English Grammar

Antonyms with its types and explanation with illustration

Antonyms are those words whose meaning is opposite or opposite to each other. They have to belong to the same grammatical category, that is, if it is a noun, the antonym must also be a noun; if it is a verb, the antonym will be a verb, etc. Antonyms with its types and explanation

Examples of antonym words could be light / dark; beginning / end (nouns); black White; thin fat; high / low ( adjectives ); down up; sell / buy ( verbs ); slow / fast (adverbs). As you can see, the antonym has the opposite meaning.

The term antonym comes from the Greek and is made up of the prefix anti , which means opposite, and onym , which means name: that is, opposite name. In Spanish there are many words that have antonyms, and that is part of the immense lexical richness of our language.

Now, all the antonyms of a word are not necessarily synonymous with each other. For example, beautiful is the antonym of monstrous and grotesque, but these last two terms are not considered equivalent, although they have a certain relationship. Antonyms with its types and explanation

Types of antonyms

The semantic relationship of opposite meanings that exists between words is called antonymy, and this is divided into three classes: gradual, complementary and reciprocal. But there is also a morphological classification, which divides the antonyms into lexical and morphological.

There is another classification of antonyms according to the semantic scope, and they are divided into absolute or total and partial.

1-Gradual antonyms

Gradual antonymy occurs when there is no absolute opposition between two words but rather a gradual relationship, as occurs with hot and cold (between both there are degrees such as temperate, warm, etc.), or with black and white (between both is gray, for example).

It means that there are degrees of difference between the two terms, since there are other words that express certain shades of intermediate meaning; another example would be good / bad: between the two there is regular.

2-Complementary antonyms

Complementary antonyms need the elimination of the opposite, as in the case of legal / illegal, or alive / dead. In other words, the existence of one precludes that of the other.

3-Reciprocal antonyms

Reciprocal antonyms assume the existence of the opposite, without one the other cannot exist. For example, buying / selling establishes a reciprocal relationship, since for someone to buy or sell, someone else is needed to sell or buy. Antonyms with its types and explanation

4-Lexical antonyms

They are those words whose root or lexeme are completely different, as in the cases of opening / closing; hot Cold.

5-Morphological antonyms

On certain occasions, antonyms can be formed with certain prefixes, such as -des, -a, -in, -anti, -i, -im, which indicate the opposite of what the word expresses. These prefixes are added to the root and form a new (derived) word whose meaning is the opposite. These types of prefixes are known as negative prefixes.

Some examples are polite / impolite; pleasant / un-pleasant; covered / uncovered; legal / i-legal; moral / immoral; typical / a-typical; probable / unlikely; possible / impossible; aesthetic / anti-aesthetic, among many others.

6-Absolute or total antonyms

The antonymy in this type of antonyms is absolute when the words have only one meaning, as in the following terms: before / after; die / be born; old age / youth.

7-Partial antonyms

They are the antonyms between words with more than one meaning (they are called polysemic). A word, in one of its meanings, may have one or more antonyms, but for the others it may not have antonyms.

An example would be the noun “filling”, whose antonym would be scarcity in its sense of abundance; but in its meaning of “gastric heaviness” it has no antonym.

What are antonyms for? Grammatical uses

Antonyms on many occasions serve to help understand a certain text or dialogue, since knowledge of the opposite meaning can clarify the concepts and meanings of many words.

For example, a person may not know what the verb medrar means, but by its antonym he can get an idea: in this case, the antonym would be worse.

In any case, knowing the antonyms of words enriches the vocabulary and helps to express the ideas that we have in mind, whether they are opposite or equivalent.

Examples of antonyms

  1. Agile / clumsy
  2. Polite / rude
  3. Obtuse / acute
  4. Cool / hot
  5. Frozen / melted
  6. Beautify / ugly
  7. Pointed / blunt
  8. Happy Sad
  9. Happy/depressed
  10. Humble / arrogant
  11. Diligent/lazy
  12. Brave coward
  13. Up down
  14. Push-pull
  15. Heavy light
  16. Enter / exit
  17. Consume / produce
  18. Know/ignore
  19. Achieve / fail
  20. Sleep / wake up
  21. Rebellion / submission
  22. Evil/goodness
  23. Win / lose
  24. Ascend/descend
  25. Pride / shame
  26. Absolute / relative
  27. Giant/dwarf
  28. Easy hard
  29. Solve/complicate
  30. Bright / dark
  31. Slave / master
  32. Action Reaction

Antonyms with its types and explanation

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