In the previous quizzes we learnt what antonyms are and also about the different types of antonyms, such as graded and complementary. We now come to one more type of antonym known as Relational Antonyms.
Relational antonyms are words such as LOST/FOUND and BUY/SELL. For such words a relationship is there provided both exist. For instance, for somebody to buy, someone else must sell. If something is lost only then can that thing can be found. Other examples would be floor/ceiling; up/down and win/lose.
Not all similar pairs of words are relational antonyms. You could get confused between husband/wife and son/daughter. While these two pairs are similar they are different types of antonyms. For the husband to exist the wife must be there and hence they are relational antonyms. But for a daughter to exist a son need not exist and vice versa. The son/daughter pair is categorised under complementary antonyms.
While looking at antonyms, and more specifically relational antonyms, it is essential to look at the relationships between the two meanings. Only the contextual relationships between the two words would determine the existence of the opposite meaning. For instance, there is no opposite of a ‘teacher’ really but when compared with a pupil both become opposites. Similarly, we can look at other pairs such as doctor/patient; master/servant and come/go.
One way not to get confused with the type of antonyms is to view a situation from opposite ends. The fact that one situation may be different from another would determine the antonyms. A good example would be that you could be a child to your parent or a pupil to a teacher or even a teacher to a pupil who is someone else.
It may be noted that relational antonyms are very similar to complementary antonyms! Play this quiz and learn some more relational antonyms.