Awe, Or, Oar, and OreAwe, or, oar, and ore sound identical, but their meanings are very different; i.e., they are not homonyms.
AweThe noun awe means wonderment, astonishment, or dread. (The word awe can also be used as a verb.)
- The employee was stuck with awe when his boss fired him.
- He was filled with awe after seeing the breath-taking views of the Grand Canyon.
- The students were awed by their new professor. (This is an example of awe being used as a verb.)
OrThe conjunction or is used to offer an alternative or a replacement.
- Would you like cake or ice cream?
- Complete your homework on time, or you'll fail the class.
OarThe noun oar is a tool used to move a boat through water.
- Most Viking ships were powered by oars.
- Warships had several oarsmen per oar because they were so long.
OreThe noun ore is used to describe a mineral from which metal can be extracted.
- In 2005, China was the top importer of ores and metals ahead of the USA and Japan.
- It is only worth extracting the ore if the metal is in a high enough concentration.
A Quick Test
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Ways to Remember Awe and OarThe word awe is the root of the word awesome.
The word oar has the same vowels as the word boat.