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|Homonyms; They're too funny!|
|Topic Started: 4 Feb 2006, 01:57 PM (923 Views)|
|Field||4 Feb 2006, 01:57 PM Post #1|
Homonyms, in the English language, are useful in tripping people up. Anyone else who had those "No Excuse Word" tests in primary school knows what I'm talking about. For some homonyms, there are rules that show how the words make sense in different contexts; for others, the only way to conquer them, sadly, is to commit them to memory.
The first order of business is that of "there," "their," and "they're."
The more ambitious will first recognize that "they're" has an apostrophe, whereas "there" and "their" do not. This is a clue... you might as well use it!
Yes, "they're" is indeed a contraction. "They're" is the combination of the words "they are." The apostrophe replaces the space and the "a," creating a seemingly single word. It is easy enough to figure out when to use this form: when you are able to replace it with "they are," without the sentence losing its meaning.
Example: "They're going to go for a walk" can also be "They are going to go for a walk." Once you've used this trick a few times, it should come more easily to you.
What of the others, though? Aren't "there" and "their" interchangable? The answer, I'm sure you've guessed, is that they are not.
"There" refers to place. If you like, you can remember it as the opposite of "here."
Example: "I am going there."
You are not going their. "Their," the last of the threesome, is a possessive pronoun. For example, instead of saying, "Sam, Mike, and Angel's car," one could simply say "Their car." "Their" replaces multiple possessive names -- that is, more than one person, owning one or more things: "Their books," "their toys," "their chairs," etc.
The next major set includes "to," "too," and "two."
The logically simplest to use is "two." "Two" is one of the first elements of English that a person would learn: the numbers up to or beyond ten. "Two" is the letter version of "2." It's as easy as that. If you find yourself using "two" for anything other than "2," you are using it incorrectly. "I have two eyes." "You have two hands." "I see two cars." "I smelled two roses." In all of these instances, "two" can be replaced by "2."
(As a side note -- in writing, it always looks more elegant to either spell out all numbers, or use all the numerical symbols. This isn't necessary, but it looks cleaner.)
Actually, the rule is that it's better to spell out all numbers, but only required that you spell out numbers zero through ten.
"To" and "too" are commonly confused.
The word "too" should usually be coupled by "much," or an adjective. For example, "These grapes are too warm" would convey that the grapes are warmer than they ought to be. Also, one might say, "I've eaten too much food," meaning that the speaker has eaten more food than was probably sensible. "Too" refers to the extent that something is ____.
In other contexts, "too" replaces "also." Ex: "Nick wore a white shirt. George also wore a white shirt." becomes "Nick wore a white shirt. George wore a white shirt too.
In contrast, if I wrote, incorrectly, "I've eaten to much food," it could be compared with the phrase "I stink to high heaven." "To" is a preposition, literally, but in simpler terms it is used to link one thing to another. A correct usage of "to" would be to say "I walked to the woods." In that case, it answers the question "where?"
I walked where? I walked to the woods.
Another example: "There is too much to say." Too much what? Too much to say.
The last homonym example for now: "our" and "are" (and, sadly, "r").
First off -- do not use "r" as a word. "R" is not a word. "R" is the eighteenth letter of the English alphabet. It is not, however, a possessive pronoun, a verb, nor any other bit of language beyond a letter. "Toys R Us" does not help today's youth learn to speak English correctly. It is a good example of a horrible mistake. "You r cool" is not a complete sentence, either; literally, it makes no sense. Chatspeak, AOLer, whatever you like, may use it, but English does not.
"Our" is a possessive pronoun. It encompasses a second party and "me." Like "their," you can replace "our" with other words to help you check your work.
"Our car has broken down." If the car belongs to, say, Danny and me, the "our" infers in fewer words that the car belongs to both of us. "Our" is the possessive of "us."
In other languages, possessives work differently: in English, done without bizarre, extra words, "Our car" can literally become "The car belonging to us," like "El carro de nosotros" (or something similar).
"Are" is a conjugated verb, and can act either as an action or linking verb. (As helpful as that is not.) Example: "We are." "Are" is used with the subjects "you" ("you are"), "we" ("we are"), and "they" ("they are"). It is a way to be -- to exist. Like "I am," its infinitive is "to be."
"Are" is a 'state of being' verb. Since I'm not sure where else they'll be mentioned, might as well list them here: be, is, am, are, was, were, been, do, did, does, have, has, had, shall, will, may, can, must, might, could, would, should. I was made to memorize these in song form (military march, for that matter), but it isn't imperative that you remember them, so much as you remember how to USE them.
