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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 212
    #1

    opposite vs. to be in opposition

    Can we say that:

    good - bad --- these two words are opposites (diametrical opposites)

    BUT

    in --- It was a wonderful party vs. It was a lousy party --- 'wonderful' vs. 'lousy' are NOT opposites but they are in opposition?

    In other words, do you agree that good-bad; black-white; male-female etc. are OPPOSITES, while if a pair of words cannot be cleary measured as DIAMETRICAL OPPOSITES, it is better to say that they are IN OPPOSITION (rather than they are OPPOSITES)?

    Thank you very much.

  1. oregeezer's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 347
    #2

    Re: opposite vs. to be in opposition

    In my lexicon "wonderful" and "lousy" ARE opposites. I am a native American English speaker with over 75 years of practice. Most Americans would recognize them as opposites. I think there are two or three grammarians in Britain who are the only people in the world who would INSIST on defining them as "in opposition but not opposites".


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 212
    #3

    Re: opposite vs. to be in opposition

    You are a native Oregeezer, that's fine!

    Then how could you differentiate between the two groups (wonderful-lousy; alive-dead) terminologically? Because you might agree that the two relations are not exactly the same kind (as I have explicated in my first message).

    Thank you!

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