Многозначность английского слова

Разделы: Иностранные языки

While mastering the English language pupils often come across very interesting lingual puzzles. These are semantic words, homophones, heteronyms, synonyms, etc. Eager to understand the real meaning pupils are motivated to work with a dictionary, and consequently they enrich their language.
Although the words are simple and ordinary but they often turn out to have an unpredictable and unexpected meaning. They can be called terminological confusion.

I.Read each entry word in the box and its meanings. These entry words are used in the sentences below. Complete each sentence with an entry word from the box.


1) one side of a sheet of paper
2) a person who carries messages
3) to call a person


1) a person who is another person’s equal
2) to look hard


1) a series of related events that make up the main story in a book, film, etc.
2) a secret plan against a person or a government


1)to push on or against
2) people who work as reporters or journalists
3) to iron
4)to apply pressure


1)something offered or won as a reward
2)to value


1)a job or activity that is to be done
2)to cast an image, shadow, or light onto a surface


1) to shut, not open
2)bound by mutual interests, loyalties


1) to put smth. over smb. or smth.
2) to travel over (a distance)
3) to give a report or description of an event on TV or radio, or in a newspaper
4) the outside page at the front or back of the book

1.Michael has worked very hard on his science ____________________.
2.We tried to ____________ Michael for details, but he would not tell us much.
3.Some judges are teachers, and others are Michael’s ______________ .
4.John’s written report is ten ____________ long.
5.In his experiment, he will _________ images on a screen.
6.He hopes the judges will ______ at the images carefully.
7.Michael is proud of his work, and he hopes to win a ___________ .
8.He knows that the local ____________ will be there to report the winner.
9.Bill will __________ his dad immediately to tell him the results.
10. Guy Fawkes was one of the participants in the ________ to blow up the House of Parliament.
11. Even if he doesn’t win, Tom will _______ this experience for years.
12. Cliff still has to ___________ his eyes to be able to eat sushi.
13. After years of friendship he realized that Michael was a very _______ friend of his.
14. Who is to _______ the conference?
15. The streets were __________ with snow.

II. There are many words in English that are identical in sound but different in spelling and meaning. Such words are called homophones (омофоны). You all know them, such as : buy – by – bye; plain – plane; knight – night; to brake – to break; a bear – bare( feet) and many others. They can be easily distinguished only in the text.

Translate the sentences:

1. The love song tricked us all into believing in happy endings and knights in shining armor. Good night, sleep tight!
2. A large bear is found in the forest near our village. She had bare arms and a bare neck.
3. She brakes sharply to avoid another car. Old bone breaks easily.

III. However, there are some words in English that are the same in spelling but different in sound and meaning. They are called heteronyms [het r nims] (омографы).

bow [bau] v. – to bend your body forwards from the waist, especially to show respect for someone or (noun) – a forward movement of the top part of your body
bow [bou] noun 1. a weapon made from a long curved piece of wood, used for shooting arrows 2. a knot that you tie in something: tie smth in a bow

wind [wind] noun – a current of air that is moving across the earth’s surface
wind [waind] verb – 1 the action of turning a part of a clock or watch to make it operate 2 to be in a particular place or situation not because you choose to, but because of other things that have happened (phrasal verb)

dove [d^v] noun – a kind of bird
dove [douv] v – the past tense of dive

minute [‘minit] – one-sixtieth of an hour
minute [mai’nju:t] – (adj) extremely small

Complete each sentence with an entry word from the box:

1. I forgot to ____________ up my watch so of course it stopped.
2. He _________ into the pool.
3. The ____________ blew from the northeast.
4. Satoshi always made sure to ______ before the emperor.
5. How did we _________ up in Kansas?
6. The hordes of warriors making their way through the forest fought with _____ and arrow.
7. We always let white __________ go at our Last Bell ceremony at school.
8. She decorated a Christmas present with a beautiful _________ .
9. The chances of success were ________ .

IV. The meaning of words may be different by changing stress. The spelling however remains the same. Don’t be fooled by a word that looks the same.

contract (n) – a written legal agreement
contract (v) – to become infected with a disease

desert (n) – a large area of land with few plants and little water
desert (v) – abandon; to leave someone in a situation where they have no help or

present (n) – a gift
present (v) – to introduce

1. The _________ was supposed to expire seven years after it was signed.
2. The Gobi is a large __________ in Asia.
3. What are you going to give him as a _________?
4. Tom firmly stated that he would rather __________ pneumonia and die than stand outside wearing that ridiculous pink and green poncho.
5. His courage __________ him.
6. He will _____ his experiment to the judges today.

V. Think about the different meaning of the following words, give their definition and create a sentence on your own: part, set, rock, stick, watch, share.

VI. Look for your own examples of semantic words.