Vocabulary Quiz #15: Homonyms

Vocabulary Quiz #15: Homonyms

Homonyms are words that sound alike, but have different meanings and usually different spellings. In these sentences choose the word with the correct meaning for the sentence context.

1. Mrs. Reid has ______ the responsibility for her disabled son for twenty years.

a) borne
b) born

2. The gardener’s work will ______ my design as the landscape architect.

a) complement
b) compliment

3. Be sure to ______ if you see a child waiting to cross the street.

a) break
b) brake

4. The boys tried to avoid ______ language in front of Mrs. Pierce.

a) course
b) coarse

5. Is there anyone who can ______ Jonathan on the decision he faces?

a) counsel
b) council

Answers and Explanations

1. Mrs. Reid has borne the responsibility for her disabled son for twenty years.
a) borne

Borne means carried, sustained, or endured. Born means to have come into the world.

2. The gardener’s work will complement my design as the landscape architect.
a) complement

Complement means to complete or to harmonize with something. To compliment someone is to say something positive about the person. It may also be a noun and refer to the positive remark itself.

3. Be sure to brake if you see a child waiting to cross the street.
b) brake

Brake is a verb meaning to stop a machine, like a car. It may also be a noun, meaning the device for stopping a machine. Break means to fracture or to shatter.

4. The boys tried to avoid coarse language in front of Mrs. Pierce.
b) coarse

Coarse means crude, as it does in this sentence. It can also mean rough, as in I don’t care for the feel of the coarse texture of this coat. As a verb course means to move in a path from point to point or as a noun may refer to the path itself. It is used in the expression of course to mean certainly.

5. Is there anyone who can counsel Jonathan on the decision he faces?
a) counsel

Counsel means to advise. As a noun it means the advice given. One who gives advice is a counselor. A council is a group called together to accomplish a job. The member of such a group is a councilor.

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