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Spot and Explain Homonyms in Sentences

In this worksheet, students will find the word that matches all of its explanatory definitions, the word will be a homonym. This will build students’ vocabulary and comprehension skills.

'Spot and Explain Homonyms in Sentences' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Verbal Reasoning

Curriculum subtopic:   Multiple Meanings

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Welcome word detective! You’re just in time to help us with the latest puzzle, what a stroke of luck!

 

What do you notice about the word rock in the two sentences below?

Sally needs to gently rock the baby’s cot.

Jack picked up a rock from the ground.

 

We’ll give you a clue...the word rock means something completely different in each sentence!

Some words are spelled the same but have more than one meaning, we call these homonyms.

For example: rock could be a swaying movement or a hard piece of the ground.

 

      


 

Below are two different meanings for a word which is spelled the same (a homonym). 

 

To look at someone.

An item used to tell the time.

 

Which word do these sentences define?

a) jump

b) watch

c) hand

d) cold

 

The answer is watch because it matches both of the meanings!

 

Let’s try another:

The sound a dog makes.

The outer part of a tree trunk.

 

Which word do these sentences define?

a) yap

b) leaf

c) bark

d) ground

 

The answer is bark as it matches both of the meanings! 

 

           


 

In this activity, you will need to be a homonym hunter and match words to their meanings.

 

Pssst! Here’s a handy hint to help you reach superstar status: you may want to use a dictionary for any words you find tricky. You can then write them down on a piece of paper and start your own collection of new words!

 

 

Hi there, word detective!

 

Select one of the words below, which matches with both of the definitions below.

 

A special box, which might contain treasure.

A part of your body, between your neck and stomach.

 

Wood

Ribs

Heart

Chest

Golden

Are you ready for another one?

 

True or false? Select the correct reason too.

In the sentence below, tap refers to an action you do with your fingers.

 

I turned the old, rusty tap on.

Wood

Ribs

Heart

Chest

Golden

Which of the words below have multiple meanings?

 

If you need a hint, there are two homonyms to spot!

Flower

Dress

Window

Rice

Can

A stick can mean a branch that's fallen from a tree.

 

Which of the other two definitions below also match with the word stick?

 

 

To really want something

To glue something down

To tie something together

To hit a musical instrument, like a drum

To push something sharp through something else

Select one of the words below, which matches with both of the following definitions.

 

A line.

An action used in a boat.

 

 

Row

Oar

Straight

Sail

Select the correct definitions for stuff below.

 

Hint - there are two to spot!

To pack something tightly

To drop something

A collection of objects

A type of food

Something we drink

A ring is a type of jewellery. 

 

Which of the two other definitions below also match with the word ring?

 

 

To run around a track

Something you keep in your pocket

A type of rose

A circle

Making a sound with a bell

Select the most likely definition of the homonym 'sink' next to each sentence.

 

Choose from the definitions below: 

 

Kitchen sink.

To sink (verb).

 

 

    

 Kitchen sinkVerb to sink
The sink was full of water.
The boat was full of water and began to sink.
I really hope we don't sink out here.

You're over halfway through this activity, word detective!

 

Select the most likely definition of the homonym seal next to each sentence.

 

Choose from the definitions below.

 

Creature

Close

 

    

 CloseCreature
Can you seal the envelope?
The seal was found in the water.
The businessman was happy to seal the deal.

Well done - you've reached the final question!

 

Type the word which matches with both of the following definitions.

 

A piece of furniture.

A way of organising information into rows and columns.

 

  • Question 1

Hi there, word detective!

 

Select one of the words below, which matches with both of the definitions below.

 

A special box, which might contain treasure.

A part of your body, between your neck and stomach.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Chest
EDDIE SAYS
Look at the treasure chest in the picture above. They're often used in stories with buried treasure and pirates! Now point to your chest. You should now feel confident in knowing the difference between this homonym pair.
  • Question 2

Are you ready for another one?

 

True or false? Select the correct reason too.

In the sentence below, tap refers to an action you do with your fingers.

 

I turned the old, rusty tap on.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Well done if you spotted that tap is being used as a noun in our sentence, whereas the true or false question is suggesting it is an action - a verb. When you use the keyboard of a computer, you tap the keys, and if you want someone's attention, you might tap them. These are verbs. The tap which we use to turn water on and off is a noun.
  • Question 3

Which of the words below have multiple meanings?

 

If you need a hint, there are two homonyms to spot!

CORRECT ANSWER
Dress
Can
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on? We have another example of words which can be both a noun and a verb here! Dress used as a noun refers to the item of clothing, while the verb to dress is something we do when we put clothes on, whether it's a skirt, trousers, jumper or socks! As for can, you might think of a can of soup or of dog food, but it's also a special type of verb called a modal verb. It's used to show that we are able to do something. So those are our homonyms! Don't let flower trick you - it is a homophone, but its partner, flour, has a different spelling so it only sounds the same. This means it's not a multiple meaning homonym!
  • Question 4

A stick can mean a branch that's fallen from a tree.

 

Which of the other two definitions below also match with the word stick?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
To glue something down
To push something sharp through something else
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, you were able to spot the common meaning of the verb stick, which is what you use glue to do. This is also where the word 'sticker' comes from. The second meaning is a little harder. Can you think of a time you've had to pierce something? For example, with some drinks, you have to stick the straw through the foil before you can drink it. Another example is when you've been told not to stick things in your eyes! In both of these cases, glue is not relevant. Stick here means to push something sharp through something else.
  • Question 5

Select one of the words below, which matches with both of the following definitions.

 

A line.

An action used in a boat.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Row
EDDIE SAYS
Can you think of a time that you've been asked to stand or sit in a row? When you have assembly at school, you probably all sit in rows then. The other definition is the verb for the action of using oars to move a boat. Have you ever been rowing or seen a rowing race?
  • Question 6

Select the correct definitions for stuff below.

 

Hint - there are two to spot!

CORRECT ANSWER
To pack something tightly
A collection of objects
EDDIE SAYS
Do you have lots of stuff? Stuff is a word we use for objects we don't need to name or state the difference between. The other definition is a verb. Have you ever had to stuff something in your bag, or stuffed a cushion? This use refers to when we pack something tightly inside something else. Sometimes the item we're trying to stuff back into its container is really hard to get back in - it seems to have grown since it came out of its bag - has that ever happened to you?
  • Question 7

A ring is a type of jewellery. 

 

Which of the two other definitions below also match with the word ring?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
A circle
Making a sound with a bell
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot both correct answers here? You might have drawn a ring around an activity answer in class - it means to draw a circle around something, doesn't it? Our second correct option has a similar meaning to chime. Have you ever rung a bell? Push on, word detective - you've nearly completed this activity.
  • Question 8

Select the most likely definition of the homonym 'sink' next to each sentence.

 

Choose from the definitions below: 

 

Kitchen sink.

To sink (verb).

 

 

    

CORRECT ANSWER
 Kitchen sinkVerb to sink
The sink was full of water.
The boat was full of water and began to sink.
I really hope we don't sink out here.
EDDIE SAYS
Yet again, the pattern of a word being used as both a verb and noun continues! I bet you're getting good at spotting it now, word detective! In both the second and third sentences, sink is used as a verb, because its the action of falling through water. The first sentence uses the noun, as in the sink we have in our kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Question 9

You're over halfway through this activity, word detective!

 

Select the most likely definition of the homonym seal next to each sentence.

 

Choose from the definitions below.

 

Creature

Close

 

    

CORRECT ANSWER
 CloseCreature
Can you seal the envelope?
The seal was found in the water.
The businessman was happy to seal the deal.
EDDIE SAYS
Here we are again - the pattern of having a verb and noun definition for a homonym pair! This is a useful pattern that us to spot. In the first and last sentences, seal is used as an action while in the second example, the word 'the' gives us a clue that we're talking about a noun here. How are you getting along?
  • Question 10

Well done - you've reached the final question!

 

Type the word which matches with both of the following definitions.

 

A piece of furniture.

A way of organising information into rows and columns.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Table
EDDIE SAYS
This was trickier as you didn't have any options to choose from. I hope the image above helped you. Are you sitting at a table right now as you're working? You might also make a table of words and definitions to help you with any new vocabulary you've picked up during this worksheet. That's another activity ticked off homonym hunter - terrific focus! You have now further developed your ability to identify homonyms.
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