The purpose of language is to communicate an idea, want, or need to another individual. As children increase their vocabulary and grammar skills, semantics and figurative language come intoplay. They can add more meaning to given information, or make it sound more interesting.
Semantics is the study of word meaning. Word relationships help children to make connections and increase comprehension when hearing and reading something new. Semantics include;
Antonyms (opposites) up/down healthy/ill seldom/often
Synonyms (same) joyful/happy fabulous/awesome furious/steamed
Homonyms (multiple meaning words) sink/sink
The dishes are in the sink. The popped raft will sink.
Homophones (two words that sound the same but have different spelling and
different meanings) ate/eight patience/patients
Idioms (expressions that do not have a literal meaning)
It’s raining cats and dogs. You’re driving me crazy.
Similes (comparisons using like or as)
I’m as mad as a wet hen. She’s like a bull in a china shop.
Humor and word play are also a part of semantics and figurative language. Jokes and riddles are often based on these.
Once you’ve seen a shopping center, you’ve seen a mall. (You’ve seen them all.)
The mummy was bound to uptight.
It’s raining cats and dogs. Well, as long as it doesn’t reindeer.