One of the biggest challenges we face when learning a new language is to learn the different uses and meaning of those words with more than one meaning.
It’s mainly because of this reason that we must take context into account in order to interpret or even translate the texts correctly.
The English language, for example, has many words with more than one meaning that are used regularly. Words so common as “water”, “book”, and “ring” have completely different meanings that are determined by context. So, the language universe keeps proving to be wider and more interesting – and also even confusing! – than it seems at first sight.
With this idea in mind, at Worldly Translations we invite you to learn these 10 words that have more than one meaning and their different uses and meanings:
This is one of the most basic words of the English language. So much so, that it is not even necessary to have studied English to know its meaning when used as a noun. However, the word “book” can also be used as a verb, equivalent to “make a reservation”. So, the meaning of this word in the sentence: “I’m reading a horror book”, has nothing to do with: “I will book a table at your favorite Chinese restaurant”.
Another one of the words with more than one meaning that can be used as a verb and as a noun. So, when used as a noun, like in the sentence: “She has a bright mind” it has one meaning, but when used as a verb, its meaning changes into something completely different: “to care” (“I really don’t mind”).
This is definitely another one of the most basic words in the English language. The word “water” can also be used as a verb, when doing so it changes its meaning into another way of saying “to irrigate”. So, the word “water” does not have the same meaning in the sentences “I need a glass of water” and “Remember to water my plants”.
This is a very particular word, since it is not only one of the words with more than one meaning that is used as a verb and a noun, but when used as a verb it can have two different meanings as well! When used as a verb it can either mean “to make a phone call” or “to ring the doorbell”. Some examples:
This is another word with more than one meaning that is commonly used in the English language. While as a noun it has one meaning: “She went to the park yesterday”, as a verb it has a very different one: “Where did you park the car?”.
Likewise, the word “sign” has two different meanings as well. On one hand, it can mean a “signboard” or a “signal”: “There was a stop sign”. While on the other hand it can be an equivalent to the action of signing a paper or document: “Please sign here”.
As a noun, the word cross means one thing: “The building has a big cross on top”. Even though it is related to its previous meaning, when used as a verb, the word “cross” changes its meaning: “Let’s cross the street to get an ice cream”.
Just as with the word “cross”, the two meanings that the word “answer” has, are related to each other. As a noun, the word answer means one thing: “Choose the right answer”, while as a verb it is the equivalent to the words “reply” or “respond”: “Please answer me!”.
Even though we all know the basic meaning of the word “face”, maybe because of Facebook amongst other reasons, this word is also the equivalent of the words “to deal with something” or “to confront”. Some examples:
This is another one of those cases where both meanings seem to have no apparent connection at first, however when looking more carefully, it is possible to find a link between them. While as a noun. The word “date” means a specific day: “What is your date of birth?”, another meaning for this word is “to date” as a synonym for “going out with someone”: “They went on a date on Tuesday”.
We hope you have enjoyed learning these words with more than one meaning that are commonly used in the English language. Until next time!