent. Yuddh toh hona hi tha.

b.) Being an EMINENT composer, A. R. Rehman’s work was bound to be IMMANENTand hence fame became IMMINENT for him.

c.)  The IMMANENT qualities make a person EMINENT and and hence, he becomes IMMINENT.(jaise, Sachin Tendulkar)

28. ITS VS IT’S

ITS-of or belonging to it
The baby will scream as soon as its mother walks out of the room.

IT’S-contraction for it is
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Memory key :-
The apostrophe in IT’S could be remembered as ‘I’– which will make it as IT IS.

Example:

Modifying the lines of a beautiful poem by John Keats:
“A thing of beauty- IT’S a joy forever. ITS beauty never dies.”

29.   LOSE VS LOOSE

LOSE -verb, to misplace or not win
Mom glared at Atharv- “If you lose that new lunchbox, don’t even think of coming home!”

LOOSE–noun, to not be tight; verb (rarely used)–to release

The burglar’s pants were so loose that he was sure to lose the race with the cop chasing him.
While awaiting trial, he was never set loose from jail because no one would post his bail.

Example:

a.) If your LOOSE pants give in to gravity on stage, you might LOSE the chance of winning the competition.
b.) With no news of the mass murderer on LOOSE, the authorities might LOSE public trust.

30. MENDACIOUS VS MENDICANT

MENDACIOUS: it refers to telling lies
MENDICANT: it refers to the act of begging.

Memory key:

Remember them like shakira and fakira.

Shakira sings, “hips don’t lie.” i.e. hips are not mendacious.
And fakira (shakira ka bhai) is a beggar who is begging i.e. is mendicant

Example:
If you are mendacious in life most of the times, you will have to be mendicant later to win their trust back again..

31. PRECEDE VS PROCEED

PRECEDE-to come before
Pre-writing precedes the rough draft of good papers.

PROCEED-to go forward
He proceeded to pass back the failing grades on the exam.

Memory key:

a.) In precede, ‘E’ ‘comes before’ both ‘C’ and ‘D’.
b.) In proceed, the ‘E’s ‘move forward’ to be together.

Example:

A lunch at Taj  PRECEDED the function. Then we PROCEEDED towards the station to see off the guests.

32. PRINCIPAL VS PRINCIPLE

PRINCIPAL-adjective, most important; noun, a person who has authority

The principal (adj) ingredient in chocolate chip cookies is chocolate chips.
The principal (noun) of the school does the announcements each morning.

PRINCIPLE-a general or fundamental truth
The study was based on the principle of gravity.

Memory key:
Principal ki har baat ka PALan karna padta hai. Principal has an “A”.

Example:
The PRINCIPAL taught us many PRINCIPLES of life that were worth learning.

33. PERQUISITE VS PREREQUISITE

PERQUISITE: a perquisite is a special right or privilege enjoyed as a result of one’s position
PREREQUISITE: something that is required as a prior condition for something else;prerequisite can also be an adjective, meaning ‘required as a prior condition’.

Memory key:

a.) Prerequisite has a requirement; a prior condition to be fulfilled whereas,
b.) Perquisite– special right. Rhyme them and learn.

Example:

a.) There are many PREREQUISITES that need to be fulfilled before you start enjoying your position at office and enjoy the PERQUISITES it gets you.

b.) Perquisite: authority and Prerequisite: responsibility

34. PERSPICUOUS VS PERSPICACIOUS

PERSPICUOUS: ‘expressing things clearly’.
To be a motivational trainer, you need to be perspicuous.

PERSPICACIOUS: which means ‘having a ready understanding of things / keenness in judgement.
Being perspicacious is very important to be a successful HR manager.

Memory key:
Picous speaks and Picacious listens.

Example:
Communication will improve only when we are both- perspicuous and perspicacious.

35. PROSCRIBE VS PRESCRIBE

PROSCIBE –  is a rather formal word meaning ‘condemn or forbid’.
PRESCRIBE – either ‘issue a medical prescription’ or ‘recommend with authority’.

Memory Key:-
Ishq dee Gali wich ‘No Entry’ =Ishq dee Gali wich entry ‘PROSCRIBED’>

Example:
In his PRESCRIPTION to the patient, the oncologist PROSCRIBED the consumption of tobacco.

36. REIGN VS REIN

REIGN: refers to the period during which an authority is in throne.
REIN: harness; to restrict

Memory key:
G for gunda. Most kings behave like goondas during their ‘reign’.

Example:
Under the REIGN of the British, many REINS were put on the Indians.

37. STATIONARY VS STATIONERY

STATIONARY-standing still
The accident was my fault because I ran into a stationary object.
A se ‘Aam ka Tree’ ; jo kee khada rehtaa hai…STATIONARY.

