Quiz: Can You Fill In the Correct Word to Complete These Sentences?: Howstuffworks
Can You Fill In the Correct Word to Complete These Sentences?
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6 Min Quiz
About This Quiz
Complete the sentences with the right homonym to do well on this quiz. There are two sensible choices, one less sensible choice and one hilarious choice to sift through. Consider word form when making your selections and you'll do fine. The words are simple, but they can be tricky when identifying.
As an added bonus, we've included word origins for many of the answers. You'll find super-interesting facts about words we hear every day. Many of the words first came on the scene sometime around the 12th century. Old English and Old French terms precede most of these word gems. Word-form iterations usually sprang up centuries apart, a testament to the amazing flexibility of the spoken and written word. Some words, as you shall see, have been laid to rest, replaced by more polished modern terms. You'll absorb the hidden history of today's commonly used language at the end of this amusing vocabulary quiz.
How many homonyms can you master? Choose the correct answers without peaking, peeking or piquing?
Caroline was so ________ by Stephen's rudeness that she left the office party abruptly.
"Affected" is a past participle adjective formed from the verb "affect." "Affected" was first used in the 1530s to mean "disposed," which is a meaning no longer used.
The thrift store sells ________ secondhand clothing of good quality.
"Cheep" is a verb that means "to utter a faint high-pitched sound." It's also a noun that describes the sounds or cries that young birds typically make.
Paul is the ________ of a large fortune.
"Heir" is a term from around 1300, and it was derived from the Old French word "oir," which means "successor." "Heir apparent" is a noun-adjective that refers to an heir of someone who is still alive.
Your husband requested that you ________ him out of jail with the savings account funds.
The word "bail" was first used in the 14th century as a noun to mean "a receptacle used to remove water from a boat." The "bond money" definition of "bail" was first coined in the late 15th century.
The light shined across Jimmy's freshly shaved ________ head.
"Bald" derives from "ballede" which meant "white patch" in the 14th century. The verb "bald" came about in 1602 and means "to make or become bald."
Those who ________ loudest rarely have much to say.
"Bawl" was first used as a verb to mean "howl like a dog." The noun "bawl" describes "a loud cry or wail." The verb means "to shout, weep or call out noisily."
After inhaling the familiar smell of his cologne, she exposed her ________ shoulder to the admirer who hid in the closet.
"Bare" is from the Old English word, "baer," which means "naked." The verb was first used before the 12th century to mean "to uncover" or "to make or lay (something) bare."
The romance writer craved the peace and solitude of the ________ cottage on the prairie.
"Lone" is a late 14th century derivation of the adjective, "alone." The literary sense of "lone" usually describes a place and means "remote, deserted."
If you want to avoid heavy traffic, use alternate routes, steering clear of the ________ road into town.
"Main" was first used as a noun before the 12th century to mean "force." The noun form also means "mainland," "crucial point," "duct" or "mainsail."
The vehicle is ________ for the hefty loads they'll need to transport.
"Meet" is a noun, verb and adjective. The adjectival form means "particularly modified to suit a need, circumstance or situation."
Carrie was so ________ after work, she fell asleep fully clothed in the bathtub.
"Beat" is a verb that means "to strike repeatedly." As a noun, it means "a single blow" or the "sound produced by a stroke or blow." The word was first used as a verb before the 12th century, and as a noun around 1625.
The patient groom finally found a ________ to be his bride.
"Belle" is a French word with Latin origins. The Latin "bella" is the feminine form of "bellus," meaning "fair" or "beautiful."
Please ________ Oscar's inaccurate sketches so that the boss doesn't fire him!
"Bury" came about before the 12th century to mean "to discard by dumping in the earth." It's derived from the Middle English "burien," which is from the Old English "byrgan."
As the old saying goes, "________ is bitter, but its fruit is sweet."
"Patience" is from the Old French "pacience," meaning "permission" or "sufferance." "Patience" is a 13th century noun that means "the circumstance or capacity of being patient."
The wily wolf huffed, puffed and ________ the house in.
"Blew" is derived from the Old English "bleow," and is the past tense verb form of "blow." The Old English "blawan" means "to make an air current, blow, kindle, inflate" or "to make a sound with a wind instrument."
The lethargic kitten couldn't look any more ________ on this rainy day.
