Synonyms: When to Use them and When to Refrain


When it comes to using synonyms in writing, you may have a difficult time figuring out when to use them and when not to. After all, in some cases, to use different words is a reflection of an extended vocabulary. However, in other circumstances, it may not make sense and look unnatural. Here’s how to use a synonym correctly.

What Is a Synonym?

Synonyms are simply words that have the same meaning as another word in different contexts. While some words may be known as near-synonyms for having a close meaning, there are a lot of words that have nearly identical meanings. Since English tends to borrow a lot of words from different languages, that is what led to so many words having different words with the same definition.

When You Forget a Word

Writers forget words all of the time! Everyone does. To translate thoughts into words is more complex than you might think. You know what you want to say, but that one solitary word keeps escaping you. In this case, you should hunt for synonyms of similar words to find the one that fits your purpose. In this case, it tends to be a wise decision. You’re not using a word that you’re unfamiliar with, but instead, a word that you know and are comfortable using. Don’t rely on your memory to always have your back when it comes to remembering words, even the simplest words.

To Improve Word Choice

There is no reason to limit your vocabulary. Whether you want to be a writer or not, you deserve to use any word that you like. It’s important to keep learning new words and likewise finding out more about how to use them. If you want to learn more words, then it’s crucial that you also learn how to use them in the proper context. You don’t want to insert the wrong word into your work.

You Don’t Know the Word

If you want to improve your word choice or utilize different words, then you might be tempted to look up synonyms. You do need to take caution, however, if you choose to go this route. Sometimes synonyms do not have the same usage. Two words may mean the same thing, but do not share the same context. What works for one word may not work for the other. If you aren’t familiar with the synonym of choice, then you might not want to use it.
At times, writers will use words that they are unfamiliar with because they believe it to be the synonym of an overused word. Unfortunately, in not being familiar with the usage, they might not use it properly. If you see a synonym that you want to use, research it first, find out what context to use it in and then feel free to test it out.
When it comes to synonyms, everyone can benefit from knowing different words that have the same or similar meaning. While this can help enrich your writing and vocabulary, it’s important to know when to seek out synonyms and when to stick to more common usage words.

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