Synonyms and antonyms are useful to know because they improve reading and writing skills. And since words represent thoughts, it can plausibly be stated that they allow students to understand the world at a deeper, richer level. It is important to remember that synonyms are not words that have the same meaning, but rather, words that have similar meanings. This means that by learning synonyms, students learn to differentiate between shades of meaning. This enables them to be more precise. In addition, by learning antonyms, students learn the logical opposites of important words, thus enhancing their overall command of language. On the first set of our worksheets below, students must choose the best antonym for the word given. Each worksheet has 10 antonyms questions. Beginning level worksheets have 3 answer choices. Intermediate level worksheets have 4 answer choices. Advanced level worksheets have 5 answer choices.Advanced level worksheets test the most common 200 words used on the SAT and GRE tests. On the second set of workksheets, students must choose the best synonym or antonym for the word given. Each worksheet has 6 synonyms questions followed by 6 antonyms questions. Beginning level worksheets have 4 answer choices. Intermediate and advanced have 5. Advanced level worksheets test the most common 200 words used on the SAT and GRE tests.
You may find it helpful to view our Verbal Reasoning Techniques page (found at the bottom of this page). This worksheet outlines several strategies that will enable you to answer synonyms/antonyms questions with a higher success rate, even on questions in which you are unsure about specific word definitions. We also recommend that you use a thesaurus to learn word definitions, especially if studying for the SAT or GRE tests. A thesaurus allows you to become familiar with the family of synonyms and antonyms associated with a given word. In terms of test taking, this can prove more valuable than knowing the precise definition of individual words.
Read Theory Antonyms Worksheets
In these worksheets, students are tested on their ability to identify the antonym, or opposite, of a given word. While it helps to have knowledge of word meanings, this is not completely necessary in most cases. Rather, students can rely on their use of logic and verbal reasoning skills to answer questions correctly. You may find it helpful to view our Verbal Reasoning Techniques below. This information outlines several strategies that will enable you to answer synonyms/antonyms questions with a higher success rate, even on questions in which you are unsure about specific word definitions. Oh hey, and don't forget: the following are samples taken from our sister site, ReadTheory. This is a powerful educational tool created to improve reading comprehension for all ages and ability levels. On this website, students can take quizzes, earn achievements, track their progress, and more. And better still, we've implemented a teacher login where teachers can monitor students progress using powerful statistical analysis. Click on the banner to sign up to receive our newsletter.
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Printable Synonyms and Antonyms Worksheets
In these worksheets, students are tested on their ability to identify a synonym (a word that has nearly the same meaning) or antonym (a word that has the opposite meaning) of a given word. While it helps to have knowledge of word meanings, this is not completely necessary in most cases. Rather, students can rely on their use of logic and verbal reasoning skills to answer questions correctly.
Techniques for Solving Synonyms/Antonyms Questions
1) On harder synonym/antonym questions, beware of trick choices. Can you spot the trick in the following example?
Choose the best antonym.
The word, restive, is tricky, because it sounds like it has something to do with rest. Therefore, D) active would be the best antonym. However, this is a trick. Restive actually means restless. So, the correct answer is patient, a good antonym for restless. It is beneficial to familiarize yourself with tricky words like restive, because they are commonly tested on the SAT and GRE.
2) Take note of positively and negatively charged answer choices. It is possible to associate a negative or positive charge with almost any given word. Try to discern whether each word in the following list has a positive (+), negative (-), or neutral (=) charge.
Choose the best synonym.
In the example, we are trying to find the best synonym for the word maligned. So, we should begin by ascertaining its charge. The prefix, "mal" is typically used in negatively charged words. Therefore, the answer will likely have a positive charge. Let's go through the list to see how each word is charged. A) beneficent (+) B) magnanimous (+) C) downtrodden (-) D) destitute (-) E) elegant (=) After labeling each, we are left with two words that are positively charged: beneficent and magnanimous. Even if you don't know the meaning of any answer choices, you have narrowed your choices down to two and are left with a 50% change of answering correctly. This is a quick technique that can be very beneficial when attempting to answer a question with several words that you are unsure about.
3) Eliminate answer choices that have no clear antonym. This technique only works on antonym questions. So, this is a great technique for use on the GRE because it only contains antonym questions (it doesn't contain any synonym questions). Consider the words rounded or striped. Neither of these words have a clear antonym. While almost every word has a synonym, remember that not all words have antonyms and eliminate them first.
4) Eliminate answer choices that are close synonyms. Spotting synonyms within the answer choices can be valuable because it allows you to narrow your viable answer choices. If two of the answers have very similar meanings, then the correct answer is too ambiguous. Therefore, it is possible to eliminate these choices. The SAT/GRE are tough tests, but they always present one answer choice that is clearly correct. See if you can eliminate two answer choices from the following example.
Choose the best antonym.
The words mitigate and mollify are close synonyms. The both mean "to reduce or soften in pain or intensity, to make less severe." This leaves only three remaining viable answer choices.
5) Try to associate the word with a familiar context. Words on the SAT/GRE are tested for good reason: they are very effective. This being the case, they get included in many proverbial phrases. Note the following examples: "Gail force winds," "The Village Advocate," "Test your mettle", "Road to Perdition", "Patience is a virtue", "Abject poverty", "He made it through unscathed".
6) Use your knowledge of Romance Languages. The roots of many SAT/GRE words have similar meanings in foreign languages. For example, the Spanish word malo means bad. This is a common root for many negatively charged words: maligned malignant malapropos malediction malevolent malicious malefaction In addition, the Spanish word bueno means good. This is also a common root for many positively charged words:
But, be careful. Sometimes questions will attempt to trick the test taker by including roots in words that belie their true meaning: