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Investigate Homonyms

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

'Investigate Homonyms' 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 stick in the two sentences below?

I threw the stick for my dog to chase.

I used the glue to stick the photos in my album. 

 

We’ll give you a clue, the word stick 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, stick could mean a branch from a tree, or the act of gluing something down.

 

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

The opposite of right.

Leaving something behind.

 

Which word do these sentences define?

a) down

b) around

c) beside 

d) left

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

 


         

Let’s try another:

Being part of society.

One of the suits in a pack of cards.

 

Which word do these sentences define?

a) club

b) hammer

c) trunk

d) group

The answer is club 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!

 

Hello, word detective, are you ready for another exciting challenge?

 

A stalk is a part of a plant.

 

Which of the other definitions below also matches with the word stalk?

 

Admire

Want

Avoid

Welcome

Follow

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

 

Footprints

Pursues

 

Tracks

Prints

Clues

Signals

Follows

Choose the homonym that fits with the meaning of both sets of words in the brackets below. 

 

(Intelligent, Knowledgeable)

(Neat, Tidy)

Smart

Clever

Thoughtful

Which of the words below have multiple meanings?

 

Check them all carefully as you don't know how many there will be!

 

Planet

Star

Stand

Hair

Foot

Loop

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

 

Choose from the definitions below.

Fair

Recently

 FairRecently
I think that was a just decision.
I like the teacher because she is just.
I've just got back from a brilliant day out.
I've just seen my friend at the park.

Type the word below which matches with both of these definitions.

 

To shut something.

To be near something.

 

How are you getting on, word detective?

 

Choose the homonym that fits with the meaning of both sets of words in the brackets below. 

(Convey, Express)

(Nasty, Horrible)

     

Mean

Unkind

Confuse

Choose the homonym that fits with the meaning of both sets of words in the brackets below. 

 

(Plant, Spread)

(Pig, Female) 

 

  

Sow

Piglet

Seed

Select the correct definitions for long below.

 

Check each one carefully as there may be more than one that fits!

 

Far

Measure

Desire

Dislike

Weigh

Scale

Phew - you've reached the final question.

 

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

 

Choose from the definitions below.

Strict

Determined

Business

Hard

 

    

 StrictDeterminedBusinessHard
The law firm was well respected.
My teacher is firm but fair.
My mattress is a bit too firm.
I was very firm when I stood up for myself.
  • Question 1

Hello, word detective, are you ready for another exciting challenge?

 

A stalk is a part of a plant.

 

Which of the other definitions below also matches with the word stalk?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Follow
EDDIE SAYS
Stalk means to follow, but not in a good way! Normally, the person being stalked doesn't actually want to be followed. Or a predator might stalk its prey before catching and killing it.
  • Question 2

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

 

Footprints

Pursues

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Tracks
EDDIE SAYS
These definitions link because if someone is lost in the snow and leaves footprints or tracks, it's easier for someone to find them by tracking them. As you can see, the footprints are nouns, while the act of following them is the verb form.
  • Question 3

Choose the homonym that fits with the meaning of both sets of words in the brackets below. 

 

(Intelligent, Knowledgeable)

(Neat, Tidy)

CORRECT ANSWER
Smart
EDDIE SAYS
You can be smart in your appearance, or in how tidy you keep your bedroom. You can also be considered smart in the way that people judge how intelligent you are. It doesn't actually matter how smart other people think you are, as long as you work hard!
  • Question 4

Which of the words below have multiple meanings?

 

Check them all carefully as you don't know how many there will be!

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Star
Stand
Foot
EDDIE SAYS
Did you try thinking of these words as both objects and actions? That would be my top tip for tackling a question like this. This method will help you with star and stand. You can star in a show, or you might refer to the stars in the sky. As for the word stand, you can stand up, but it's also a word for a stall. This won't work for foot, which makes this a trickier one! It's obviously a part of your body but is also a unit of measure before centimetres and metres, which is still used in the UK sometimes. For example, when people measure height, they often use feet and inches. Did you get all of these correct, word detective - well done if so, because they weren't easy!
  • Question 5

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

 

Choose from the definitions below.

Fair

Recently

CORRECT ANSWER
 FairRecently
I think that was a just decision.
I like the teacher because she is just.
I've just got back from a brilliant day out.
I've just seen my friend at the park.
EDDIE SAYS
You don't normally hear the word 'just' used, but if you know the word justice, which refers to fair consequences when you've done something wrong, you can identify the root word 'just' in there. The other form of just is used really frequently, and can mean slightly different things in different contexts. In the two sentences above, it's used to tell us that these moments took place recently.
  • Question 6

Type the word below which matches with both of these definitions.

 

To shut something.

To be near something.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Close
EDDIE SAYS
These have very slightly different pronunciations. Try saying them to an adult so that you can notice the subtle change in sound. One is used as a verb, for example, to close the door. The other is used to show where something is. For example, the two birds were sitting close to each other.
  • Question 7

How are you getting on, word detective?

 

Choose the homonym that fits with the meaning of both sets of words in the brackets below. 

(Convey, Express)

(Nasty, Horrible)

     

CORRECT ANSWER
Mean
EDDIE SAYS
The first set of brackets is a tricky one, so don't worry if you found this challenging. When you ask, 'what do you mean?' you are asking somebody to express and explain what it is they're trying to say. The second set of brackets probably would have helped you the most, so don't be afraid to take an informed guess based on one set of brackets.
  • Question 8

Choose the homonym that fits with the meaning of both sets of words in the brackets below. 

 

(Plant, Spread)

(Pig, Female) 

 

  

CORRECT ANSWER
Sow
EDDIE SAYS
This is another homonym where the pronunciation is slightly different. The definition which is a female pig rhymes with cow, while sow as in to plant seeds rhymes with low. Be careful not to muddle sow with sew, which is when we make things using a needle, thread and material.
  • Question 9

Select the correct definitions for long below.

 

Check each one carefully as there may be more than one that fits!

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Far
Desire
EDDIE SAYS
We use long in many different ways. The easiest way to understand is in terms of length - how long something is. If we say something is a long way away, that means that it's far away. As for the other definition here, if you long for something, you really want it, which means to desire it. Is there anything you're longing for at the moment?
  • Question 10

Phew - you've reached the final question.

 

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

 

Choose from the definitions below.

Strict

Determined

Business

Hard

 

    

CORRECT ANSWER
 StrictDeterminedBusinessHard
The law firm was well respected.
My teacher is firm but fair.
My mattress is a bit too firm.
I was very firm when I stood up for myself.
EDDIE SAYS
Wow, did you know that firm has so many different meanings? Firm as in business is probably the definition you use the least. Look out for any businesses in your town who have signs outside calling themselves a firm. You've finished with a really challenging question so well done if you got all the choices right! Great work, homonym hunter, you have developed your skill of recognizing homonyms using given definitions.
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