Antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms are three sources of concern in classrooms. They can be confusing, and it's good to get a hang of them early. Every year in school, students will hear about these three groups of words, but the sooner they get clear on them, the sooner they can use them.
When you're learning words, there can't help but be spots where things get a little murky. English vocabulary is especially full of pitfalls since the language is so vast. In English, there several words that share on meaning or nuances of one meaning. Then there are tiny words like "set" and "get" that have so many meaning that their definitions take up multiple dictionary pages. Then, just to make it more daunting, the English language has over a million words. As far as word banks, English is massive.
But don't let the enormousness of the language turn you off. Homonyms, antonyms, and synonyms can be used to learn new words and add a great deal to your diction and the way you talk about language in particular. Knowing what words are similar or opposites helps people to understand the same when it comes to ideas. Ideas are impossible without words, and words are impossible without ideas. The more you think about the interrelationships of one, the better you are able to think about the interrelationships of the other.
Antonyms are words that mean the opposite of other words. The antonym of big is small, for example. Pretty easy, right? Well, slow down there, there's something to be learned in this. English lets its speakers make its own antonyms just by adding a prefix. The ability to make up one's own words and have them be real words is something truly lovable about English.
Mis, dis, dys, mal, in, and unare all prefixes one can affix to words to create antonyms.
Careful: changing prefixes doesn't always work, like flammable and inflammable pretty much mean the same thing––they're synonyms––but usually prefix juggling works like water on fire.
Synonyms are words that share meanings with other words. There are many reasons why synonyms are great. Here are three:
Homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings. They're great. They are source of entertainment, confusion, and inspiration.
Here are some links to get you started in the wonderful world of homonyms: