#EngVocab: Homophones Start with W

Good evening, fellas! It’s midweek already. Did your day go as well as mine? I hope it did! Today is Wednesday, so I want to talk about some words that start with a “W”.

These words sound the same but have different meanings. They are: waist and waste; whoever and whomever; while and whilst; whether, weather, and wether.

Here are some explanations about the differences:

1) waist and waste | waist (n) is the part of the body between the ribs and hips. Waste can be a noun, a verb, or an adjective. As a noun, it means: useless materials left over from another activity (i.e., rubbish (UK), garbage (US)). As a verb, waste means: to expend materials or resources without reason. E.g., Do not waste drinking water. As an adjective, waste means: uninhabited or uncultivated (usually of land).

2) whoever and whomever | Whoever (just like he) is the subject of a verb. E.g., Whoever finds me wins a cake. (Whoever is the subject of finds.) Whomever (just like him) is never the subject of a verb. It is an object. E.g., Whomever I find loses a cake. (Whomever is the direct object of I find.)

3) while and whilst | While and whilst mean the same when we use them as conjunctions. They both mean ‘during the time that something else happens’, or ‘in contrast with something else’. While is much more common than whilst, and whilst sounds more formal. While can also be a noun or a verb. Whilst cannot. As a noun, while means a period of time. As a verb, it means to pass time (usually at a leisurely pace). E.g., I lived there for a while. (while as a noun). She used to while away the hours in the meadow. (while as a verb)

4) whether, weather, and wether | Whether is a conjunction with a similar meaning to if (e.g., I wonder whether it will rain). Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere (e.g., temperature, wind, clouds, rain). A wether is a castrated ram (male sheep).

Compiled for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 23 September, 2015.


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