Homonyms can be subdivided into homographs and homophones. Homographs are words which are written in the same way but have different meanings. Compare bow in ‘He took a bow /bau/ at the end of the concert’ and ‘He was wearing a bow /bau/ tie’. Homophones are words which are pronounced in the same way but are spelt differently, e.g. bow as in ‘He took a bow’ and bough, ‘the bough of a tree’.
Here are some more examples of homographs.
I live in the north of England, /liv/
Your favourite pop star is singing live on TV tonight, /laiv/
I read in bed each night. /ri:d/
I read War and Peace last year, /red/
The lead singer in the group is great. /li:d/
Lead pipes are dangerous, /led/
The wind blew the tree down, /wind/
Don’t forget to wind your watch, /waind/
I wound my watch last night, /waund/
He suffered a terrible wound in the war. /wu:nd/
Some students at Oxford spend more time learning to row well than studying, /rau/ They shared a flat for ages until they had a row over money and split up. /rau/
This book is called English Vocabulary in Use. /ju:s/
You must know how to use words as well as their meaning. /ju:z/
They lived in a large old house, /haus/
The buildings house a library and two concert halls as well as a theatre, /hauz/
The sow has five piglets, /sau/
The farmers sow the seeds in the spring, /sau/
I bathed the baby this morning. /ba:0t/
We bathed in the sea every day when we were on holiday, /beidd/
Here are some of the many examples of homophones in English.