A blog for kids (and their parents) who love books, words, and dreaming big...
I'm so glad you stopped by! Welcome.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Synonym and Antonym

"A synonym is a word you use
when you can't spell the other one." 
~Baltasar Gracián

A synonym is a word that means the same thing (or almost the same thing) as another word.  For example, here are some synonyms of the word "big": ample, giant, colossal, huge, jumbo, tremendous, and vast

Though the quote by Gracián above made me chuckle, the main reason to use a synonym is to make a sentence better.  Sometimes "big" may be the perfect word for a sentence.  In another sentence, perhaps "vast" would be a more appropriate word.

An antonym is a word that is the opposite of another word.  A few antonyms of "big" are: itsy, little, small, and tiny.

Where can you go to find synonyms and antonyms?  You can use a handy dandy reference book called a thesaurus.  Whenever I'm writing, I keep a thesaurus close by, and refer to it often.  If you don't own a thesaurus (or even if you do), you can also use the Dictionary.com website, which provides a thesaurus section as well as a dictionary.  

A thesaurus helps me find the perfect word for a sentence when the first one that comes to mind doesn't seem quite right.  Let's say that I wrote the following in the first draft of a story:

I looked at the big scary castle sitting on the hill.

By using synonyms as I write my second draft, I can improve my sentence to paint a clearer picture of what I meant when I was writing the first time:

I gaped at the immense, forbidding fortress
perched on the cliff.

And, if I use antonyms instead, I can create a completely different image in a reader's mind:

I ignored the tiny, undaunting shed standing in the canyon.

Now it's your turn!  Try using synonyms or antonyms to change my original sentence into yet another picture.  Please feel free to share your sentences ~ I'd love to see them!

No comments:

Post a Comment