Vocabulary 01 - Antonyms 1
What can you discern from the words STOP – START, SIMPLE – DIFFICULT and SELL – BUY? That's right - one word means the opposite of the other! When a word is opposite in meaning to another word then they are antonyms
of each other.
STOP is an antonym of START, SIMPLE is an antonym of DIFFICULT and SELL is an antonym of BUY. All of these examples fall under the category of relational antonyms. For such words a relationship is there provided both exist. For instance, for somebody to buy, someone else must sell. Other examples would be husband/wife, servant/master and borrow/lend.
Besides relational antonyms there are other types of antonyms called graded antonyms and complementary antonyms. Examples of graded antonyms include artificial/genuine, hard/soft and proud/humble. Examples of complementary antonyms include night/day, accidental/intentional and attack/defend. Other types of antonyms also exist and they are formed by simply adding a prefix. Words such as lawful/unlawful, legal/illegal and polite/impolite are words that are made antonyms just by adding a prefix of either un-, il- or im-.
Our earlier quizzes have numerous examples of relational, graded and complementary antonyms and also of antonyms formed by adding a prefix. There are thousands of words that have unique meanings but each word may have other words with similar or opposite meanings. A good knowledge of the word and its many antonyms will help you to improve your writing, reading and speaking skills. Take the quiz that follows and see how much you know about antonyms.