Here are some approaches that may be helpful in answering antonym questions: Remember that you are looking for the word




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nd now, informally) this means "imply" as well. Rent, lease: several pointed out to me that these means both lend and borrow. In addition, Chinese operates similarly with respect to this pair, and WOLFGANG LIPP notes a similar auto-antonymy to represent "give" and "take" in pronunciation but not in writing.

Learn/teach: in "sub" - Standard English, these two meanings fuse into “learn”, as they do in standard Russian “uchit'” Here is “sensitive”: this may describe either someone with profound understanding for the feelings of others, and tolerates differences of opinion (thus "sensitivity training" for group leaders) as well as a paranoid who doesn't listen to what people are really saying, and decides to take everything as a personal insult.

Hole/whole: Spelled the first way, an entire absence of matter; the second, entire presence. This reminds me of "pit" which can be either a hollow or the stone of a fruit. Which reminds me of "seeded" oranges (insert your favourite fruit here) - oranges with seeds (as opposed to navel oranges, which have no seeds), OR oranges that have had their seeds removed. If you think you're beginning to see some patterns here, you're not alone! There were received a few theories on the ultimate essence of auto-antonymy, historical, psychological, and sociological approaches. These theories show that auto-antonymy comes about for a variety of reasons.

“I've been enjoying the discussion of words that are their own antonyms.

At first I thought the classic example of Latin Altus "high" or "deep"

might fit in, but as I thought about it I figured it was just unmarked

for point of view (say when cleaning out an empty swimming pool then

"Deep" becomes "high") so I just looked to see if it was on the list and

got a comment. No. Good. But one that I have long wondered about is

"risk" as in "he risked winning the game". I was shocked (as a teenager)

the first time I saw "he risked losing the game" (or something like that)

in print, because I previously thought (and am still inclined toward)

the complement of risk being the desirable result, not the undesirable

one. Whether or not this fits into this discussion, I wonder if anyone

else has had a similar (or opposite) reaction or any thoughts

about what's going on in the case of "risk"”.



Teaching antonyms requires great skill and practice. For this purpose the teacher uses various techniques and methods.

For example, while teaching antonyms “small” and “big” he uses pictures for presenting them. He says: In these pictures you see two balls. (The balls should differ only in size.) This is a small ball, and this is a big ball. This ball is small, and that ball is big. Now, Sasha, come up to the picture and point to the small ball (big ball).

Then the teacher shows another picture with two houses in it a white house and a yellow house, and he asks another pupil to point to the white house, to the u yellow house, and so on.

The teacher may use gestures, for example, for conveying the meaning of stand up, sit down. He says: Lena, stand up. He shows with his hands what she must do. Lena stands up. Now, sit down. Again with the movement of his hands he shows the girl what she must do. The other pupils listen to the teacher and watch what Lena is doing. Then many pupils are invited to perform the actions.

If the antonyms are difficult for understanding the teacher may use the learners mother tongue and translate them directly or to give the analogies. For example, the teacher says: антоним слова “широкий” на русском языке будет “узкий”, а по-английски это слово звучит как “narrow”.



The teacher must be sure of his vocabulary. . These questions obviously test vocabulary. So if yours could use some work, spend time improving it. Apart from having a great vocabulary, you can also do well on antonyms by using test-smarts and strategy.

Antonyms present you with a single word followed by five answer choices containing words or short phrases. Your task here is to find the answer choice thats most nearly opposite in meaning to the original word. If youre stumped about the meaning of a word, try to think of a context where youve heard the word before. You may not be able to recite the definition of the word covert, for instance, but youve probably heard the phrase “covert operation” to describe some type of cloak-and-dagger activity. Also, use your knowledge of foreign languages and word roots to help “decode” the meaning of a tough word. For instance, you may not know what benediction means, but you may be able to determine that the root bene means “good” from knowing the more common word “benevolent.” That may be all you need to answer a question if you spot a word like “curse” among the answers.

Although antonym questions test knowledge of vocabulary more directly than do any of the other verbal question types, antonym questions measure not merely the strength of your vocabulary but also your ability to reason from a given concept to its opposite. Antonyms may require only rather general knowledge of a word, or they may require that you make fine distinctions among answer choices. Antonyms are generally confined to nouns, verbs, and adjectives; answer choices may be single words or phrases.

Here are some approaches that may be helpful in answering antonym questions:

  • Remember that you are looking for the word that is the most nearly opposite to the given word; you are not looking for a synonym. Many words do not have a precise opposite, so you must look for the answer choice that expresses a concept most nearly opposite to that of the given word.
  • In some cases more than one of the answer choices may appear at first to be opposite to the given word. When this happens, try to define more precisely or in greater detail the meaning of the given word.
  • In weighing answer choices, it is often useful to make up a sentence using the given word or words. Substitute the answer choices in the phrase or sentence and see which best “fits”. The best answer will be the one that reverses the meaning or tone of the sentence or phrase.
  • Remember that a particular word may have more than one meaning.
  • Use your knowledge of root, prefix, and suffix meanings to help you determine the meanings of unfamiliar words.




What is a word-retrieval problem?

The terms “word retrieval problem” or “word finding difficulty” imply that the person knows and understands the word, and has used it correctly before. However, they have difficulty retrieving such known words at times. Children and adults with language disorders are frequently found to have word retrieval difficulties. Often when a person (child or adult) is having difficulty retrieving a word they will have the sense that it is “on the tip of their tongue”: a state of affairs familiar to all of us; at other times they seem simply to “go blank”.



These activities are intended for children .

Not all of the activities will suit all children - so be selective.

Put the emphasis on listening, thinking and speaking.

The activities are aimed at having the child retrieve known words - not at extending the vocabulary by teaching new words.

Use a minimum of visual cues. If the word to be “retrieved” does not come easily for the child, provide an auditory cue (e.g., say the first sound or syllable of the word) or a verbal clue (e.g., “it rhymes with...).

Give the child time to think, but dont leave it so long that they are struggling to find the word. Rather than letting them persist unsuccessfully, tell them the answer, and go on with the next few items. Then ask them the one that was difficult again.

Aim for a high success-rate to encourage motivation and confidence.

Adapt the tasks to suit the (developmental) age of the person. Talk about words and word-meanings.

As natural opportunities arise talk about such topics as “Why is Big Bird called Big Bird?” Talk about people being named after other people. Talk about why certain names might have been chosen for pets and TV characters (Cookie Monster, Vinny the Poo, Uncle Scrooge, The Fat Controller, etc). Try to work these conversations in around topics of genuine interest to the child.



Do this as a sentence completion (cloze) activity (e.g., “The opposite of hot is...”) or use a question-and-answer format (e.g., “What is the opposite of hot?”), or as a confrontation naming task using pictures in which the child has to name “opposites pictures” as rapidly as they can (e.g., hot cold, wet dry, big little, fast slow, deep shallow, apart together).

Play word games involving differences

For example, “What is different about a bird and a plane? They can both fly, but they are different because...”

Checking test

Each of the following questions begins with a single word in capital letters. Five answer choices follow. Select the answer choice that has the meaning most opposite to the word in capitals.

(A) estimate (B) fail (C) get ahead of

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