Throes and Throws

Commonly Confused Words

ball thrown through window
The boy threw the ball through a window. Steve Bronstein/Getty Images

The words throes and throws are homophones: they sound alike but have different meanings.

The plural noun throes means a great struggle or a condition of agonizing pain or trouble. The idiom in the throes of means in the midst of some painful or difficult experience.

Throws is the third-person present singular form of the verb throw--to toss, hurl, or discharge.

Examples:

  • "They simulated agonized death throes, rolling around on the ground, twisting their bodies into grotesque shapes and making hideous faces." (Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth)
  • In the late 1970s, Uganda was in the throes of economic collapse, and there were long lines in Kampala for even the most basic goods.
  • A young lady appears at the window and throws kisses to the crowd.
  • A sacrifice bunt should be attempted only when the pitcher throws a strike.

 

Practice:

(a) My four-year-old son whines and _____ a fit every time we try to take him to the playground.

(b) The country was in the _____ of revolution, and the king was compelled to abdicate.

(c) Gertrude _____ flowers into Ophelia's grave, saying, "Sweets to the sweet. Farewell."

(d) If you are in the _____ of a hurricane, steer for the calm spot.

Answers 

(a) My four-year-old son whines and throws a fit every time we try to take him to the playground.

(b) The country was in the throes of revolution, and the king was compelled to abdicate.

(c) Gertrude throws flowers into Ophelia's grave, saying, "Sweets to the sweet. Farewell."

(d) If you are in the throes of a hurricane, steer for the calm spot.

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "Throes and Throws." ThoughtCo, Apr. 12, 2017, thoughtco.com/throes-and-throws-1689509. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, April 12). Throes and Throws. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/throes-and-throws-1689509 Nordquist, Richard. "Throes and Throws." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/throes-and-throws-1689509 (accessed May 22, 2018).