English Grammar Basic Grammar and syntax

What are synonyms? (with examples)

What are synonyms? (with examples)

A synonym is a word or phrase that means the same thing (or nearly the same thing) as another word or phrase. Words that are synonyms are described as synonyms.

Easy Examples of Synonyms

  • He is happy /glad.
    (Happy and glad are synonymous.)
  • Actress Kate Beckinsale studied / read French and Russian literature at Oxford.
    (Studied and read are synonymous.)

Tenga en cuenta que los sinónimos en un contexto pueden no ser sinónimos en otro.

  • I studied / read in the kitchen.
    (Here, studied and read are not synonymous.)

More Examples of Synonyms

Synonyms are usually related to adjectives, adverbs, nouns or verbs. However, they can be any part of speech.


  • The reason is unimportant.
  • The reason is irrelevant.


  • He eats fast.
  • He eats quickly.


  • Shall I take the dogs?
  • Shall I take the mutts?


  • I need to contemplate the consequences.
  • I need to consider the consequences.


  • I should tell her as she is my sister.
  • I should tell her because she is my sister.
    (Note: These are known as subordinating conjunctions.)


  • Yes, Captain.
  • Aye, Captain.


  • Upon arrival, take a ticket.
  • On arrival, take a ticket.


  • I’ll show you my yacht“Unsinkable II“. She is a beauty.
  • I’ll show you my yacht“Unsinkable II“. It is a beauty.

Synonyms Contrast with Antonyms.

Synonyms contrast with antonyms. Antonyms are words with opposite meanings, making them the opposite of synonyms. For example:

  • “Bad“is an antonym of“good.“
  • “Coward“is an antonym of“hero.“
  • Examples of Synonyms and Antonyms.

    The following table shows some examples of synonyms and antonyms.

    Word Synonym Antonym
    always forever never
    blend mix separate
    clarify explain, simplify confuse
    defend protect, shield attack, assault
    enemy foe, opponent ally, friend
    false incorrect, untrue true
    gather collect, accumulate scatter, disperse
    humble modest vain
    irritate annoy, agitate, provoke soothe, calm
    jubilant delighted, elated, overjoyed dejected, depressed
    kind considerate, tender, thoughtful mean, cruel, inconsiderate
    loose slack, limp tight
    maximum greatest, highest, uppermost minimum, least

    Why Should I Care about Synonyms?

    Hay tres buenas razones y una mala razón para preocuparse por los sinónimos:

    (Good Reason 1) To keep your writing interesting

    Repeating the same word can make typing boring.

    • Thank you for your cooperation. We would have failed without your cooperation.

    Keep your writing interesting by creating some literary variation with synonyms.

    • Thank you for your assistance. We would have failed without your cooperation.
      (You don’t have to achieve literary variance as you’re typing. Just repeat the word and then let your thesaurus earn its living.)

    (Good Reason 2) To fine-tune your communications

    Remember that synonyms are words that mean, or nearly, the same thing. Those differences can be important. Recognizing the different connotations (i.e., implied meanings) of synonyms will help you find the right word, whether it’s in a poem or a business letter.

    • The pond was dark /murky.
      (Choose the word that fits the precise image you want to portray.)

    (Good Reason 3) To find a rhyming, rhythmic, or alliterative word

    To find a word that poetically fits your needs, put in a synonym and then use your thesaurus to find a better-fit synonym.

    • A piece shard of shrapnel shaved her shoulder blade.

    (Bad Reason 1) To avoid a word you can’t spell

    Según el músico Burt Bacharach, un sinónimo es“a word you use when you can’t spell the first word that comes to mind“. (She was joking, of course).

    • My conscence consiance integrity won’t allow it.
      (If you can’t spell conscience…)

    It’s hard to tolerate this reason, but hey, it’s not useless.

    Key Points

    • Use synonyms to apply literary variation.
    • Use subtle differences in synonyms to refine your message.
    • Use your thesaurus to find the word that poetically fits your needs.

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