English Vocabulary (Part-1)



9.English Vocabulary                                                                                                               

9.1      Antonyms

9.1.1       Strategies for Antonyms

9.2      Synonyms

9.2.1       Strategies for Synonyms

9.3      Analogies

9.3.1       Common Relationships

9.3.2       Strategies for Analogies

9.4      One Word Substitution

9.4.1       List of Popular Words

9.5      List of Most Frequently Misspelled Words

9. English Vocabulary

9.1 Antonyms

In antonym type question, a word in capitalized letter is mentioned, from among the choice, you have to choose the word that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the capitalized lettered word. The capitalized lettered word and the choices will be from the same part of the speech.



The antonym of SUPPRESS is

a. broadcast

b. ejaculate

c. express

d. extract

e. invent

Ans: (c).

Explanation: One meaning of ‘suppress’ is to prevent one’s feelings ideas from being expressed. Another meaning of ‘suppress’ is to put an end to something by force. Your answer should, therefore be a word meaning ‘to express one’s feeling and ideas’. The correct answer is (c) express, to show or make a feeling or opinion.



The antonym of UPSURGE is

a. backwardness

b. decrease

c. excursion

d. sympathy

e. fluency

Ans: (b)

Explanation: ‘Upsurge’ can be broken into prefix-up and root word surge. Meaning of prefix-up is ‘to a higher place, position, condition, degree etc’. Meaning of surge is ‘a forward movement’. Prefix-up and surge combine to convey a meaning, a sudden great increase. Thus answer choice (b) ‘decrease’ is correct.


9.1.1 Strategies for Antonyms:

1. The best way to answer antonym questions is to recall the antonyms of the capitalized word. Then go through the options to see whether you have selected the right answer.


2. It is not always possible to recall exact meaning of the capitalized word and hence its antonyms. You should try to recall the context in which you had read the given word.


3. If you can’t get the meaning of capitalized word. Try to break it or look for the prefixes- word part that is added to the beginning of the word and to the roots.


4. The answer can be reached by the way of selection. In process of selection the right choice is selected by gathering information about the capitalized word.


5. Other way to tackle such objective question is to apply method of elimination to the answer choices. In this method, go through the answer choice and find why it could be the answer. This will minimise your chance to commit errors.

6. Always go through all the answer choices. Find reasons for why a certain answer choice is correct and also reason for why the other answer choices are not correct.      

Exercise for practice

Choose the appropriate synonym for the bolder part of the sentence from the options given below


1.  Find the antonym of PERTINACIOUS.

               (a) Absent                              (b) Super filial

               (c) deceptive                          (d)  outdated  


2.  Find the antonym of IMAGINATIVE.

               (a) notable                             (b) prosaic

               (c) hollow                              (d) passive


3.  Find the antonym of NOCTURNAL.

               (a) laudable                           (b) terminal

               (c) Speck led                         (d) daily


4.  Find the antonym of ANTIPATHY.

               (a) index                                (b) fondness

               (c) neotype                           (d)  abandon


5.  Find the antonym of CYNICAL.

               (a) Famous                            (b) trusting

               (c) Valuable                           (d) express


6.  Find the antonym of CARTE BLANCHE

                (a) restriction                        (b) prevention

                (c) unspiritual                        (d)  accomplice


7.  Find the antonym of EXCORIATE

                (a) afflict                              (b) convent

                (c) stimulate                         (d)  praise.


8.  Find the antonym of LACHRYMOSE.

               (a) imperfect                          (b) impulsive

               (c) cheerful                           (d) troubled 


9.  Find the antonym of OPULENCE.

                (a) depression                       (b) poverty

                (c) fortune                           (d) luxury


10. Find the antonym HAPHAZARD.

                 (a) above board                  (b) moderate

                 (c) momentous                   (d) deliberate



1. (b)    2. (b)       3. (d)      4. (b)      5. (b)      6. (a)    7. (d)     8. (c)     9. (b)   10. (d)



Most of the techniques that you have learned and mastered in previous antonym section will be equally helpful in solving the synonym questions. Most common types of synonym questions have a capitalized lettered word, from among the given choices; you have to choose the word that carries same or similar meaning to the capitalized lettered word. The capitalized word and the answer choices will be from the same part of speech.



The synonym of HOMAGE is

a. zeal

b. voyage

c. donation

d. tribute

e. flavour


Ans : (d)

Explanation: Its synonym must be a word containing respect in its meaning. Answer choices ‘zeal’, ‘voyage’, ‘donation’ and ‘flavour’ have nothing to do with respect. The correct answer is (d) ‘tribute which means ‘an act of gifting ’, ‘words or expression of respect’.



The synonym of Severe snowstorms is

a. avalanches

b. earthquake

c. blizzards

d. cyclones

e. tornadoes


Ans: (c)

Explanation: Answer choice words ‘earthquake, cyclone and tornado’ has nothing to do with snow. Your answer choice could be either (a) or (c). Meaning of ‘avalanches’ is ‘great slide of snow, rocks, etc. from the mountain slope’. This obviously, is not a snow storm. The right answer is (c) ‘blizzards’. Meaning of blizzard is ‘severe snow storm’.  


9.2.1 Strategies for Synonyms:


1. Try to recall the context in which you had read the given word, when it is not possible to recall its exact meaning.


2. Try to break the word, look for the prefixes, roots or origin of the word as knowing about the origin helps to decipher the meaning to a great extent.


3. Methods of selection and elimination (which were discussed in antonyms section) will help you in choosing the right answer.


4. Sometimes the clue to the answer is hidden in the sentence itself. In this case, one of the answer choices must reflect the answer.


5. Before answering the questions you should be clear about idea, concept and tone of the sentence.


6. Last but not the least you should go through all the options very carefully.


Exercise for practice

1.  Find the synonym of PSEUDOSCIENCE.

               (a) copy                                (b) forgery

               (c) quasi                                (d) spurious

 2.  Find the synonym of SURREPTITIOUS.

               (a) Ambient                           (b) Secret

               (c) Inundate                          (d) Rebuke


 3.  Find the synonym of POLYTHEISM.

               (a) Worship of many gods

               (b)  Belief in spirits

               (c)  Respect for all religions

               (d)  Belief in many births


 4.  Find the synonym of INDEFATIGABLE.

               (a) Comfortable                    (b) Practical

               (c) Untiring                          (d) Strong


 5.  Find the synonym of NUNNARY.

               (a) of children’s stories          (b) of dead bodies

               (c) of unmarried                   (d) of coins.



1. (d)           2. (b)            3. (a)           4. (c)             5. (c)


Find the appropriate synonym for the bold part of the sentence.

 1.  They become pale with fear at the sight of approaching figures.

               (a) scrutinized                     (b) blanched

               (c) sweated                        (d) horrified


2. Other men flew silently and quickly across our sky like a meteor, but he shone like a Sun in the heaven.

               (a) Flitted                              (b) blossomed

               (c) Succumbed                       (d) transmitted


3.  The cute little girl is treated with excessive admiration wherever she goes.

                (a) critique                           (b) apprehension

                (c) adulation                         (d   calumny


4.  All the familiar land marks were blotted out.

                 (a) sabotaged                          (b) obliterated

              (c) hauled                               (d) disfigured


5.  With a chisel you can either force open the top box or you can widen the slit.

                (a) Price                               (b) Elevate

                (c) trample                            (d) Expose




1. (b)          2. (a)          3. (c)           4. (b)          5. (a)