What is Assonance? When thinking about grammar within the English language, one of the things that you may come across is assonance. We are going to look at what assonance is and how it can be used in both speech and written work by seeing some examples of these things.
What is Assonance? Assonance is when you find a juxtaposition of two words that have rhyming vowels in the middle of them, next to or very close to one another in a sentence.
The rule of assonance mostly applies to vowels which rhyme and not consonants, although in some cases consonants will be assonant, the majority of the time it will be vowels. For examples the words stony and phony. Assonance is mostly used to add a certain interest to the phrase and cause it to be much more memorable to the reader. It is especially useful in poetry.
Using assonance is a good way to reinforce words, therefore drawing more attention to them and giving them a stronger effect on the reader or the listener.
Examples of Assonance in Speech
We are now going to take a look at ways in which assonance can be used during conversation and speech. Whilst assonance is mostly used in poetry, we see examples of it in everyday conversation, where it often appears unintentionally. Each of the examples will show the assonance words in bold to highlight their placement within the sentences.
- The sun rose high in the bright sky.
- The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.
- The man passed a glance.
- I saw the fool and the fool was cool.
- A certain person hid behind the curtain.
- The creek looked bleak.
- How now brown cow.
- There’s a drum in the hum of the city.
- I like the west for the west is best.
- The cat in the hat sat on the mat.
- The plane flies high in the sky as I watch it going by.
- That cat had a snack.
- Men sell the wedding bell
- On the mountain, we light a fire
- The frog sat on the log in the bog surrounded by fog.
- At the zoo, I saw a kangaroo.
- There is a mouse in my house.
- The pot is hot.
- In the box, there is a fox that is eating lox.
- There is a slug in my mug.
- I saw a dog running after a frog.
- The duck is driving a truck.
- I love to run, I find it fun, especially in the sun.
- He drove around the grove looking for a clove.
- I saw a bear who was eating a pear and I could not help but stare.
- Would you like to bake a cake?
- He knew he would throw a good show.
- The rabbit whacked his foot on the tack.
- Honesty is the best policy.
- Let the cat out of the bag.
- A stitch in time saves nine.
- The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
- I need a cap and a map.
- I followed the fad and made my dad mad.
- Let’s go to the show.
Examples of Assonance in Written Works
Assonance is something that is often used by authors and poets to add more of a flavor to their work. There have been thousands of instances in which it has been used. We are going to take a look at some of these examples. Once again, the assonant words will be highly in bold to make them easier to understand.
- “And she stepped softly within her air of ruin around the glade, in a frail pain of grace.”
This is an excerpt from a piece of writing by Cormac McCarthy in which the long ‘a’ sound of the highlighted word gives us an example of assonance.
- “I lie down by the side of my bride.“
This is an example of assonance being used in a song by the band Pink Floyd.
- “If I bleat when I speak, it is for I got fleeced.“
This example of assonance comes from ‘deadwood’ by Al Swearengen.
- “I must confess during my quest that I felt a bit depressed.”
This is another example of assonance being used in a song, this time by the group Thin Lizzy.
- “The raven ne’er fitting is still sitting.”
This example of assonance is taken from the poem, The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.
- “I wandered as lonely like a cloud.“
In this example of assonance, we see the long ‘o’ sounds being used repeatedly. This is from the poem by William Wordsworth called ‘Daffodils.’
- Old age ought to burn and rave at the end of the day.“
In this example, we see assonance being used by Dylan Thomas in his poem Do not go gentle into that good night.
- “Each beach beast thinks that he is the best beast.”
In Dr. Seuss’ work West beast, the east beast we see many examples of assonance, here is one example of this.
- “It is hot and monotonous.”
This is an example of assonance being used in a poem by Sondheim.
- “Never before did I see a ship with such battle tackle.”
This is an example of assonance which is taken from Beowulf by Seamus Heaney.
Examples of Assonance Using Consonants
You will usually see the use of vowels is assonant phrases, however, there are some times when consonants will appear within assonance. Here are a few examples of when it is used with consonants.
- The sky looks very dry.
- She acted sly, it made me cry.
We have seen many examples of how assonance can be used in both written work and in everyday conversation. Assonance is the use of words within a sentence or phrase, which contains rhyming vowels in the middle. Whilst assonance mostly applies to words with vowels, there are a few instances in which assonance is used with consonants, for example in the following sentence. “The fly is in the sky.”
Assonance is used to add emphasis on a word or a sentence in order to make it more exciting and memorable for the listener or the reader.