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Figures of speech (full list)

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Full list

 

Figures of speech (or 'rhetorical tropes') are ways of using words that may seem unusual but have a specific and desired effect. Read as 'normal words' they often break normal rules of grammar, but can be nevertheless understood They are common in poetry and eloquent speech.

'Figures of speech' is often used generically, and the big list here includes not only figures of speech but also a wider range of rhetorical and linguistic devices.

These are the four classic classifications for figures of speech that modify text: addition, omission, substitution and arrangement. It is often significant where these modifications happen, at the beginning, middle or end of the word, phrase or sentence.

 

In some ways this list is a bit of a stretch in using the term 'figure' to describe all. In fact many are actually more devices than figures. But then 'figure of speech' is commonly used to encompass many forms and has been adopted thus here.

See also

What are figures?, Fallacies, Storytelling

 

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