Here’s a homonym that gives people a lot of trouble.
The verb “to lead” (pronounced “leed”) means to guide or to go first.
The past tense of this word is “led.”
I will lead the group into the cave tomorrow.
Yesterday I led the group into the cave.
The problem arises because “lead” (pronounced “led”) is spelled the same as the verb “to lead.”
When pronounced with a short “e” sound, the word “lead” means the chemical element Lead
(Pb, or plumbum in Latin), a heavy metal that causes lead poisoning because it is a neurotoxin.
That is why they don’t make regular leaded gasoline any longer – it’s all unleaded these days, even “regular.”
Here’s how we shall remember this:
Lead that rhymes with deed means the boy’s in charge.
Lead that rhymes with dead means a poison at large.