Volume 3, Number 23, March 8, 1999
Writers use words to express ideas. Every word represents an idea, or concept. Writers often compare ideas. They write about how things are similar or different. They often note how two things are related to each other in ways that are similar to other relationships.
For example, a writer might point out that food is to an animal the way gasoline is to a car. They are both fuel and the things that they power.
That can be written as an analogy:
Food is to animal as gasoline is to car.
Analogies can be used to compare all kinds of relationships between words or the ideas they represent.
Here are some more examples:
1. Doctor is to disease as police officer is to crime.
A doctor fights disease and a police officer fights crime.
2. Generous is to selfish as top is to bottom.
Each word is followed by its antonym, or opposite.
3. Dog is to mammal as robin is to bird.
A dog is a kind of mammal; a robin is a kind of bird.
Complete each of the following analogies by choosing the missing word.
1. Dog is to fur
as robin is to __________.
2. Earth is to
planet as Africa is to
d. solar system
3. Shoes are
to feet as gloves are to
4. Sound is to
hear as light is to __________.
5. Sound is to
ears as light is to __________.
6. Sound is to
volume as light is to __________.
7. Sound is to
silence as light is to
8. Big is to biggest
as good is to __________.
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