Languages that KNOW NO limits – Fun with words for language lovers of any language!

Languages are fascinating. This short blog has some fun with sentences where two words with the same pronunciation but a different meaning come next to each other.

Here are some examples in different languages. Can you think of more?


A homonym tends to be defined as a group of words with the same pronunciation and spelling but a different meaning

  • My gardener leaves leaves on the path

  • Does that suit suit him?

  • I watched the rice shoot shoot up on speeded-up film.

  • He often sticks sticks into people.

  • It’s a fair fair – they don’t cheat you.

  • I felt felt to see what it felt like.

  • This is a French French horn but that one was made in Germany.

  • a mobile phone shop set up in a van which moves from place to place would be the “mobile mobile phone shop”.

  • SPANISH: El vino vino de La Rioja. (The wine came from the Rioja region).

  • SPANISH: El cura cura el alma. (The priest heals the soul).


Also known as: homonym pairs

A homophone is a group of words with the same pronunciation but different spelling and different meaning.

  • Last night I went to a carol concert and it was a wholly holy night.

  • Which witch has the longest broomstick?

  • SPANISH: El tubo tuvo un agujero. (The tube had a hole in it.)

  • GERMAN: Unter diesen Namen nahmen sie ihre ersten Lieder im Studio auf. (Under this name they recorded their first songs in the studio.)

  • FRENCH: Quel est le nombre total de dents dans la bouche? (How many teeth are there in total in our mouths?)

  • FRENCH: Le ver vert va vers le verre vert (The green worm goes towards the green glass.)

  • FRENCH : Le saint sain travaillait beaucoup, mais le saint malade ne travaillait pas. (The healthy saint worked a lot but the ill saint didn’t work).


  • Niwa ni wa niwa niwatori ga aru (There are two chickens in the yard)

= NIWA (yard) NI (in) WA (marker) NI (two) WA (counter for birds) NIWATORI (chickens)….

  • Yonashi wa yonashi. (No needs for pears)

  • Iruka wa iruka? (Do you want a dolphin?)

  • Ikura wa ikura? (How much for salmon roe?)

  • Panda no pan da. (It's the panda's bread)

Note: The wa and no in the middle are just markers

Here’s one example of both an adjacent homophone and an adjacent homonym in the same sentence:

  • On the desert island he was a sole soul eating the sole sole.

And finally, one with my name:

  • The question of adjacent homonyms and adjacent homophones is certainly an interesting language feature to consider before we watch Dawn Leggott leg it to Spain.

Can you think of any other examples, either in English or in any other language?

Can you think of any examples with your name in them?

Are there any languages where this does not exist?

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