Homonyms in Spanish language are words that are pronounced the same or in a very similar way but are spelled differently.
They are divided into homophones, which are those that are pronounced the same but their spelling and meaning are different, and homographs, which are spelled and pronounced the same but their meaning is different. Here are some Spanish homonyms and examples to help you understand them.
5 Homophone Words
1. Astaand hasta
Asta is a noun and means “horn”, like that of the bull, and it can be as well the “mast” of the flags.
Ese toro tiene un asta muy afilada, el ganadero debe tener cuidado. (That bull has a very sharp horn, the rancher should be careful.)
La bandera está a media asta en señal de duelo. (The flag is at half-mast as a sign of mourning.)
Hasta, is a preposition and indicates the final limit of a trajectory in time and space.
Hoy trabajaré hasta que me canse. (Today I will work until I feel tired.)
2. Bello and vello
The first word is an adjective and indicates that something is beautiful or pretty:
Qué bello el final de la película. (How beautiful the end of the film.)
The second word is a noun synonymous with short, soft hair on the human body or on fruit:
El melocotón me da dentera por su vello. (The peach gives me chills because of its fuzz.)
3. Hora and ora
Hora is a noun used as a measure of time, although it has several meanings:
Sesenta minutos hacen una hora. (Sixty minutes make an hour.)
Ora is distributive conjunction meaning “now” and is also a conjugation of the verb “orar”:
Ora ríe, ora llora. (Now they laugh, now they cry.)
Ora, que estamos en misa. (Pray, so we are at Mass.)
4. Naval and nabal
Naval is an adjective relating to navigation and nabal is another adjective pertaining or relating to turnips:
La flota naval está expuesta en el puerto. (The fleet is on display in the harbour.)
El campo nabal está listo para la recolección. (The nabal field is ready for harvesting.)
5. Sabia and savia
Sabia is an adjective indicating “wisdom” and savia is a noun meaning the liquid of plants.
Jaime es una persona muy sabia. (Jaime is a very wise person.)
El árbol tiene un corte y se le ve la savia. (The tree has a cut and you can see the sap.)
5 Homograph Words
It can be the first person of the verb “amar” or the noun synonymous with “owner”:
Te amo más que a mí misma. (I love you more than I love myself.)
El amo de ese perro debe estar cerca. (The owner of that dog must be nearby.)
In both cases it is a noun, one is a piece of metal and the other is a cooking spice:
Dame el clavo que cuelgue el cuadro. (Give me the nail so I can hung the picture.)
A esta carne le pega el sabor del clavo. (This meat should be flavoured with cloves.)
Defines two completely different nouns. One is the animal and the other is the mechanical tool.
El gato de Marina es siamés. (Marina’s cat is a Siamese.)
Para cambiar la rueda necesitas un gato. (To change the wheel you need a jack.)
Two different nouns to express food or as a colloquial synonym for “money”:
Hoy comemos pasta con pesto. (Today we are eating pasta with pesto.)
No tengo pasta para pagar el cine. (I don’t have money to pay for the movies.)
Can be the noun defining the alcoholic beverage made from grapes or the verb “venir” conjugated:
Me encanta el vino tinto. (I love red wine.)
Marta vino a jugar al tenis. (Marta came to play tennis.)
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