Oh, English. You’re such a widely-used language, but you certainly are confusing. Let’s talk about those words that are spelled and pronounced the same, but have multiple meanings. These words are called "homonyms" and they can make for some confusing cases of miscommunication.


Your dog uses the verb bark to alert you when there’s someone at the door. The noun bark is the outer covering of a tree.


As a verb, bolt means to move extremely fast and suddenly. It has a few different meanings as a noun. It can be a type of metal fastener, or it can be used as a lightning bolt.


You can have a buckle (noun) on your belt, but you can also buckle (verb) that same belt. Then if you’re under a great deal of stress (both physically or emotionally), you can buckle, or collapse under the pressure.


As a noun, current is the direction or speed of flow of a liquid, gas, or electricity. You commonly talk about the current in the ocean or the current of electricity. As an adjective, current is something happening now, or trendy, modern and new.


Draft has several definitions. In some countries, the draft is a noun when citizens are obligatorily entered to participate in the military. In this sense it can also be a verb — to draft someone to serve in the military. There are a few other noun senses of draft: a current of air, and a version of a document.


As a verb, harbor means to provide shelter. Slightly different, but still a verb, you can harbor feelings (good or bad) inside of you. As a noun, the harbor is an area along the coast where boats can be anchored.


A cute baby bird poking its way out of the shell — that’s hatch as a verb. The opening, often of a door on hinges, in the floor or ceiling is hatch as a noun.


As a noun, you spread the sweet, gooey paste made out of fruit on your toast and call it jam. You can also use it as a verb and jam your suitcase full of shoes.


Used as a possessive adjective, you can claim, “The last cookie is mine.” It can also be a noun for the place where minerals, gemstones and metals are dug out of the ground.


You trim your nails, the hard pieces on the end of your fingers and toes, when they get too long. Then you can use a nail, a sharp, skinny piece of metal, to hang a picture on your wall.


As a noun, a novel is a fictional book. It can also be used as an adjective for something new, unusual, or different.


A pool can be an area of water, usually for swimming. It can also be a game you play at the bar with colored and numbered balls and cue sticks.


As a verb, you will season your food with spices and flavorings that are called seasonings. As a noun, you progress through the seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall and winter.


You can eat a squash, a family of vegetables with a hard exterior shell. You can play squash at the gym with a racquet and ball. You can also squash (compress or destroy with pressure) a spider.