AP Language & Composition Tropes List
Terms in this set (14)
An implied comparison between two things of unlike nature that yet have something in common
An explicit comparison between two things of unlike nature that yet have something in common; a comparison of two things using either "like" or "as"
A figure of speech in which the part stands for the whole
Example: All hands on deck.
Substitution of some attributive or suggestive word for what is actually meant
Example: In Europe, we gave the cold shoulder to De Gaulle, and the warm hand to Mao Tse-tung. (Richard Nixon, 1960)
a figure of speech in which a word, usually a verb or an adjective, applies to more than one noun, blending together grammatically and logically different ideas
Example: He maintained a flourishing business and racehorse.
investing abstractions or inanimate objects with human qualities or abilities.
Example: He glanced at the dew covered grass, and it winked back at him.
Addressing an absent person or a personified abstraction. This imbues the subject with an emotional charge.
Example: Death, thou shalt die (John Donne)
the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect.
Example: It's really ironical...I have gray hair. I really do. The one side of my head--the right side--is full of millions of gray hairs (Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye)
Deliberate use of understatement, not to deceive someone but to enhance the impressiveness of what is stated
Example: Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her appearance for the worse (Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub)
Asking a question, not for the purpose of eliciting an answer but for the purpose of asserting or denying something obliquely.
Witty language used to convey insults or scorn.
Example: Ugliness is in a way superior to beauty because it lasts (Serge Gainsbourg)
Use of words whose sound echoes the sense
Example: Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far (G.K. Chesterton, Lepanto)
The yoking of two terms that are ordinarily contradictory, thus creating a startling effect. Involves a turn of meaning of juxtaposed words.
Example: Sweet pain, cheerful pessimist, cruel kindness, thunderous silence.
An apparently contradictory statement that nevertheless contains a measure of truth. Involves a turn of meaning in the whole statement.
Art is a form of lying to tell the truth (Pablo Picasso)
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