The Homonym "Short"
Learning English Homonyms

The homonym “short” is one of the most popular homonyms in the English language. If you already forgot the meaning of homonyms, let me tell you again that they are English words have the same spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings. Homonyms are kind of confusing to ESL and ELL students that’s why it’s better that you also learn them.

Now, let us continue learning homonyms and improve your vocabulary box. This time, let’s focus on learning the homonym “short”, its meaning and use in the English grammar. Please pull your chair and make sure you have your pen and paper handy with you because this lesson will be exciting.

The Homonym Short used for Length and Distance

Firstly as an adjective, the word “short” means small in length, distance, or height.

In the examples below, we use the homonym short to describe short hair, short walk, or as an opposite of a tall person.

a. Her hair is much shorter than it used to be.
b. It’s only a short walk from my house to the station.
c. She is shorter than her sister.

The Homonym Short used for Quantity/Number

Secondly, the word “short” also means not have enough of something. In this context, we use the homonym short here to mean something is insufficient or inadequate.

For example:

a. People are short of food and water because of the crisis.
b. The bill is $200 but our money is just $150. We are $50 short.

Short as a Noun

Apart from being used as an adjective, the word “short” means a drink of spirits which is a type of strong alcohol without water or any other liquid added. They informally use the term short in the UK which to describe a strong kind of alcohol whereas the term “shot” is commonly used by Americans.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, the homonym short has many different meanings. The word “short” means:

1. small in length, distance, or height.
2. not have enough of something
3. a drink of spirits which is a type of strong alcohol.

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