Definition of Antonyms
Antonym is a word or phrase which gives the opposite meaning of a word of the same language. Antonyms questions are often asked in the competitive exams and are considered as a scoring topic. On this page we will learn how to solve Antonyms questions –
The three main reasons why Antonyms is important to know:
- Draft interesting write-ups
- Build your vocabulary
- Make your statements and writings factual
Rules for Antonyms Questions –
The most basic rule to follow for solving Antonym Questions is knowing your words well. Knowing the meaning of different unusual words aids you to solve tricky questions in the form of fill up or MCQ pattern. Other rules to follow are:
- Know how the words are perceived when written or spoken i.e. whether they have a positive, negative or a neutral tone.
- Know the types of Antonyms –
- Graded Antonyms
- Complimentary Antonyms (AKA relative Antonyms)
- Know what are negative prefixes and how to use them
- dis…………. and so on.
Rule #1 – Answer Choices
Take note of positively and negatively charged answer choices. It is possible to associate a negative or positive charge with almost any given word.
Try to discern whether each word in the following list has a –
- positive (+)
- negative (-), or
- neutral (=) charge.
Choose the best synonym/antonym based on its charge.
Rule #2 – Types of Antonyms
Antonyms have been categorized into two parts, for a better understanding of the students.
Types of Antonyms:
- Gradable Antonyms: they offer a middle ground to all the words and act on a graded spectrum i.e. within a range.
- let’s take a word fat. Now it’s antonyms can be thin, skinny, slender, slight, slim, (Here you can see there’s a range of words from very thin to not too thin.)
- old – new, young, youthful, current, fresh, modern, green. (here old was either age or time, hence all antonyms fall into a broader range)
- Complementary Antonyms: these are the ones that stand in complete contrast to each other.
- push and pull
- In and out
- Up and down
- right and left
- Relational Antonyms: Also known as relational antonyms, the relation of these antonyms are universally opposite.
- black and white
- husband and wife
- pen and paper
Rule #3 – Root Word, Prefix and Suffix
Answering a question without knowing its meaning can be difficult. However, if you have an idea about the root words and prefix or suffix, the process becomes easier.
The basic or the main word that can be used to form different word and still relate to the same meaning is known as a root word.
- Form – meaning Shape
- reform – rebuilding the shape
- deform – breakdown a shape
- Formless – something that has no shape.
Words that are placed before the root word to change its meaning.
- Positive prefix – pre, pro, re, super, en, co etc.
- Negative Prefix – de, ir, im, mal, un, non, a, in etc.
- able – unable
- sane – insane
- respect – disrespect
- Operate – cooperate
- code – decode
- symmetrical – asymmetrical
- sure – ensure
Words that are placed after the root word to change its meaning.
- Some of the suffix are: less, ful, ment, ion, ive, dom, ism, ness, ship etc.
- Free – freedom
- Friend – Friendship
- attain – attainment
- happy – happiness
- harm – harmful
- harm – harmless
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