Identifying Antonyms is one question type that is tested in the Verbal Ability Section of most competitive exams like Banking and SSC. So let’s understand what are Antonyms and their various types along with some tips for correctly identifying the Antonym of a given word.
In simple words, an Antonym is the opposite of another word. For example, the Antonym of day is night. However, do remember that a word may have more than one Antonym.
Let us now look at the different types of Antonyms categorized by the relationship formed by the opposite meaning words:
These are the words which have definitions that lie on a continuous spectrum of meaning. Example: Temperature is such a continuous spectrum so Hot and Cold; two meanings on opposite ends of the spectrum are gradable antonyms.
Here are some more examples of Gradable Antonyms:
These are the words whose meanings do not lie on a continuous spectrum and the words have no other lexical relationship.
Example: There is no continuous spectrum between push and pull but they are opposite in meaning and are therefore complementary antonyms.
Here are some more examples of Complementary Antonyms:
These are the words whose meanings are opposite only within the context of their relationship.
Example: There is no lexical opposite of teacher, but teacher and pupil are opposite within the context of their relationship. This makes them relational antonyms.
Here are some more examples of Relational Antonyms:
The best tip for learning correct antonyms is developing an extensive vocabulary. Let’s look at some ways of doing this:
This is an easy way to study and memorize words. There are a lot of online thesauruses available in which a word and its opposite words can be found in one place.
Keep a pocket note book in which you can jot down a few words every day, say 10-20. The most important thing is you must go through the list frequently.
If you use a mobile or a tablet you can download free flash cards that may help you in learning or remembering new words.
Another method of identifying antonyms is to eliminate the improbable options. There will be certain options that will not fit the context of the sentence or even match the meaning of the word.