Figures of Speech- Antithesis

Figures of Speech- Antithesis

Figures of speech come in many varieties. They enable the use of language inventively to accentuate the effect of what is being said. In this blog series, our online English tutors will provide weekly in-depth articles to help you understand them in as simple words as possible.

Most online English speaking courses in India will offer comprehensive courses that simply introduce Figures of Speech as a concept. This is primarily on account of Figures of speech being promoted for Advanced English levels only. Though they are tricky to use, we at Speechify recommend that our students learn these phrases to get that extra “edge” or dramatic effect in their English speaking abilities.

Online Spoken English classes will generally cover them in Grammar function lessons. However, we recommend that learners should attempt learning basic definitions and must be able to identify one from the other. Regular practice and learning as many examples as possible is one way you can begin your learning journey.

What is an Antithesis?

Antithesis can be defined as "a figure of speech involving a seeming contradiction of ideas, words, clauses, or sentences within a balanced grammatical structure. An antithesis must always contain two ideas within one statement.

The ideas may not be structurally opposite, but they serve to be functionally opposite when comparing two ideas for emphasis

Antitheses are used to strengthen an argument by using either exact opposites or simply contrasting ideas, but can also include both. They typically make a sentence more memorable for the reader or listener through balance and emphasis of the words.

Famous Literary impressions:

Online English classes usually will cover the most common examples of Antithesis. They have a significant and noteworthy impression in literature. Whether it was Neil Armstrong, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens or Martin Luther King Jr., and many more such prominent personalities, most of their renowned phrases are essentially structured as an antithesis.

Some very famous such lines are mentioned below -

  1. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - JFK
  2. "My only love sprung from my only hate" - Wm Shakespeare, Romeo, and Juliet.
  3. "The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here" - Abraham Lincoln

Antithesis examples in spoken English practice

Further, as an online English speaking course, to provide you a more explicit and deep theory on Antithesis, we are putting some examples which are either both opposites or contrasts at the same time-

  1. My friend’s sister does not want to get married, I somehow disagree after all, ‘Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures’.
  2. The freedom fighters think differently, they believe in ‘Give me liberty or give me death.
  3. · Merely talent will not give you success as ‘Talent is power, tact is a skill, talent knows what to do, tact knows how to do it.
  4. · We should not argue every time, sometimes you should listen as ‘Sleep is silvern, but silence is golden.
  5. · Some teacher treats their students strictly to make them better person tomorrow, after all, ‘I must be cruel only to be kind’
  6. It is definitely wrong to disobey your parents but if they are pushing you in something which is not correct them ‘To do a great right, do the little wrong.
  7. · One must not cut corners with its work or responsibilities as ‘A little leak will sink a great ship’.
  8. The are many people who are able to do a job but when it comes to training or teaching others, they are not good enough as ‘He who can, does, he who cannot, teaches.
  9. His father does not trust anyone easily since he believes in taking risks like said ‘The old believe everything: the middle-aged suspect everything: the young knot everything.
  10. You must help others and do good deeds in your life and not merely focus on long-life only after all ‘longevity of one's life is not measured in the several years one lives.
  11. Listening is very important for speaking correctly and one must speak at the right time at the right place, as it is said ‘Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
  12. · One must earn enough money to live a healthy and secure life but should not run after money and some shortcomings are better, as ‘Money is the root of all evil: poverty is the fruit of all goodness.’
  13. · This small house in which she lives is quite different from her last luxurious house after ‘somethings are easy on the eyes, but hard on the heart.’
  14. At times we are making so many wishes to God that even he is not considering few, as said ‘Man proposes, God disposes.’
  15. Marriages are more substation and just by loving each other you cannot be sure about the success of life long relationship, as said ‘Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing’.
  16. · Everyone believed and vouched that by stepping on the Moon there was a remarkable happening for mankind and it was said that ‘One small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind.
  17. One must work hard and give the best result and good things take time so one much have calmness and composure as well said ‘Patience is bitter, but it has a sweet fruit.
  18. He has less money but high values and that makes him apart from others. He is quite trustworthy and a faithful person yet he is unable to give us any party. We can simply say ‘His worst is better than any other person’s best.
  19. · With determination and persistence of years and today he has a successful business, he has proven the point ‘Made too weak by time and fate, but strong in will.
  20. · For the progress of any country, even the citizens need to give and make and live ethnically and principally’ as said ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Some Business English examples:

Let’s see some Business English communication examples. To begin with,

Scenario 1: Convincing your team price reduction is not a great idea to improve sales.

“It's not about lowering the price it's about raising quality.”

Scenario 2: If you want your team to revisit some work that may have missed or underperformed in the past.

"The things that failed in the past could be the very things that succeed in the future.”

Scenario 3: A situation where you have to deliver unpleasant news

“None of this was welcome, but all of it was necessary."

Related Article: Metaphor & Simile | Alliteration


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