English Key Words

...Useful if you want to sound smart...

Alliteration The same letter at the beginning of a two or more of words close together. Usually used to stress something.
Assonance The repetition of two or more vowel sounds or of two or more consonant sounds, close together. Usually in a poem.
Cliché A phrase used so much it becomes meaningless.
Colloquial Informal language.
Emotive language Words that have strong emotional intensity.
Enjambment When the sense of a poem runs over the line breaks. Example from 'The Man He Killed': "We should have set us down to wet /
Right many a nipperkin."
Imperative A verb used to express a wish, command or advice.
Juxtapose Place two things together to show a link or emphasize a contrast between them.
List A series of items separated by commas. Usually used to speed up the text and create a sense excitement.
Metaphor Comparison of two things where one thing is said to be another. Powerful imagery tool, to make you imagine something.
Narcissistic Excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness.
Onomatopoeia
Words which sound like the word they are describing, e.g. buzz, crack.
Oxymoron A phrase in which the words contradict each other, usually for effect. e.g. "dumb god" (from Limbo.)
Repetition A word said more than once. Usually used to stress it.
Rhetorical question A question that does not require an answer, designed to make people think. Example: "Do we want to pay more taxes?"
Persona Telling a poem from a first person perspective that is not the author's perspective.
Personification Using a metaphor to make something seem human.
Rhyme Word with endings that sounds similar to each other. Usually used to connect words.
Rhythm The beat of a poem.
Simile Comparing two things, but saying one is like another.

Thanks to Jordan and Molly for a few more words. Noticed some I've missed...? Send me an email!

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All text copyright © 2006 to EJ Taylor. Page Template created by James Taylor. Site created: 10 April, 2006. Last revised: 2 August, 2015