A number of English words are spelled the same way and pronounced the same way, but have different meanings.
Easy Vocabulary Words
The noun bark refers to the outer covering of a tree. The verb bark refers to the sound a dog makes.
The hard parts on your fingers and toes are your nails (you can also say fingernails and toenails, more specifically). Nails are also thin, sharp metal pieces used in construction.
The noun jam means a sweet paste made out of fruit. It is also called jelly.
The verb jam means to put something into a space that is too small for it. For example you would jam a week’s worth of clothes into a small backpack.
A traffic jam is when the cars on the road are very slow or stopped.
A pool (or swimming pool) is a man-made area of water, for swimming. Pool also refers to a game where you try to put the colored and numbered balls into the holes around the edges of the table. It can also be called billiards.
The word mine is a possessive adjective. For example, “The blue car is mine.”
Mine is also a noun. It can refer to the place where minerals are dug out of the earth (this activity is called mining, and the people who do it are called miners).
A mine also refers to a bomb that is buried underground; it will explode when someone steps on it or drives over it. These are used in war.
Intermediate Vocabulary Words
A bolt is a type of metal fastener. The word bolt is also used for a single ray of lightning (a lightning bolt). Finally, bolt is a verb meaning to run extremely fast.
A season (noun) is a period of the year with a particular climate/weather (spring, summer, fall, winter). The verb season means to apply spices or flavorings to food. These spices or flavorings are called seasonings. For example, you might season a chicken before roasting it in the oven.
A novel (noun) is a fictional book of significant length.
The word novel can also be used as an adjective to mean especially new, unusual, or different. For example, a novel approach to solving a problem.
The noun draft refers to a current of air into an enclosed space. For example, if there’s a space under your front door, there will be a draft in the house and it might get cold.
Draft as a noun also refers to a version of a document, plan, or drawing. A rough draft is a version that has not yet been revised, and the final draft is the final version of it.
If a country has a draft, it means the citizens must obligatorily participate in the military. Draft can also be a verb in this case – a person can be drafted to serve in the military.
The word squash refers to a family of vegetables that have hard exterior shells, and we eat the inside part. The picture shows just one type of squash; there are many.
Squash is also an indoor sport played with rackets and a ball.
Finally, the verb squash means to crush something (compress/destroy it with pressure). You would squash a spider if you saw it crawling across your kitchen floor. If you put something heavy on top of your bread when loading your grocery bags, the bread would get squashed.
Advanced Vocabulary Words
The word buckle refers to a metal clasp, such as one found on a belt. Buckle is also a verb meaning to close/fasten such a clasp. For example, you should buckle your seatbelt when you get into the car. (The opposite is unbuckle).
The other meaning for the word buckle is to collapse, especially under a lot of weight or pressure. For example, a person’s legs might buckle if they faint (become unconscious). If you buckle under the stress or your job, it means you break down emotionally.
The adjective current describes something that is modern or happening now.
Current as a noun refers to the direction and speed of flow of a liquid (such as water in the ocean or in a river), gas, or electricity.
A harbor (noun) is a sheltered area of water that is deep enough so that ships can anchor there.
The verb harbor means to provide shelter. For example, it is a crime to harbor a fugitive (a criminal who is running away from the police or legal authorities). You can also harbor negative feelings such as resentment or a grudge, meaning to keep those feelings alive inside you.
Hatch (verb) refers to the process of a baby bird coming out of its egg.
A hatch (noun) is an opening in the floor, ceiling, or wall of a ship or aircraft, often having a door on hinges.
A racket is a piece of sports equipment containing a round frame and netting – used in tennis, squash, badminton, and other games.
The noun racket also means loud, often chaotic noise. For example, how can I study when the party next door is making a racket?