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Denotations and Connotations: Word Overtones

The denotation of a word is its exact meaning as stated in a dictionary. Example: The denotation of skinny is "very thin." The connotation of a word is an added meaning that suggests something positive or negative. Examples: Negative: Skinny suggests "too thin." Skinny has a negative connotation. Positive: Slender suggests "attractively thin." Slender has a positive connotation.

Read each of these statements about Ted's Restaurant. Underline the word in parentheses that has the more positive connotation. 1. Ted's Restaurant is furnished with (old, antique) furniture. 2. The servers are all (young, immature). 3. You can sit at a table or in a (cozy, cramped) booth. 4. The service at Ted's is (slow, unhurried). 5. Ted's serves very (simple, plain) food. 6. One of the specialties is (rare, undercooked) steak. 7. (Blackened, Burned) prime rib is another. 8. Customers (sip, gulp) their cold drinks. Read each of these statements about Ted's Restaurant. Underline the word in parentheses that has the more negative connotation. 9. The beef at Ted's Restaurant is (firm, tough) and juicy. 10. The pies are (rich, greasy) with butter. 11. The crust is so (crumbly, flaky) it falls apart. 12. A (moist, soggy) cake is also available for dessert. 13. A group of (loud, enthusiastic) regulars eats at Ted's every Saturday night. 14. The steaks at Ted's are cooked over a charbroiled (flame, inferno).

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Denotations and Connotations: Word Overtones

Answer Key

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. antique young cozy unhurried simple rare Blackened sip tough greasy crumbly soggy loud inferno

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