Language Features - NCEA Lv2 English

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Some english language features and a defintion and some examples.

Euphemism

A mild, indirect term for a blunt, direct or offensive one. Eg. "John's grandfather passed away". Some euphism may be less mild. Eg "'kicked the bucket.' May create a humorous effect or offer insight into a character's personality. It may be used to take the sting out of a negative comment.

Irony

The method of which the ordinary expression of the word is more or less the opposite of what is intended. Eg. "That will do extremely well, you have delighted us long enough." to someone playing the piano awfully. It may seem like praise but it's not. Irony draws attention to the real meaning of the word and may carry the character or writer's atttude. May be used for humour.

Allusion

An indirect reference to a person or event. These may be, but not necessarily, people and events in mythology or history.. An allusion can create an added dimension to an image ofter by comparison to similar qualities.

Narrative Voice

Narrative is telling of events. 3rd person - Novels or Stories; the writer presents information about characters by describing them and what they do. Dialogue may be mixedin to show what they think or feel. The writer may reveal everything about everyone (the omniscient narrator) or just one or a few character. 1st person. The use of "I", the "I" is not the narrator but the character. The narrator may choose to have one character narate the whole story or have several. The language used alludes to the attitude, thoughts and feelings of the character not the writer. Occasionally 2nd person. "You" (Usually non-fiction.) Difficult to tell whether it is the writer's voice or that of a persona in the writing.

Tense

Past. Eg. "I brought". Past continuous. Eg. "I was bringing". Present. "I bring". Present continuous. "I am bringing". Future. "I will bring". Future continuous. "I will be bringing". || Active voice. "I took" "I saw" "Tom hit the ball". Passive voice. "I was taken" "I was seen" "The ball was hit by Tom".

Denotation

Dictionary definition of a word. Eg. Mother denotes 'one who has given birth'

Connotation

The implied pr siggested meaning of a word. Eg. Mother has the connotation of 'female' 'caring' 'sensible' 'loving' etc

Syntax

The order of words. The arrangements of words in sentences. The correct uses of parts of speech and the classification of sentences according to their clause structure.

Minor sentence

Begins with a capital letter and ends in a full stop. Has no completed verb. Eg. "Sunshine, Sunshine all day"

Simple Sentence

One clause, one completed verb. Eg. 'The sun shone all day'

Compound Sentence

Two main clauses, each with a verb, linked with a conjunction. Eg. "The sun shone and the children played on the beach"

Complex Sentence

One main clause, one dependent on the other. Eg. "Timothy was too hot because the sun was shining brightly."

Compound-complex Sentence

Two main clauses, one dependent clause. Eg. "The shun shone and the children played on the beach but Timothy was too hot."

Antithesis

Placing contrasting ideas or terms close together to emphasise their difference and give the effect of balance. Eg. "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

Apostrophe

A direct address to a person or personified idea. Eg. "Oh death! Why art thou so cruel?"

Caesura

A natural pause, a break in a line of poetry, usually indicated by a punctuation mark. Eg. "When will the bell ring, and end this weariness?"

Symbolism

A word or phrase signifying a sign or mark representing something else. A symbol brings a significant idea and all connotations through use of a single word. Eg. The cross, Christianity.

Oxymoron

Two words or phrases of opposite or contrasting meaning placed together for effect. Eg. "Parting is such sweet sorrow"

Enjambment

When the meaning of a line of poetry is completed on the next line. Can emphasize an idea or add to the rhythm and flow of lines. Eg. "How long have they tugged the leash, and strained apart /n My pack of unruly hounds".

End stopped line

The lines of a stanze with a grammatical pause at the end of each line. This completes an idea visually and grammatically.

Sibilance

The repetion of the consonant 's' or ;z; to give a hissing sound. The effect of sibilance is to slow the reader as 's' and 'z' are more difficult to say. This, in turn, emphasizes the idea and can also create an onomatopoeic effect. Eg. Suggesting snake movement and sound 'slippery, slithering, sliding snake'.

Rhyme

The repetition of sounds at the end of lines is end-rhyme, while the repetition of sounds within a line is internal rhyme. There are many effects that may be created through the use of rhyme. Rhyme can give a musical quality to the writing, help us remember verses and ideas, give us a sense of security as we know or can guess what's coming next, shock us if we are expecting a certain rhyme and don't get it or make us laugh.

Rhythm

Rhythm is a natural part of life. Our hearts beat rhythmically, our blood pulses, our lungs beath in and out etc. Our seasons, months, weeks and days pass in pattern. When we were small we like rhythmic stories, poems, songs and rhymes. Reading a passage aloud can help to establish its rhythm (and it may be significant ina piece of prose or poem.) Rhythm is usually used to emphasize subject matter or theme.

Extended Metaphor

The comparison between two things is continued beyond the first point of comparison. This extends and deepens a description.

Simile

Comparing two ideas by drawing similarities using 'as' or 'like.' Used to emphasize specific characteristics or features of the subject.

Alliteration

The repetition of the same sound at the start of words in close proximity. This draws attention to the phrase and makes it more memorable. Can also create an onomatopoeic effect.

Metaphor

Directly comparing two things by saying one is the other. This creates a strong comparison and highlights the similarities between the two ideas in an almost exagerated manner.

Assonance

Repeating the same vowel sounds in words of close proximity. This draws attention to the phrase and makes it more memorable. Can also create an onomatopoeic effect.

Repetition

Repeating the same word (or derivatives of the same word) throughout a piece of writing. It emphasizes the idea and makes it more memorable. Can also be used to link ideas together or create a structure in the writing.

Personification

Giving human qualities to inhuman, inanimate objects.

Onomatopoeia

Words which, when said, sound like the thing they are describing. Eg. 'POP' sounds like the noise a balloon makes when it bursts.

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