'High' and 'low', 'big' and 'small', and 'good' and 'bad' are the opposite/opposites of each other

Englishmypassion

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Dear Teachers,
Greetings.

Is the sentence "'High' and 'low', 'big' and 'small', and 'good' and 'bad' are the opposite of each other" correct? I think it is, though it's not a great sentence. The main confusion is whether it should be "opposite" or "opposites" in this particular context, where "each other" follows. I think "opposites" would be wrong/confusing.

Please enlighten me on this.


Thank you very much.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    It must be opposites, because there are three pairs of words concerned. If there was only one pair (e.g. 'good' and 'bad' are the opposite of each other) then the singular would be acceptable.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I would say "The following pairs are opposites: 'high' and 'low', 'big' and 'small', and 'good' and 'bad' ."
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Thank you very much, Mr PaulQ. But it's a printed sentence, so we have to judge this only. So how would you judge this sentence, and why?

    Doesn't "opposites" seem to imply that each word has more than one opposite or they all are opposites of each other?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Emp said:
    it's a printed sentence, so we have to judge this only.
    Ah... you should have mentioned that and given a source. ;) Nevertheless, the structure of whole sentence is faulted if we take a literal/pedantic view of it. Regardless of whether it is opposite or opposites, the way the sentence is phrased indicates that each pair of words is the opposite of the other two pairs, whereas what is intended is that the words within the pairs are opposites.
     
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