For example: 'Blue is to colours as five is to numbers'

You get these kinds of sentences in aptitude tests where they will typically omit the last word for you to work out. Is there a word for sentences structured like this?

  • 2
    They are called "word relationships".
    – Justin
    Sep 2, 2019 at 8:20
  • Or patterns or correspondences or parallelisms. Or, if you're talking about leaving a word blank, fill-in-the-blanks. Sep 2, 2019 at 17:36
  • @KannE Yes! That is what I was looking for. Thanks. Sep 9, 2019 at 11:38
  • In the Chicago area in the 80s we called these Miller analogies
    – djs
    Oct 6, 2019 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


No matter how they're written, they're called analogies:

An analogy is a statement that suggests two terms are related to each other in the same way that two other terms are related to each other. The [Miller Analogies Test] analogy items are written as equations in the form “A : B :: C : D.” This can be read as either “A is related to B in the same way that C is related to D” or as “A is related to C in the same way as B is related to D.”
The Miller Analogies Test Study Guide

What Were SAT Analogy Questions?

These were the original stereotypical SAT questions. You were given a pair of words and asked to choose from five other pairs of words to find the relationship that most closely resembled that of the first pair.

In the following example, you can interpret the dots as the words “is to” so you would think of it as “Paltry is to significance as _______ is to _________.” where the blanks are the two words in one of the answer choices.


A. redundant : discussion
B. austere : landscape
C. opulent : wealth
D. oblique : familiarity
E. banal : originality

(the correct answer is E)

SAT Analogies and Comparisons: Why Were They Removed, and What Replaced Them?

This weekend, co-vocabularists are invited to submit novel analogies, using the tried and trusted formula: A is to B as C is to D.
Weekend Competition — NYT Opinion Pages: Schott's Vocab

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