AntonymA term is antonym of another when enunciating a concept opposite or opposite the same. It is an idea that is used in the field of linguistics when classifying words.

An antonym always acquires this classification by establishing a link with its opposite. That is to say: no term is antonym by itself. The same goes for synonyms, which are terms that express a meaning similar or equal to that of others.

For instance: “young man” and “old” are antonyms. The first concept refers to something or someone of little age or seniority, while the second notion refers to the opposite: to something or someone with many years of life or existence. It can be said, in this way, that a man can not be “young man” and “old” simultaneously. Yes it is “young man”, It is not “old” and vice versa, since antonyms express the opposite.

This concept is situated in the field of linguistics, where there is also talk of antonymy to define the condition of antonym, that is, the relationship that occurs between two words that have opposite meanings. There are different types of antonyms; Although all serve to compare or to contrast two meanings, the nuances provided by each of them are different, as well as the cases in which they are used.

First of all, we will talk about reciprocal antonyms, that is, of those who necessarily require the existence of the other. In this context, we can mention the Actions from “to pay” and “collect”. For a person “Pay” something, another has to “Collect it”. It can not “to pay” one thing if no one “cobra”.

The force that we can appreciate in the link between two reciprocal antonyms is very particular and interesting from a linguistic point of view and, more precisely, from the perspective of semantics. Once we understand that each component of this series of pairs always has its complement, we can take advantage of this dependency to make a richer and more subtle use of language.

The complementary antonyms, for its part, they remove their meanings from each other. Yes one person is “Married”, can not be “single”. It is impossible to be “married” and, simultaneously, be “single”.

AntonymIn this case there is a phenomenon similar to that of reciprocal antonyms, in that the force that exists in their relationship is impossible to ignore: one overrides the other, and this can also serve to optimize the use of the tongue, since it allows us say more with less.

Thanks to the action that a term produces on its complementary antonym, not only can we avoid using both in the same sentence, but we can also hint at the meaning of one of them simply with the other. For example, if we take into account the relationship what happens between the words cleansed and dirty, someone might say with a certain contempt that «his study was not exactly clean«, To avoid the use of dirty, whose meaning is what is actually appreciated in your opinion.

The gradual antonyms, finally, they exert an opposition that is gradual, since between the two there are other terms with a different degree. “Hot” and “cold” are gradual antonyms: among them there are adjectives What “warm” or “tempered”.

Here idioms and regionalisms come into play especially, as well as different jargons, since each group of people expresses with terms and degrees of precision different concepts related to temperature, color and intensity of sound, for example. Continuing with the terms cold and hot, we can say that among them there are many possibilities outside the academic field of the language, such as pretty hot or cool.