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11 plus synonyms and antonyms worksheets

By Atom | Jun 29, 2023, 8:36 AM

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Looking for 11 plus synonyms and antonyms worksheets? Here's how to support your child with synonyms and antonyms on entrance exams, along with free downloadable resources to build their confidence and knowledge!

What is a synonym?

Synonyms are words that mean the same thing as each other. For example, ‘pleased’ and ‘glad’ are synonyms because they are both adjectives that describe someone as happy.

Giving your child a thesaurus is a great way to build their knowledge of synonyms. Ask them to underline all the adjectives in a piece of text, then ask them to look up alternative words in a thesaurus. This exercise is a great way to build your child's confidence with identifying word classes too.

Synonyms helpsheet

What is an antonym?

An antonym is a word that has the opposite meaning to another word. For example, the words 'wet' and 'dry' are antonyms because they mean the exact opposite of one another.

Antonyms will always be in the same word class as each other (for example, they will both be verbs, nouns, or adjectives).

Antonyms helpsheet

Where do synonyms and antonyms come up on the 11 plus?

Synonyms and antonyms are a key topic your child will encounter on 11 plus verbal reasoning papers. They appear in papers set by GL Assessments and on the ISEB Common Pre-Test.

Synonym and antonym questions test your child's vocabulary skills and their understanding of word class and meaning. They often appear in cloze questions, where children have to pick the correct word out of a bank of words to make a sentence or passage make sense.

As well as the verbal reasoning paper, brushing up on synonyms will boost your child's creative writing skills, giving them tools to add more interest and variation to their writing.

11 plus synonyms

Question formats

There are two styles of synonym question on the 11 plus:

Your child will be given a word and must choose the answer which is a synonym for it.

  • Example question: Which word from the list below is a synonym of boring?

  • Answer options: reading, dull, interesting, magazine, writing

Sometimes, synonyms may appear within the same group – this can catch children out. Remember to always select one word from each group, rather than two from one.

How to answer synonym exam questions

The most important step for your child to consider when answering these questions is identifying the word class of the given word. Answers will be from the same word class as the given word.

11 plus synonyms and antonyms worksheets

Support your child's understanding of 11 plus synonyms and antonyms with these free worksheets.

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synonyms and antonyms 11 plus example questions

11 plus antonyms

Question formats

There are two styles of antonym question on the 11 plus:

Your child will be given a word and must choose the answer which is an antonym for it.

  • Example question: Which word in the list below is the antonym of 'delicious'?

  • Answer options: tasty, sour, sprinkles, disgusting

As with synonyms, don't be caught out by these question types. Remember that you must select one word from each group, not two from one.

How to answer antonym exam questions

When working out pairs of antonyms your child will need to compare two words at a time from the words they have been given. They should start by reading through the words to see if any pairs are recognisable immediately. If not, then begin with either the single word they have been given, or the first word of the left-hand group.

There are three simple steps for finding antonyms: identify, define, and double check:

  1. Identify: begin by identifying the word class of the words you are comparing. We know that antonyms are always in the same word class so check to see if they are all verbs, adjectives or conjunctions.

  2. Define: can you define the words you are comparing? Do they mean something positive or negative? Then, can you work out how positive or negative they are? We call this 'word strength'. Antonyms will always be opposite in meaning with the same word strength.

  3. Double check: once you think you've found a pair of antonyms, use them in the same sentence. Replacing a word in a sentence with its antonym will change the meaning of the sentence to its opposite.

Master 11 plus synonyms and antonyms

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