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Using Word Relationships

Many kinds of word relationships are possible. When looking at relationships the order of the words is important. Changing the order changes the relationship. In word relationships, the colon (:) is an abbreviation of the phrase "is to." For example, instead of "white is to black," "white: black" is written. Like all abbreviations, this one saves space and time. Again, remember that there are countless kinds of relationships that can be constructed.

Common Word Relationships

Relationship Definition Examples
Synonym Two words have the same or nearly the same meaning dirty : nasty
worn: used
calm: peaceful
Antonym One word means the opposite of another hot: cold
late: early
new : old
Homonym Two words sound alike blue: blew
lie: lye
here: hear
Part to whole A piece or portion of something is related to the total object toe: foot
sole: shoe
leaf : plant
wall: room
Whole to part The whole is related to one of its parts tree : trunk
house: room
coat: sleeve
Age or size An animate (living) or inanimate (nonliving) object is related to a younger or older object of the same type fawn: deer
freshman: senior
calf: cow
mother: child
Rhyme Although items do not begin with the same sound/letter, the ending sounds are the same goat: boat
trouble: bubble
slow : toe
light: kite
Person to location A person is related to the place with which he is associated sailor : ship
criminal : jail
President: White House
Object to use Something is related to its function oven: bake
soap: clean
broom: sweep
Source to object The place from which an item is taken and the item are compared pound: stray dog
bakery : cookies
mind: thought

 

Vocabulary Guide

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