A Corpus-based Study of English Synonyms Clear, Obvious, Apparent, and Evident: Implications for ELT

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Thanut Panrat
Vimolchaya Yanasugondha


This study analyzes four English synonyms -- clear, obvious, apparent, and evident -- concentrating on meanings, distribution across genre, collocations, and semantic preference and prosody. The data were drawn from learner’s dictionaries and the Corpus of the Contemporary American English (COCA). It was discovered that the four synonyms share the same core meaning but differ in terms of detailed meanings, collocations, semantic preference, and semantic prosody. Apparent and evident were found to be the most formal synonyms in this study. Obvious is mostly associated with negative meanings. Clear has a wide range of detailed meanings and is usually involved with nature and the physical world. The results of this study also shed light on ELT as they can guide teachers and students in practicing skills of corpora and applying them to classroom, autonomously.

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Panrat, T. ., & Yanasugondha, V. . (2024). A Corpus-based Study of English Synonyms Clear, Obvious, Apparent, and Evident: Implications for ELT. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 17(1), 162–187. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/LEARN/article/view/270381
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Thanut Panrat, Language Institute, Thammasat University

A graduate student of English Language Teaching Program, Language Institute, Thammasat University.

Vimolchaya Yanasugondha, Language Institute, Thammasat University

A full-time lecturer at Language Institute, Thammasat University.


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