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What Are Synonyms & Antonyms? Definition & Examples
When you are studying English as a second language, one of the primary focus is to increase your vocabulary as you progress in lessons. Eventually, you will come across the concepts of synonyms and antonyms. When used effectively, synonyms and antonyms can help language learner build their vocabulary quickly. This tutorial will help you to understand and differentiate the purpose and usage of synonyms and antonyms in the English language.
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A word or phrase that means the same even in a different word of the same language is called a synonym. The terms based on different contexts can have extremely similar meanings even if they do not have the exact same meaning. It is referred to be synonymous when two terms are similar to one another and are interchangeable.
Take the word "bad" as an example. Bad is identical to the terms filthy, spoilt, and unsuitable, indicating that they all imply the same or similar meanings.
Amazing – Fantastic, wonderful, fabulous, unbelievable
Awful – Terrible, bad, dreadful, unpleasant
Dangerous – Risky, unsafe, perilous, hazardous
Fast – Hastily, quick, rapid, swiftly
Fear – Panic, terror, horror, awe
Wet – Soaked, damp, moist, dripping
Synonyms: Same or Similar?
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Words that have very similar and the same meanings have very slight distinctions between them. "Same" stands for words that are exactly the same as the source word or are easy to replace.
On the other hand, "Similar" refers to a term that is not an exact match for the source word but is rather similar.
Thus, based on the following situations Synonyms are being used in the English language −
Context − Although the words may seem identical, they are often used depending on the situation which makes a slightly distinct or entirely different meaning of the word.
"Beautiful" and "Handsome" are synonyms and may be used interchangeably, however "beautiful" is used to compliment a woman's look and "handsome" to a man.
Fixed Scenarios − In certain scenarios, words with almost identical meanings are often used. Adjectives like adorable, amazing, cute, beautiful, spectacular, lovely, etc. are all used to commend individuals or other things, despite the fact that there are minor variations between them.
Babies are "cute," little girls are "beautiful," baby boys are "adorable," a bride is "lovely," but a view from the mountain is described as "amazing" for no specific reason.
Habit − When it comes to language, habits have a significant role. Language is created when individuals repeatedly use words that are similar in the same order or context. These eventually develop into habits, and subsequent generations simply continue to use identical words or statements out of habit.
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An antonym, in contrast to a synonym, is a term that has the exact opposite meaning to another word in the same language. Its roots may be found in the Greek words "anti," which means opposing, and "onym," which means "name."
For example, the antonym for happy is sad, and the antonym for the left is right. In the English language, antonyms are really rather helpful. Sometimes understanding a tough word's context and meaning may be simplified by understanding what the word's opposite signifies.
Consider the term "plagiarism," which is synonymous with "infringement". The antonym of Plagiarism is original and unique. Now, the term plagiarism is far more precise and can be easily understood.
Allow − prohibit, deny, prevent, forbid
Barbarian − civilized, educated, cultivated, cultured
Comfort − upset, disturb, distrust, torment
Delay − Hurry, accelerate, advance, hasten
Huge − Small, tiny, little, diminutive
Tired − Fresh, lively, energetic, invigorated
Antonyms: Opposite or Contrasting?
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The term "contrast" denotes a little difference in meaning compared to the source word. "Opposite" widens the distance until the words contradict each other. Words that are opposed to one another or that contrast one another are both called antonyms.
In the English language antonyms are used based on the following situation −
Context − Which of the antonyms fits the situation best depends on the context. Ugly, ordinary, disgusting, unattractive, or hideous are some antonyms of the word "beautiful."
Ugly, ordinary, disgusting, unattractive, or hideous are some antonyms of the word "beautiful." Depending on how a guy is dressed, how he looks, and the speaker's or commenter's emotions or word choice, he may be judged "ugly," "unattractive," or "disgusting" for his actions.
Gender − Words that denote the opposing gender sometimes serve as antonyms. It is because of this that the English term "Man" has "Woman" as its antonym.
Significance of Synonyms and Antonyms
It helps you improve the quality of your writing by giving readers a clear and unique view of what you are saying.
To have a wider choice of Words − The writer or speaker may choose words more skilfully if they have a good supply of synonyms and antonyms at their disposal. As a result, the language we use in our everyday lives would sound less monotonous. A broad vocabulary demonstrates linguistic proficiency and fluency in utilising the proper words in the appropriate settings. Without a diverse set of antonyms and synonyms in your language, your speeches and write-ups may go boring.
Discover New Words − Learning new words is made simpler when you are familiar with their synonyms or antonyms. If you know what "good" means and its synonyms, then adding the word "well" would be easy to include in your vocabulary. The same holds true for antonyms like bad, wicked, filthy, unpleasant, unacceptable, etc.
Tool for linguistic proficiency − For new language learners, expanding the scope of their word knowledge is a significant challenge. But at a certain point, linguistic proficiency at a high level demands a large vocabulary. Synonyms and antonyms are excellent tools for language acquisition since they can help you quickly expand your vocabulary.
Knowing synonyms and antonyms can help you expand your vocabulary. They assist you in clearly expressing yourself and giving your words the appropriate intensity of emotion, description, or significance. Utilizing internet resources can help you expand your word vocabulary.
The tutorial concludes on the note that with constant practice any English language learner should be able to use synonyms and antonyms with ease.
Q1. What are the Benefits of Using Synonyms in Writing?
Makes the text a lot more interesting.
Improves your communication with others.
Help readers visualise.
Avoid repetitive text.
Q2. Why is it Important to use Synonyms and antonyms in your Speech or Writing?
Ans. It helps you improve the quality of your writing by giving readers a clear and unique view of what you are saying.
Q3. What are synonyms?
Ans. A word or phrase that means the same even in a different word of the same language is called a synonym.
Q4. What are antonyms?
Ans. An antonym, in contrast to a synonym, is a term that has the exact opposite meaning to another word in the same language. Its roots may be found in the Greek words "anti," which means opposing, and "onym," which means "name."
Q5. Write the synonyms and antonyms for – Old, Begin, Intelligent
|Old||Ancient, Antique||New, Recent|
|Begin||Start, Initiate||End, Close|
|Intelligent||Clever, Smart||Dull, Foolish|
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