words with two pronunciations

words with two pronunciations
different meanings
Several words have different pronunciations when they are used with different meanings or in different ways.
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Some of these words are explained in other entries. See entries at ↑ lead, ↑ read, ↑ use - used - used to, ↑ wind, and wound. See entry at ↑ old for a note on the pronunciation of `aged'.
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The following words also have different pronunciations for different meanings:
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• `Bow' is pronounced when it is used as a verb or a noun to refer to the act of bending your body. It is also pronounced when it refers to the front of a boat.

We bowed to one another across the room.

He made a little bow and closed the door.

Soon the canoe was cutting through the water with froth curling at her bow.

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`Bow' is pronounced when it refers to a looped knot, a weapon, or the object drawn across the strings of a musical instrument.

He tied a neat bow.

Then she picked up her bow and positioned her cello.

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• `Buffet' is pronounced when it refers to a meal.

Ruth's got a cold buffet for us later.

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It is pronounced when it means `to push something violently'.

We splashed back to the jeep, buffeted by the wind.

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• `Contract' is pronounced when it is used to refer to a legal agreement.

I did not sign a contract with them.

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It is pronounced when it means `to become smaller'.

Metals expand with heat and contract with cold.

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• `Recess' is pronounced when it refers to a break from working.

The judge announced a five-minute recess.

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It is pronounced when it refers to an area in a room that is set back or hidden.

The bed is in a recess.

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• `Relay' is pronounced when it refers to a race or when it means `to send on television or radio signals'.

They came second in the 4x100 metres relay.

The dense cloud prevented the BBC from using a helicopter to relay pictures of the event.

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It is pronounced when it means `to pass on something that was said'.

I have been asked to relay to you a number of messages.

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• `Row' is pronounced when it refers to a group of things in a line, or when it means `to move a boat using oars'.

...a row of parked cars.

He began to row steadily out towards the middle of the river.

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It is pronounced when it refers to a quarrel or a great deal of noise.

She took an overdose after a row with her mother.

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• `Second' is pronounced when it refers to part of a minute, when it is used as an ordinal, or when it means `to formally support a proposal'.

Could I see your book for a second?

...at the top of the second flight of stairs.

I'll second that proposal.

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It is pronounced when it means `to move someone temporarily to perform special duties'.

I am being seconded abroad for two years.

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• `Sow' is pronounced when it means `to plant seeds'.

You can sow winter wheat in October.

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It is pronounced when it refers to a female pig.
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• `Tear' is pronounced when it refers to a drop of liquid produced when you cry.

A single tear rolls slowly down his cheek.

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It is pronounced when used with other meanings, for example when it means `to pull cloth or paper apart' or `to run somewhere very fast'.

She folded the letter, meaning to tear it up.

I used to tear up the ladder onto the stage with only seconds to spare.

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different word classes
Many words have different pronunciations for different word classes — for example they are always pronounced in one way when they are used as a noun and always pronounced in a different way when they are used as a verb. Various groups of words which have different pronunciations for different word classes are explained below.
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different stress
A number of words have stress on the first syllable when they are used as a noun or adjective and stress on the second syllable when they are used as a verb. For example, `record' is pronounced when used as a noun or adjective and when used as a verb. `Contest' is pronounced when used as a noun and when used as a verb.
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The following words have this pronunciation pattern:
abstract, accent, ally, combine, compound, conduct, conflict, conscript, console, consort, construct, contest, contrast, converse, convert, convict, defect, desert, dictate, discharge, discount, dispute, entrance, escort, exploit, export, extract, ferment, fragment, frequent, implant, import, imprint, incense, incline, increase, insult, intrigue, object, perfect, permit, pervert, present, produce, progress, project, prospect, prostrate, protest, rebel, record, recount, redress, refund, reject, relapse, reprint, subject, survey, suspect, torment, transfer, transplant, transport
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Similarly, the verb `confine' is pronounced and the noun `confines' is pronounced . The verb `proceed' is pronounced and the noun `proceeds' is pronounced . `Compact' is pronounced when used as a verb and or when used as an adjective.
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'-se'
`Use' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as a noun. The same applies to the last syllable of `abuse', `excuse', and `misuse'. Similarly, `diffuse' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as an adjective.
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Note that `refuse' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as a noun.
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`Close' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as an adjective or adverb.
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`House' is pronounced when used as a singular noun and when used as a verb. The plural of the noun is pronounced .
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other pronunciations
`Attribute' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as a noun.
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`Content' is pronounced when used as a noun and when used as an adjective or verb.
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`Excess' is pronounced when used as an adjective and when used as a noun.
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`Implement' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as a noun.
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`Invalid' is pronounced when used as a noun or modifier and when used as an adjective.
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`Live' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as an adjective or adverb. `Lives' is pronounced when used as the plural of the noun `life' and when used as the `-s' form of the verb `live'.
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`Minute' is pronounced when used as a noun and when used as an adjective.
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`Mouth' is pronounced when used as a singular noun and when used as a verb. The plural of the noun is pronounced .
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`Overall' is pronounced when used as an adjective or adverb and when used as a noun.
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`Overflow' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as a noun. Similarly, `overlap' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as a noun, and `overthrow' is pronounced when used as a verb and when used as a noun.
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`Overhead' is pronounced when used as an adjective and when used as an adverb. The noun `overheads' is pronounced .
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`Underground' is pronounced when used as an adverb and when used as an adjective or noun.
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`Upset' is pronounced when used as a verb or as an adjective after a verb. It is pronounced when used as a noun or as an adjective in front of a noun.
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Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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