Verbal Ability – Types of Analogies

In this article, we explore the type of analogies.

An analogy is a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

The first type of analogies is based on SYNONYMS. In this type, two words with similar meaning are made analogous. Example:

Rich: Affluent

Happy: Cheerful

Antonyms can also be used for the same purpose. In this, two words with opposite meaning are used to form a relationship. Example:

Courageous: Timid

Rich: Poor

Another type of analogy is one which one word either describes either the TYPE of other word or presents itself as the EXAMPLE of the other one. Go through the following example:

Football: Sport

From this example, we can say that football is a type of a sport.

Another simple example for this category: Summer: Season

In this case, we know that summer is a type of a season.

Let’s explore the next analogy type.

Type A: One thing LEADING To another

In terms of analogies, we can quote these relationships as:

Study : Success

Medicine : Cure

Medicine leads to cure.

Studying leads to success

Type B: One thing signifies a “Lack of” the other word

Vacuum: Air

Vacuum is caused when there is a lack of air.

Type C: When one word is the function of the other

Brain : Think

The function of the brain is to think, therefore this analogy is one where one word explains the function of another.

The next type of relationship we explore is based on nouns. In this type, we have groupings that either co-relate people and their work habits, animals and their young ones etc. For example,

Cobbler : Shoe

Writer : Pen

Doctor : Hospital

Instruments used for particular work might also come into play. For example,

  • Barometer: Pressure
  • Seismograph: earthquake

A barometer is a device used to measure pressure.

A seismograph is used to measure earthquake intensity.

Go through the following pair now: Marriage: Divorce:: Approval: Application

The analogy should read something like: as marriage precedes divorce, similarly approval precedes application.

We can see that in our original relationship, the order is reversed and this is why the two pairs do not imply the correct analogy relationship. Remember, for analogies, along with the relationship, the order of the relationship is very important too and it has to be maintained.

Let’s explore another trick for analogy questions.

The analogy given to you is: Wind : Storm.

We know that both these words are about air movement. Storm represents strong air movement and wind represents normal air movement. Effectively, one word represents the other in a higher degree or intensity. This is called an analogy of degree.