(In English only)
Homographs are words with the same spelling but with different meanings AND pronunciation. This term has Greek roots: homo means the same, while graph means writing. Many of you probably learned read (present tense-bare infinitive) and read (past tense form) early on in your English way to success. Close vs Close is less widely known.
Say it with a “zzzzz” sound: /kləʊz/
When “close” means the opposite of “open”, as to open and close something, please pronounce the ending as a “z.” For example, a closed [z] door.
Examples of /kləʊz/:
- I closed my emails. /z/
- The case has been closed. /z/
- The meeting drew to a close. /z/
- Many stores have closed down and gone out of business in the recent years. /z/
Say it with an “ssssss” sound: /kləʊs/
When “close” refers to a distance, either in the concrete sense (as meters, kilometers…) or in a less easily defined notion of space and time (relationships, position), say the ending as an “s”. For example: a close [s] working relationship.
Examples of /kləʊs/:
- The shopkeeper stood close to the cash register. /s/
- Our chalet is close to the slopes. /s/
- We are close friends. /s/
- This experience will remain close to my heart. /s/