STATIONERY– writing paper, pencil etc.

Memory Key:-
PENCIL/PEN has ‘E’ …

Example:-
Mom scolded Akash “ wo stationery shop stationary hai…kahin bhaag nahi rahi hai. Khana khane ke baad chale jaana”. Jisme A hai wo khada rehta hai!!!!!

38. TITILLATE VS TITIVATE

TITILLATE: means ‘excite’
TITIVATE: means ‘adorn or smarten up’.

Memory key:
When women titivate men have to wait. When men titillate, they get late.

Example:
Titivate hona hai mujhe Sajna ke liye – taaqi wo Titillate kare >>

39. TORTUOUS VS TORTUROUS

TORTUOUS: ‘full of twists and turns’ or ‘excessiverely lengthy and complex’,
TORTUROUS:  which means ‘characterized by pain or suffering’.

Memory Keys:-

a.) Driving on the tortuous roads of hill stations can be torturous at times. The word that comes from ‘torture’ can be remembered easily. The one that has an ‘R’ missing is lengthy.

b.) Daily soaps on Indian television- so tortuous that it is torturous to watch them.

Kaun kiska pati hai, kuan kiska baccha hai, kaun zinda hai kaun mar chukka hai samajh hee nahi aata.

40. THAN VS THEN

THAN – use with comparisons
I would rather go out to eat than eat at the dining hall.

THEN – at that time, or next
I studied for my exam for seven hours, and then I went to bed.

Memory Key:-

GF to BF, “if you promise to love me more ‘THAN’ before, ‘THEN’ only I will come back to you.”.
Bf said, “then let it be.”

41. THEIR, THERE AND THEY’RE

THEIR-possessive form of they
Their house is at the end of the block.

THERE-indicates location (Key: think of “here and there“)
There goes my chance of winning the lottery!

THEY’RE-contraction for “they are
They’re in Himachal for the summer–again!

Memory key:

a.) Their house is over thereThey’re moving in tomorrow.
b.) Take it this way- their / therethey’re : unka /wahanwo log.

42. THROUGH, THREW, THOROUGH AND THOUGH

THROUGH-by means of; finished; into or out of
He plowed right through the other team’s defensive line.

THREW-past tense of throw.She THREW away the letters…..when they were THROUGH(finished) with their relationship, she THREW away his letters (and heart) into the bin…poor guy.

THOROUGH– careful or complete
He thoroughly cleaned his room; there was not even a speck of dust when he finished.

THOUGH-however; nevertheless
He’s really a sweetheart though he looks tough on the outside.

Example:-
You need a THOROUGH preparation even THOUGH CAT is doable…padhna toh padega hi naa…bina mehnat kiye kaise hoga??

Now combining all four of them:

THOUGH both of them were pretty serious and THOROUGH with their preparations, when they were THROUGH with the exam, they THREW away their hopes of getting a distinction.

THRU-abbreviated slang for through; not appropriate in standard writing
We’re thru for the day.

43. TO, TOO AND TWO

 TO– toward
I went to Punjab University for admission.

TOO-also, or excessively
He drank too many Beer bottles and was unable to drive home.

TWO-a number
Only two people are responsible for this untoward incident.

Memory Key:-

The TWO of them went TO the last restaurant they could think of…alas, it was closed TOO…obvious. It was TWO in the morning…papaji ka hotel hai kya jo khula rahega !!!

44. VENAL Vs VENIAL

VENAL: susceptible to bribery, corruptible
VENIAL:- is used in Christian theology in reference to sin (a venial sin, unlike a mortal sin, is not regarded as depriving the soul of divine grace). It thus means, a pardonable sin.

Example:-
Being venal is not a venial crime under the court of law…bhrashtachar maafi ke layak nahi hai (bhrashtachar venial nahi hai).

45. VERACITY VS VORACITY

VERACITY: it means, truthfulness, correctness, accuracy
VORACITY: it refers to the quality of being voracious i.e. extremely eager or avid, consuming large quantities of food.

Memory key:
Veracity can be VERIFIED as truth can be verified.

Remember voracity as (VORA)ha mota.

Example:
With VERACITY I can say that, if his VORACITY is not looked after, he will cross all limits of obesity sooner or later.

46.  WREATH Vs. WREATHE

WREATH with no e at the end means ‘arrangement of flowers’
WREATHE with an e is a verb meaning ‘envelop, surround, or encircle’.

Memory Keys:-

a.) A ‘WREATH’ of flowers  ‘WREATHED’ around her head.
b.) WREATHE has an ‘E’ at the end. It stands for encircle or envelope.

47. CANNON AND CANON

CANNON –  A large mounted weapon that fires heavy projectiles. Cannon include guns, howitzers, and mortar.
CANON –  A secular law,rule or code of law.

Memory Keys:-

a.) If u CAN follow CANON, it wud be turn ON ,f u CANNOT, turn ur face to CANNON.
b.) The Government passed a CANON..to preserve the old CANNONS.

48. EMIGRATE AND IMMIGRATE

EMIGRATE – (verb used  without  object) to leave one country or religion to settle in another;to migrate.
He emigrated from India to Australia.

IMMIGRATE – (verb used without object) to come to a country of which one is not a native,to reside permanently.
My next door neighbor is an American IMMIGRANT.

Memory Keys:-

a.) Replace E of Emigrate with EX ,i.e. something is going out.(ex-port)
b.) Replace I of Immigrate with IM, i.e. something is coming inside(im-port)

If something is coming inside-IMPORT-IMMIGRATE.
If something is going out-EXPORT- EMIGRATE.

49. WHO, THAT AND WHICH

WHO– is used when the individual person or the individuality of the group is implied.
e.g:-<He is the boy who understands Punjabi>

THAT- is used when a class, type or species is implied.
e.g. <She is the kind of student that we want>

WHICH- is used when referring to places, objects & animals.
e.g.<Our annual report, which is long, is now ready for distribution>

“That” introduces essential clauses while “which” introduces nonessential clauses.

e.g:- I do not like Hindi movies that are copies of English movies.

We would not know which Hindi movies are being discussed without the clause (copies of English movies). It would be gross injustice to say that the speaker does not like Hindi movies. He dislikes only the copies. ‘That’ clauses are hence essential clauses.

I do not like Hindi movies, which are copies of English movies.

That the speaker does not like Hindi movies at all is what the sentence suggests. It is as if the reason for his dislike is that they are copies of English movies. Besides, ‘which’ clause can also be separated from the other clause by a comma. The comma is not possible with the ‘that’ clause.

50. WHO VS WHOM

WHO– we use ‘WHO’ to ask which person does an action or which person is a certain way.
e.g.- Who made the birthday cake?
Who is in the kitchen?

WHOM– is used as an object. We use ‘WHOM’ to ask which person receives an action.

e.g- Whom are you going to invite?
Whom did he blame for the accident?

Memory key :-
Use the HE/ HIM approach / method to decide which of the two shall get used:-

HE= WHO
HIM= WHOM

e.g. WHO / WHOM wrote the letter. The answer to this is ‘He wrote the letter’. So, we will use ‘WHO’ here…

More examples to demonstrate the rule :-

  • Katrina consulted an astrologer WHO/ WHOM she met at Chandigarh.

( Now here – ‘She met HER at Chandigarh) . So, we’ll use ‘WHOM’

  • Priyanka is the girl WHO / WHOM got the job.

(Now here- ‘SHE got the job’) . So, we’ll use ‘WHO’.

Did you like these homonyms with examples and sentences? I have a whole bunch of such blogposts on English and communication – all ready for you. Read them HERE. Together, they will suffice for all your needs for competitive entrance exams like English section of CAT and other MBA exams, CLAT, CSAT, NDA, GMAT, GRE, SSC, Bank PO etc. And if you need to practice writing skills for WAT, UPSC, AWA for GMAT, Analytical Writing Skills for GRE or your SOPs for US / UK / other applications to foreign countries – they will be of great help! You can even share it with your friends / people you know who might be struggling with this thing.

This list of 50 Homonyms with examples and sentences are a child’s play I would say; if you don’t see it as 50. As I said, take time. Maybe over a period of 10 days! Once you know how to make your own memory keys, you will never ever forget them. That’s my guarantee.

Rise & Shine!

Akash Gautam

About Author

Akash Gautam is a Motivational Speaker & Corporate Trainer in India. Hundreds of Top Corporates like Google, CIPLA, Vodafone, McKinsey & Co., Maruti, HDFC, RIL, M&M & premier colleges like IIMs, IITs, SRCC etc go to him whenever they need a refreshing, big bang impact. Write to usWrite to us to know how he can transform your Team.

  • krishna

    hello sir,..i am really eager to learn englis n want to talk fluently also but i know i have lack of kwnldge, so some of my frnds suggest me to join spoken englis classes. i want to ask u should i really need to join the class..???or i can make my english fluent by following tips frm internet like urs…

  • nitin singh

    Amazing creative work. Its really helpful. Really engaging & interesting. In just one read, i can register more than 30 items. Kudos to your efforts.

  • Arista Manoj

    blog is really helpful but there are some spelling mistakes in the blog. i.e. PROSCIBE. it must be corrected.

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