Analogies Explanation

Analogies - Explanation

When solving Analogies you must find a relationship between two concepts and then apply them to two other concepts. There are endless relationships in the world, so sometimes the exercises will feel a bit random. But the same applies here, practice makes perfect. You are often asked about a certain type of relationship and if you practice a lot, you will recognize these relationships faster and faster.

The relation is almost always of the form A is to B as C is to D

The task is to see what the relationship or relationship between A and B is and apply it to C and D. Or sometimes A and C are given and you need to find B and D.

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An example:

Flour is to Cake as Potato is to ...

You now have to look at the most logical relationship between flour and cake. You could say that flour and cake can both be kept in your kitchen, or that they are both four-letter words, but of course that is not the most logical relationship you can find.

De meest logische relatie is dat meel een ingrediënt in bijna alle cakes is. Je zult dus een woord tussen de mogelijke antwoorden moeten zoeken waar aardappel over het algemeen een ingrediënt van is. Een goed antwoord zou bijvoorbeeld stamppot, patat of chips kunnen zijn.

The most logical relationship is that flour is an ingredient in almost all cakes. You will therefore have to find a word among the possible answers of which potato is generally an ingredient. A good answer could be, for example, stew, fries or chips.

Below we will discuss a number of common relationships. All our practice exercises are double analogies, because they are the most common. In this explanation we will look into normal analogies, because this shows the concept in a more clear way.



Mistake is to error as transform is to ...

Mistake is a synonym for error. We have to see which of the answers could be a synonym to transform, the answer must be convert.

With synonyms it will often come down to vocabulary, so always think of synonyms if you see unnecessarily difficult words among the possible answers.



Smart is to stupid as innovative is to…

  1. deaf
  2. aging
  3. conservative
  4. progressive

Smart is of course very clearly the opposite of stupid and vice versa. So you have to look for a word that is the opposite of innovative. You may think that aging is somewhat the opposite of being innovative, but it is a verb rather than an adjective. The only correct answer can therefore be conservative.

Different intensities

This will often be an increase or decrease. You can often take this very broadly. For example

Big stands is to huge as weird is to …

  1. weirdo
  2. normal
  3. strange
  4. disturbed

Huge is more intense than big, so we need to find a word that is more intense than weird. The only possible right answer is d.

Cause-effect relation

A causal relationship can work both ways. You can have a sentence with A can be caused by B, but you can also have A can lead to B. Always pay attention to this, otherwise you will make mistakes quickly!


Cheating is to divorce as freezing is to ...

  1. cap
  2. scarf
  3. ice
  4. high pressure area

You can make the sentence cheating here can lead to a divorce, freezing can lead to ... The most logical thing is to fill in Ice here.



tropical is to Amazon as psychedelic is to ...

  1. Psychiatrist
  2. Rainforest
  3. LSD
  4. psychosis

The amazon is a tropical forest, of which is psychedelic a trait? The answer must be C, LSD is a psychedelic drug.

Part of / already has as part

spring is to ballpoint as oven is to ...

  1. heating element
  2. thermostat
  3. kitchen
  4. clock

You see that a spring forms part of a ballpoint, so you have to ask yourself an oven can be a part of. a, c, and d are parts of an oven and therefore cannot be correct. You could say that an oven is part of a kitchen, so this is the best answer.

There are many other possible relationships, but they are often related to the examples above. By making many assignments, you will increasingly be able to distinguish the relationships. Below you can practice as much as you want for free!

Analogies practice sets