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Synonyms and Antonyms in English–Growing Your Vocabulary

Synonyms and Antonyms in English–Growing Your Vocabulary

Synonyms and antonyms are important to understand as you learn English. Knowledge of synonyms and antonyms will help your English vocabulary to grow. In this posting I talk about 10 common, easy words in English–words that you probably use every day. I talk about synonyms and antonyms for each of these words. There will be many example sentences. The download at the end will give you additional practice using synonyms and antonyms.

What are synonyms and antonyms?

Synonyms are words that mean the same or nearly the same as another word. For example, big and large are synonyms. Antonyms mean the opposite or nearly the opposite of another word. Big and little are antonyms. Some words have more than one synonym of antonym. In fact, some words have many. When you know synonyms and antonyms for many words, you will be able to express your thoughts more completely, and you will be able to understand more of what you hear and read. You can find synonyms and antonyms of words in many dictionaries and in any thesaurus.

Common synonyms and antonyms

You will see 15 everyday words below. Each word will be followed by a list of synonyms and a list of antonyms, and an example sentence using one of each.

A-B

  1. all

Synonymsentire, total, whole, complete, everything, everyone
I ate the whole dinner even though I wasn’t hungry.
Antonymsnone, zero, zilch (slang), nada (slang), nothing, nobody
My co-worker got a large raise, and I got zilch.

2. begin

Synonymsstart, commence, launch, originate, open
We launched our new business last week.
Antonymsend, stop, finish, terminate, close, discontinue
The twins finished their studies last year.

3. big

Synonymslarge, enormous, huge, immense, gigantic, vast, tall, massive
The new elephant at the zoo is truly enormous!
Antonyms-little, small, tiny, wee, petite, minute, limited, dinky (slang)
My sister is a petite woman with long blond hair

C-G

4. come

Synonymsarrive, reach, approach, advance
Please approach the front of the room.
Antonymsgo, depart, leave, depart, recede, disappear, fade
My plane departs at 3:15 pm from Gate C-42.

5. fast

Synonymsquick, rapid, speedily, hasty, quickly, rapidly, swiftly, in a flash, lickety-split (slang)
Please wait for me. I’ll be ready in a flash.
Antonymsslow, gradual, leisurely, behind
Many small towns have a leisurely way of life. No one ever hurries.

6. fat

Synonymsstout, overweight, obese, plump, rotund, pudgy, chubby
Ana is pretty, except that she’s very chubby.
Antonymsthin, lean, skinny, slender, narrow, underweight, skeletal
Greyhounds are very slender dogs.

7. good

Synonymsexcellent, fine, wonderful, agreeable, marvelous, favorable, top-notch, superior
Professor Jones is a top-notch scholar.
Antonymsbad, improper, evil, immoral, sinful, disagreeable
The criminal was an immoral person.

H-L

8. heavy

Synonymsmassive, weighty, fat, obese, overweight, lumpish, leaden
A large truck is very weighty.
Antonymslight, lightweight, thin, weightless
My brother is a lightweight. He weighs on 50 kilos.

9. happy

Synonymspleased, contented, satisfied, delighted, elated, joyful, cheerful, glad
I am highly satisfied with my new home.
Antonymssad, blue (slang), low, depressed, dejected, down, miserable, sorrowful
My aunt was depressed when her husband died.

10. hot

Synonymswarm, feverish, heated, passionate, spicy, sizzling
The fajitas were served in a sizzling skillet.
Antonymscold, cool, frosty, chilly, icy, frigid
The weather is quite chilly today.

11. love

Synonymslike, adore, appreciate, cherish, idolize, admire, treasure, worship
I cherish each of my children.
Antonymshate, dislike, abhor, despise, detest
I never drink milk. I detest it.

N-P

12. new

Synonymsfresh, novel, unused, current, recent, modern
This new job is a recent development in my life.
Antonymsold, ancient, aged, obsolete, worn, mature, used
He doesn’t have much money, so he bought a used car.

13. noisy

Synonymsloud, boisterous, earsplitting, deafening
Arturo’s algebra class is full of boisterous students.
Antonymsquiet, silent, mute, hushed, soundless
Do you mute your phone before you go to bed?

14. pretty

Synonymsbeautiful, lovely, attractive, handsome, gorgeous, stunning
You look stunning tonight in your new dress.
Antonymsugly, hideous, unsightly, homely, plain, repulsive
That new office building looks unsightly to me.

T-Z

15. true

Synonymsright, accurate, real, precise, correct, exact, genuine, actual, valid
I wrote the correct answer on the test, but the teacher still counted it wrong.
Antonymsfalse, wrong, untrue, erroneous, mistaken, unfounded, groundless, fraudulent
Joe made many fraudulent claims on his tax return.

You now know that many common English words have many synonyms and antonyms. In other words, there are many ways to express yourself in English as your vocabulary grows. The download will give you additional practice using synonyms and antonyms.

You can download the practice sheet now!

Idioms of the day

  1. to think twice –This means to consider something carefully before making a decision. I would think twice about loaning money to a stranger if I were you.
  2. out of the question –This means that something is not possible. I asked my boss for a raise, but he told me that it was out of the question.

Misty Davidson
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