Synonyms are two or more words that are spelled differently but express the same or nearly the same thing.
Synonymy occurs between words with enough relation of similarity in their meaning, so that one can be replaced by the other.
- abundant – a lot
- glasses – glasses
See also: Synonymous words
What are synonyms for?
The main function of synonyms is that they allow the texts to alternate the use of a word with others that imply the same thing.
This is important when writing texts in which a term becomes very frequent; in that case it is convenient to alternate with synonyms so as not to bore the reader with repetitions.
- See also: Sentences with synonyms
We made a video to explain it easily:
It is common for words with a very concrete or specific meaning to lack synonyms (example: stethoscope), while words that express feelings, emotions or rather abstract concepts usually have many synonyms (example: cute/beautiful/graceful).
- See also: Synonyms and antonyms
Examples of synonyms
The following list includes pairs of words that are synonyms :
|penny pincher||tie up|
|card||deck of cards|
|return||to get back|
See more in: List of Synonymous Words
Types of synonymy
There are four types of synonymy:
- full synonym . They are synonyms regardless of the context in which they are used. For example: dentist/dentist
- Partial or conceptual synonymy . They are different words but they mean the same thing. It may happen that certain words are used more in one dialect than in another. For example: lady/woman.
- referential synonym. They are words that can mean the same thing but not in all contexts, but rather they need the context in which they are used. For example: dance/dance, lemonade/drink, table/furniture.
- Synonym of connotation. Synonymy, in these cases, is relative or objective and precise in the interpretation of the reader. For example: “Andrés is a Maradona of computers”. In this case, the word Maradona works as a synonym for gen.
Characteristics of synonyms
Synonymy is a relationship of sense or meaning, as is also the case with antonyms, which are words with opposite meanings. Homonyms or paronyms, on the other hand, are words that are linked for reasons associated with their form.
The synonymy relationship can be given by its strict meaning (from the dictionary) or by the connotation that a word can assume under certain circumstances.
For example, the words ‘husband’ and ‘husband’ will be synonyms in any case, while the words ‘burden’ and ‘heavy’ will be synonyms only in certain contexts, since the word ‘heavy’, in its basic meaning, is only it means that it has a lot of mass or weight (in physical or material terms).
Although in general the synonymy relationship occurs between words of the same morphological class (between several nouns or between several adjectives), sometimes an adverb can be synonymous with an adjective , for example.
Synonyms in literature
As indicated, synonymy is especially important in narrative texts and in literary genres in general, where each word adds an aesthetic value to the work.
The correct use of synonyms becomes a virtue of the writers of stories, novels or poems, surely achieved from reading and the constant enrichment of vocabulary.
In any case, synonymy should not be confused with rhetorical figures such as metaphor or comparison , which although ‘say the same thing in another way’, do not do so through the simple change of individual words, but in a more complex and elaborate way. .
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