It’s a deserted dessert in the desert!
(in other words, we can also say ‘Somebody left their ice cream in the desert!’)
Today we’re going to be talking about a type of word in English where two words look the same but have different meanings and pronunciation.
This word is called a ‘Heteronym’. Confusing, isn’t it?
Let’s look at our heteronym for today, ‘desert’.
So how can you tell which is which?
You need to know what type of word it is (noun, verb, place, etc) and how to use them in a sentence.
The ‘deserted’ before the word ‘dessert’ is in the past participle form, which means it is describing the word ‘dessert’.
In this case, ‘desert’ means ‘to get left behind’.
It is pronounced ‘deZERTed’ (like dessert!).
As for the other ‘desert’, there is an ‘in the’ before it, which means it is a place.
It’s a place with lots of sand, like in the picture above.
This is pronounced ‘DEzert’.
Here are other examples:
The application of the invalid was invalid.
(INvalid – sick person, inVAlid – not valid)
I can make a minute adjustment in one minute.
(maiNYUt – very small, MInit – 60 seconds)
Words like these can make English study quite difficult, but it’s also a good way of improving your vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation.