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English Grammar and Literary Terms


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noun
a person, place or object
verb
an action word e.g. Running, throwing
adjective
a describing word (describes a noun)
adverb
describes an action word e.g. Slowly
article
before a noun, e.g. a or an
collective noun
a group of nouns e.g. herd, swarm,
conjunction
a word that links two parts of a sentence
contraction
merging two words together, he + will = he'll
first person
told from the perspective of the character
alliteration
two or more words that start with the same sound
allusion
where you make reference to something
anachronism
where something is included in a time period that couldn't be there
antagonist
an opposite character to highlight difference
assonance
two or more words that have similar vowel sounds in a row
blank verse
verse without rhyme
characterisation
how a character is developed
climax
the most exciting or intense moment in a plot
conflict
a clash, to be in disagreement
connotation
what you think of when you see a word
couplet
two lines of verse of similar length that usually rhyme
enjambment
where there is no punctuation at the end of the line and it runs on
fiction
not real, made up
figure of speech
phrase in a non-literal sense used for effect
flashback
where a character remembers a past event
free verse
no clear rhyme scheme
hyperbole
exaggeration, going over the top
imagery
visually descriptive or figurative language
irony
sarcastic comment where you usually mean the opposite
narrative
a descriptive piece of writing
non-fiction
real, based on facts
novel
a story, book
onomatopoeia
words that are spelled as they sound
personification
giving an object the characteristics of a human
pathos
using emotions to persuade an audience
logos
using logic to persuade an audience
ethos
using trust and reputation to persuade an audience
plot
the development of a story
protagonist
the main character in a story, the voice of the story
quatrain
a stanza of four lines
rhythm
the beat to verse
satire
humorous language
setting
where something is set
simile
describing something like or as something
sonnet
a 14 line poem that has a specific rhyme scheme
speaker
the voice of the story
stanza
segments of a poem, like paragraphs
theme
the topic of a story
tone
the feeling or emotion of a place or person
metaphor
describing something as something else that it can't be
symbol
something that represents something else
soliloquy
speaking your thoughts outloud to yourself
iambic pentameter
10 beats, changing from stressed to unstressed every other beat
dramatic irony
where the audience know information the characters don't
anecdote
a short story often used to add credibility
emotive language
words used to provoke a feeling in the audience
repetition
where certain words are said again and again
rule of three
three words, usually adjectives, used together for impact
undermine the opposition
where you highlight the weaknesses in the opposing argument
statistics
giving numbers or facts, usually to back up an argument
direct address
talking to your audience
personal pronouns
you, we, us, our
exaggeration
going over the top, hyperbole
caesura
a pause in the middle of the line
hubris
excessive pride or self-confidence
juxtaposition
where two things or people are in direct contrast to each other, to highlight said difference
motif
a dominant or recurring idea
oxymoron
where two words shouldn't go together e.g.bittersweet
pathetic fallacy
where the atmosphere and weather match the mood
past tense
where the writing is set in the past
present tense
where the writing is set now
future tense
where the writing is set in a time to come
present progressive
where the writing is set now as if the action is ongoing
comma
a pause in a sentence that splits different parts of a sentence
apostrophe
a punctuation mark used with possession or omission
homophones
where a word sounds the same but can have different meanings and spellings