Opposites: Verbs – Practice Exercise

Opposite Verbs

Opposites, also known as antonyms, are pairs of words that express contrary or contrasting meanings. When it comes to verbs, opposites provide a way to describe actions or states in contrasting terms.

Replace the verbs in bold in sentences 1 – 26 with a word or expression from the box which has an opposite meaning in the same context. In many cases you will need to change the form of the word (for example, to its past simple form).

abandon * abolish * attack * conceal * decline * demolish * deny * deteriorate * exaggerate * extend * fall * forbid * gain * hire * lend * loosen * lower * postpone * refuse * reject * replenish * reward * set * simplify * succeed * withdraw

  1. They accepted the offer of a ceasefire.
  2. He admitted telling lies in his original statement.
  3. They agreed to meet to discuss the future of the organization.
  4. The senator defended his opponent’s policies in a televised speech.
  5. The apartments blocks they built were the ugliest in the city.
  6. He complicated matters by rewriting the original proposal.
  7. They continued their plans to assassinate the king when he opened Parliament.
  8. He deposited $10,000 – half his college fees for the forthcoming year.
  9. Relations between the two countries have improved considerably in the last year.
  10. He permitted us to present our petition directly to the President.
  11. The members of the commune were punished for their part in the revolution.
  12. He raised the overall standards of the company within two months of his appointment.
  13. As soon as the sun rose, the demonstrators began to appear on the streets.
  14. Prices rose sharply in the first three months of the financial year.
  15. As soon as he had tightened the knots, he pushed the boat out.
  16. To everyone’s surprise, she failed.
  17. Tomorrow’s meeting has been brought forward.
  18. The management said that they would be happy to borrow the money.
  19. Several flaws in the design of the new model were revealed.
  20. The course has been shortened to 12 weeks.
  21. I don’t want to underestimate his role in the club.
  22. Attendance has increased since the new professor took over the course.
  23. Fuel supplies have been exhausted.
  24. Despite having a bigger and cheaper choice of healthy foods, many Americans have lost a lot of weight.
  25. Following the revolution, the monarchy was restored.
  26. The company started seeing some success once they dismissed several employees.


  1. rejected
  2. denied
  3. refused
  4. attacked
  5. demolished
  6. simplified
  7. abandoned
  8. withdrew
  9. deteriorated
  10. forbade
  11. rewarded
  12. lowered
  13. set
  14. fell
  15. loosened
  16. succeeded
  17. postponed
  18. lend
  19. concealed
  20. extended
  21. exaggerate
  22. declined
  23. replenished
  24. gained
  25. abolished
  26. hired
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