Synonyms and antonyms are words that have a similar or opposite meaning.
An infinitive is the basic form of a verb that is not conjugated.
The infinitive has no tense and does not change with person, number, or gender. Infinitives come from Latin roots and
Greek roots such as “play” (Latin root: “ludere”) and “run” (Greek root: “hodon”).
Synonyms may be words with similar meanings, while antonyms may be words with the opposite meaning.
To be able to use these terms, students should understand that words can have multiple meanings.
Synonyms are words that have a similar meaning. For example, the word “beautiful” is a synonym of “nice”.
Likewise, the word “old” is a synonym of “aged”. Students must learn the correct meaning of each word to use it accurately.
Antonyms are words that have an opposite meaning. For example, the word “good” is an antonym of the word “bad”.
Likewise, the word “short” is an antonym of the word “tall”. Students are often tested on their ability to produce antonyms in sentences on standardized tests.
Synonym list is a list of synonyms of a particular word. For example, the word “technical” is an antonym of the word “adventurous”.
Students are often tested on their ability to produce synonym lists on standardized tests.
Students must be able to recognize these similarities and differences among words.
The first step in identifying how words are related is to identify their root meanings. Words have two parts,
made up of two or more letters, called the root and suffix or prefix. Unlike other types of vocabulary building activities,
root words are used for determining similarities between words because suffixes and prefixes are more predictable than roots.
Theoretically, it is possible to find the root of any English word, even if it has been modified by prefixes or suffixes.
Students should be able to use the word roots to identify similarities between words.
Students must be able to use prefixes and suffixes in creating new words. The process of adding these types of endings is called derivation.
Words are often created out of the combination of similar-sounding words. This type of word creation is called blending.
There are two types of blends:
The ability to recognize the different types of vocabulary activities that are used in standardized tests is
an important skill for students who are preparing for these types of tests.
“Top-notch synonyms with definition” is a tool that teachers can use to help students understand how synonyms,
antonyms, and related words can be used in a test. Students should be able to identify the difference between
a top-notch synonym and a top-notch antonym in a standardized writing or reading test.
To illustrate this point, “top-notch synonyms with definition” is set up in the following manner:
In this sentence, “make” is used as a top notch synonym for “find”. This statement would not make much sense
if the word was read as it is written because it does not create much of an image. The synonym “make” is more powerful
than the word “find” because it can be used in many different types of sentences.
It is possible that the word “find” could be used in an SAT question; however, it would not be considered a top-notch synonym.
In this sentence, “wise” and “intelligent” are antonyms. Both words carry a similar meaning;
however, only one of the words is correct to use in this sentence. The antonym “intelligent” is incorrect
because it does not make much sense to use that word when describing a teenager.
The word “wise” can be used correctly to describe a teenager because it is more powerful than the word “intelligent”.
The concept of root words is used to create words or phrases.
Students must use their knowledge of root words to determine how similar or different these two words are:
It would be incorrect to say that the phrase “medical assistant” is an antonym for the word “doctor”
because they are not opposites. The phrase “medical assistant” means that the person has some type of medical knowledge;
however, he or she does not have a high-level degree in the medical profession. The person who holds this title has a level of medical knowledge and training.
It would also be incorrect to say that the phrase “I don’t know” is an antonym for the word “know” because they are not opposites.
One word describes one’s level of knowledge, while the other word describes one’s ability to communicate.
The phrase “I don’t know” is an answer to a question, which would be considered a form of communication;
however, it does not mean that the person does not know.
Portions of this list were adapted from a Victorian dictionary, “The Dictionary Containing
a Comprehensive Collection of English Words and Their Derivations. Published by Thos. De La Rue and Co. London.” top notch synonym