Story writing: Synonyms and antonyms

Home learning focus

Learn how to use synonyms and antonyms.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos

  • three activities


Synonyms are words with the same or similar meanings and antonyms are words with opposite meanings that are useful for descriptive story writing.

Watch this clip for a quick reminder of antonyms and synonyms.

Using synonyms and antonyms effectively.

Why are antonyms and synonyms useful?

Antonyms and synonyms are especially useful for story writing (narrative) as they help a writer to:

  • Describe and explain in a way that creates a clear image in the reader’s mind.
  • Avoid repetition so your writing doesn’t become boring.


Two words are synonyms if their meanings are the same or similar.

Words such as:

  • rapid OR fast
  • road OR motorway
  • travel OR move


Two words are antonyms if their meanings are opposite.

Words such as:

  • fast OR slow
  • carefully OR carelessly

You can use a thesaurus to find synonyms and antonyms for words.

Watch this video clip to understand what synonyms and antonyms are in more detail.

Learn about antonyms and synonyms.


You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Decide if the words are antonyms or synonyms and fill in the gaps.

Activity 2

Test yourself on synonyms and antonyms with this tap and find quiz. Can you find all the answers and beat the clock?

Activity 3

Using the same words over and over in our writing can be a little boring.

Complete the table below, filling in the synonyms and antonyms, for some common words that you could use in your writing in the future to make it more interesting.

Try and find at least three synonyms for each word.


Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt to use antonyms and synonyms.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you to understand more about creative writing:

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