How to use Synonyms Constructively in a Sentence
A synonym is a word that means the same or is similar to the referenced word. It comes from the Greek “syn” (together) and “onym” (name). While writing or speaking, one of the best ways to enhance your vocabulary and refrain from using the same words too frequently is to use a thesaurus to find synonyms. A thesaurus is a dictionary that provides a list of words that have the same/similar meaning as the referenced word. For example, if you were to search for the word “beautiful,” you are likely to find more than thirty words with similar meanings. There are several thesauri starting from Roget’s Thesaurus, created by Peter Mark Roget (first published in 1852) to online thesauri available from companies that specialize in educational resources.
It is beneficial to use synonyms in your writing and speech as they enhance both your writing and verbal skills.
Benefits of Using Synonyms
Some of the benefits of using synonyms are that they can:
- Make text more engaging.
- Help remove dull text.
- Enhance communication among people.
- Help create an image in the mind of the reader.
- Help eliminate repetitive text.
For example, instead of using the word “beautiful” several times in your text, you can use synonyms such as “gorgeous,” “stunning,” or “ravishing” to paint a more dynamic picture of your narrative. Your readers will lose interest if you use the same words too frequently.
It is relatively easy to build your repertoire of synonyms, and the list of tools later in this piece will help you get started. Maintaining a journal or a list of new words for reference helps in expanding your vocabulary. It is also useful to apply those new synonyms regularly to keep them in your memory. The more new words you use, the quicker they will come to mind in your verbal or written presentations.
Using Synonyms to Avoid Plagiarism
Plagiarism is a serious matter for writers and editors and is deemed copyright violation. It is especially serious for academic researchers because plagiarizing someone else’s work in a research document can lessen or even ruin their professional trustworthiness. All pieces of work that you refer to in your writings that are not your original ideas/thoughts must be appropriately cited and referenced. Do you always need to use direct quotations? No, but any part of the original text that you incorporate in your paraphrased text must be in quotation marks.
Paraphrasing enables us to shorten a lengthy quotation by using fewer words to deliver the exact message; it also helps in avoiding the temptation to use too many quotations. This is where synonyms come in handy, but you must be careful about the words you use.
When paraphrasing, ensure that the words you pick to replace the original idea are true synonyms. For instance, the original phrase, “It was a dark day,” could have more than one interpretation. It could mean that the weather was gloomy, or someone was feeling gloomy. Be certain that you recognize the original idea and choose the words that convey the exact meaning.
Numerous books and websites can assist you in building your dictionary of synonyms. Roget’s Thesaurus, a popular publication, is available in both hardcopy and downloadable formats. Here are a few more great options:
- The Visual Thesaurus® is an interactive dictionary that allows you to type in a word for which you want a synonym and then creates “word maps” of related words. It also gives definitions.
- Thesaurus.com is another interactive reference tool that not only provides synonyms and other related words, but also categorizes them based on complexity and length, and whether the word is used formally or informally. The site also features a “word of the day” as an aid for building your vocabulary.
- Synonyms.net provides synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and even the translation of the word into several other languages.
- Reverso Dictionary not only provides synonyms but also translations of a word in other languages.
Learning to use synonyms effectively can help you communicate your ideas eloquently. Clear and concise text with a diverse range of synonyms will ensure your readers never lose their interest. Engaging your readers is essential in academic writing so that new topics and research can be disseminated widely.
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