您所在的位置: BBC英语教学首页 > 你问我答 > 正文

Heteronyms 同形异音异义词

I have a question on the word 'the'. In oral English, do different pronunciations of this word have different meanings?

Junchang Huang

William and Jean answer Junchang's question, which is perhaps more interesting and complex than it seems at first.

Most English learners know the two different pronunciations of the word 'the'. But do you know how might you pronounce it in the following sentences?

She handed me the apple.

I'm the teacher, not you!

The hour's almost up and we still haven't finished!

I like the one with bells on best of all.

Tianjin is the place to go for dumplings.

Listen to the programme to find out whether you are right.

Jean and William also discuss a curious use of 'the' to indicate that we are talking about a famous or important person. Look at this example:

A: Oh you'll never guess who I saw yesterday in London. Victoria Beckham!

B: What, the Victoria Beckham?

In this situation, we always use the pronunciation of 'the' which rhymes with he.

Dumplings

Tianjin is the place to go for dumplings

Heteronyms are words that have different pronunciations and meanings in different situations. The following are all heteronyms:

  • use
  • perfect
  • separate
  • content
  • wind

Listen to the programme to find out more about these words.

Glossary 词汇

complex 复杂

curious 令人好奇的

rhymes 押韵