Converse Terms

Converse Terms are pairs of words which refer to the same thing but from opposite sides.

Take for example the picture on the right. There is one action taking place here: a balloon is being passed between two people. However, we can describe this action in different ways depending on whose perspective we look at it from:

The boy gives the balloon to the girl.

The girl takes the balloon from the boy.

In this instance give and take refer to the same action but from opposite sides.

Similar relationships exist between the following words:

give – take

come – go

lend – borrow

teach – learn

buy – sell

infer – imply

From a teaching perspective it is important to let your students know that there is just one single action going on but there are two perspectives of the same action. Which word they use will depend on which side of the fence they are on.

To a certain extent – and speaking slightly more philosophically here – the same kind of relationship can also exist between the following pairs of words:

before – after

past – future

ancestor – descendent

doctor – patient

employer – employee

teacher – student

win – lose

Did you know that if you subscribe to our website, you will receive email notifications whenever content changes or new content is added.
1. Enter your e-mail address below and click the Sign Me Up button.
2. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your intention of subscribing to our site.
3. Click the link in the email to confirm. That’s all there is to it!

Enter your email address below to subscribe to IWeb TEFL.

Note: if you wish to unsubscribe from our site, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email you received.
Then indicate you no longer wish to receive our emails.

Thank You
IWeb TEFL Team

Posted in Linguistics.

Leave a Reply