Antonyms in English, or words that have completely (very) different meanings, are very common. We use them all the time, so they’re a great way to get to know (learn) the language. Learning new words is always important, but learning their opposites is equally (just as) important! That way you always say exactly what you mean to say.

If you want to say what you mean, these antonyms in English may be useful to you. Here are some common antonyms in English that you should learn, so that you can make sure that you’re understood with ease (easily)!


Do you know someone who is very kind? What about someone who is inconsiderate? These two people probably don’t share a lot of the same traits (personalities), right? Someone who is kind tends to think of others, tries to make people happy, and says very nice things. Someone who is inconsiderate, on the other hand, doesn’t take the wishes of others into account (think about), may put themselves first, and may be rude or mean to people. It’s good to have kind people in your life, and we hope you don’t have many inconsiderate people around you!

For example:

  • Sarah hates when people are inconsiderate with her time. She doesn’t like to wait around for people. It’s always good when people are kind and try hard to be on time.
  • He is so kind. I’ve never heard him say a bad word about anybody. It’s very refreshing, since it seems like many people are inconsiderate these days.


Improve and worsen are two antonyms in English that you may hear in a medical (hospital or health) context. When I would stay home sick from school when I was a kid, I would watch episodes of ER (Emergency room) on TV, and they would talk about a patient improving or worsening. If someone improves, they get better at something or their health gets better. If they worsen, however, it means that they are not doing very well. If you read every Bespeaking blog, your English is sure to improve, and not worsen!

For example:

  • After having her health worsen for a few days, her doctors were very happy when she started to improve and start acting like normal. It seemed she wasn’t so sick anymore!
  • When I started taking harder math classes, my grades started to worsen because I didn’t understand the material. Once I asked the teacher for help, my grades began to improve again.


Do you listen to true crime podcasts as much as I do? If so, you may have heard these antonyms in English before. These two words are often used when talking about crimes against people. A victim is someone who is the subject of a crime. An assailant is the person who commits (does) a crime against the victim. Every crime has a victim. While you might like watching the latest (newest) true crime documentary on Netflix, we hope that you’ve never been the victim or the assailant in a crime!

For example:

  • The assailant ran away after committing the crime, but based on the description from the victim, the police were able to catch them quickly.
  • The police had no idea who the assailant was. All they knew was that they had to take care of the victim of the crime first.


Everybody knows someone who is optimistic all the time. But it is very easy to feel dejected once in a while, too. If somebody is optimistic, it means that they see things in a positive way, and have a good outlook on life. If someone is dejected, however, they are more negative. They may be in a bad mood, be depressed, or might just think things won’t turn out well. If you ever feel dejected, try to think of or do something that makes you feel more optimistic! The way you think about things can have an impact on how they turn out.

For example:

  • After getting turned down from a job, he was dejected for a few days. But when he was asked to interview for another job, he suddenly became optimistic and knew everything would turn out alright.
  • I have never seen her be dejected about anything. She is always in a great mood and optimistic about everything! I wish I knew her secret.


Do you know what you call something that comes from nature, and something that is man-made? In this case, we use the antonyms natural and artificial. Natural is anything that can be grown in or comes from nature. Artificial is anything that can be made by people. People have their preferences (likes) when it comes to whether they buy natural or artificial products. Some prefer to have something that comes from nature, but others like to have the ease of artificial products. Which do you prefer?

For example:

  • She would love to have natural wood flooring in her house, but the artificial stuff is so much cheaper and easier to clean!
  • He likes to wear artificial fibers (fabrics). He thinks that natural fabrics are too difficult to care for.

Have you used any of these antonyms in English before? Now that you know these pairs, will you work them into your everyday speech? Let us know in the comments below!

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Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and uses antonyms in English all the time!

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