The adjective, "bored," came about in 1823 and means "to feel weary due to lack of interest in one's current activity" or "characterized by boredom." "Bored" is the past participle adjective form of the verb, "bore."
________ your motivational words into the soldier's weary ears.
"Pour" likely has Old French origin from "purer," meaning "to sift." The verb first appeared around the 14th century, and the noun form came about in 1790 and means "the activity of pouring," "an instance or amount poured" or "a downpour of rain."
The soccer players ________ the game but lost their souls.
"Won" is the past participle verb of "win" from Old English "gewinnen," which is the past participle of "winnan." The noun form of "won" first appeared in 1917 and means "basic monetary unit of South Korea and North Korea."
The best way to accrue ________ is to sell the sweaters at a higher cost than which you purchased them.
Both the noun and verb forms of "profit" came about in the 14th century. "Profit" is "financial gain; the difference between amount earned and amount spent in a business operation." The verb, "profit," means "acquiring financial advantage, particularly from an investment."
Her father's feet are _______ because he had to walk 30 miles to and from work each day.
The first spelling of the word "coarse" was "cors" in the early 15th century. The modern spelling of the word came about in the late 16th century.
These ________ video games have slick graphic displays.
"New" derives from several Old English words: "niwe," "neowe" and "niowe." Both adjectival and adverbial forms of "new" were first used before the 12th century.
Anna is my ________ longtime friend from France.
"Dear" comes from Old English "deore," meaning "valuable, precious, costly or loved." "Dear" takes several forms, as an adjective, adverb, noun and the more recent interjection form.
You were absolutely ________ to warn your children about the neighborhood predator.
"Right" came about before the 12th century as an adjective, noun and adverb. It's from Old English "riht," meaning "morally correct," "power, privilege," or "interest in property."
Henry ________ the wild horse in order to tame it.
"Rode" is an early 17th century term and past participle of the verb, "ride." It first appeared in 1612 as a noun to mean "a chain or rope used to fasten an anchor to a boat."
If you ________ the handbags first, you'll make the most profit.
The Old English "sellan," meaning "furnish, supply, lend, surrender," precedes the word "sell," which takes noun and verb forms. The verb form first appeared in the 12th century.
Be sure to tell the doctor all the terrible things that tend to ________ you so that you can receive the best treatment.
"Ail" is used both as a noun and a verb. The word first appeared before the 12th century as a verb meaning "to inflict discomfort." "Ail" is considered to be archaic, at least in verb form.
Jessie's substantial reward is fair compensation for that tremendous ________ he managed to pull off.
"Feat" derives from Anglo-French "fet," meaning "action," and Latin "factum," meaning something done." Aside from its noun definition, "feat" took the, now archaic, adjectival form meaning "neat" or "smart."
I promise that even your small ________ in our investment will grow substantially over the next three years.
Old English "staca," meaning "pointed stick or post," precedes "stake." The verb form first appeared in the 14th century, and means "to attach to a stake," "to back financially," or "to bet."
________ these shelled pecans so that we can dust a thin layer on top of the cake after it has cooled.
The transitive verb, "flour," first appeared in 1657 to mean "to coat with flour" or "to break up into small particles." "Flour" used to be spelled "flower" before some time around 1830.
Nathan is her only ________.
The word "son" is from Old English "sunu," meaning "descendant as son." The noun meaning "human male offspring" was first used before the 12th century.
The inexperienced professor's soiled attire exemplifies a lack of ________.
"Style" takes verb and noun forms. The verb form followed the 14th century noun form and was first used around 1580.
Only ________ agents are allowed in the private meeting to discuss the account.
"Principal" has Old French origin and means "main, most important." The word is both an adjective and a noun; both forms were first used in the 14th century.
Poor Sarah is such a productive student, but she's stuck with a team of ________ slackers.
Before the 12th century, "idle" was first used as an adjective to mean "unemployed" or "unoccupied." The word is derived from the West Germanic Old English word "idel," which means "empty" or "useless."
My fourth thorough explanation failed to ________ Tina's needless worry.
"Lessen" first appeared in the 13th century in the intransitive sense meaning "to become less." Other words from the 13th century include "beforehand," "furnace" and "merchant."
In days of ________, Michael spoke with such confidence.
The word "yore" has been around since the 14th century. It is derived from the Old English word "geara," which is an adverb.
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