"Are" can also be used to tie a subject to another verb. "You are working." "They are swimming." "We are eating." Make sure the verb you stick on the end of the sentence is also conjugated correctly, or you might end up with a sentence that really confuses others! Usually, the ending word on such a short sentence would end in "ing" -- though that is not a rule without exceptions. (Are there any rules in English that don't have exceptions, really?)
It isn't "ing" verbs, it's just present tense. You can say, "he runs/he ran," or you can use a state of being verb. "Are" is used for present tense because it IS present tense. "Were/was" is used for past tense. It's just verb conjugation, which they only really teach for foreign languages. "I AM, you ARE, he IS, we/you/they ARE." Helping or "auxilliary" verbs are conjugated while the second verb is left the same. "I AM running, you ARE running, He IS running, we/you/they ARE running." You use "runs" to describe something someone does, but isn't necessarily doing at that moment. You use "is/are running" to describe what they're actually doing at that moment, and "was/were running" to describe something they've done.
Use each homonym in a sentence --"there," "their," "they're," "to," "too," "two," "our," and "are."
The sentences can be as short as you like.
|Nana||4 Feb 2006, 02:33 PM Post #2|
Hero in Training
--"there," "their," "they're," "to," "too," "two," "our," and "are."
-"Mike, our bags are over there, by the tree" X
-"Wow, their team, is much better than ours."X
-"They're going to the movies, tomorrow night."X
-"I have sent a letter, to my friend yesterday."X
-"There is too much ice cream."
-"There are two apples on the table"
-"Our class went on a field trip, a week ago." X
-"Are you guys, coming to the show with me, or what?"X
Your homonyms are perfect, but the X's note sentences where you have unecessary commas. With grammar work, you have to keep the things from former lessons correct--even if they aren't the focus of the current one.
|tortured by teletubbies||4 Feb 2006, 02:40 PM Post #3|
Ok I'll give it a shot.
--"there," "their," "they're," "to," "too," "two," "our," and "are."
Look over there!
I think they're gonna be prom queen and king.
Their lunch boxes have flowers on them.
I like Teen Titans too!
I have two jackets that are pink.
I think our drawings are the best.
I am going to the mountains this week.
Meh wasn't so hard.
|Unifilar||4 Feb 2006, 04:24 PM Post #4|
Sounds like fun.
There seems to be a large gorilla in my dressing room.
I have found that their manners are inexcusably atrocious.
If you wish to find them, they're in the kitchen.
We're going outside, because we want to dance in the rain.
As Cindy watched her sister leave, she suddenly wished that she could come too.
Between you and me, I just stole two million dollars.
Our tardiness has landed us in a week's worth of detention.
They are not going to tolerate my procrastination.
Homonyms are sometimes awfully difficult to deal with, because they're really easy to overlook. You just have to practice a lot, and it usually becomes second nature to use them correctly. ...I don't think I've reached the 'second nature' stage yet. XD
|GothicBlackfire||15 Feb 2006, 07:37 PM Post #5|
Just for fun. :lol:
Why is there a chicken dancing on Emily's head?
I think that they should keep their whining to themselves.
If you're wondering, they're just a group of overly-angsty teens.
I wanted to go to the dance, and my parents actually let me.
There are too many Beast Boy/Raven pictures out there.
Two was her favorite number.
Our band does various cover songs.
Are you going to go see that movie?
|AinoMinako||8 Mar 2006, 01:22 AM Post #6|
Are our two classmates going to arrive soon? They're already too late to finish the test within the allotted time, but there's still a chance their grades won't be failing. If they don't show up, I'm going to the principal.
|Hooray Chicken||2 Oct 2006, 01:02 PM Post #7|
What is the point of this?
They're crazy :P
Spam = Bad
Don't do it.
|Lomesir22||8 Oct 2006, 10:40 AM Post #8|
These grammar threads are really good to read and check up on. I've noticed something on this thread that you've forgotten, however:
"Its" vs. "It's"
Those two words are tricky because one could argue, with impeccable logic, that they're both possessive(sp?) because of the apostrophe in "it's".
I'll leave the explanations up to you, moderators. You guys seem to be really into this.
|Alastor||9 Oct 2006, 12:54 AM Post #9|
Hero in Training
The only thing I known about those two is that 'Its' is possesive while 'It's' is an abreviation of 'It is'.
"It's a good thing I had my sword! I cut its head off!"
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