Have you ever read something that sounded beautiful, but you couldn't put your finger on why? The writer may have been using assonance. This is one tool that writers keep in their toolboxes to add a little fun and flavor to their writing. Learn about the meaning of assonance for kids, including how it is different from other literary devices and why you might want to use it. Plus, get assonance examples to further help your understanding.
The Beauty of Assonance
Words can make us dance through songs. Words can make people cry in books. Words can even make you scream out in joy or anger. Obviously, words are pretty important. Writers that create songs, children's poems, tongue twisters, and prose use words with purpose. Good writers are able to use certain literary devices to write words that dance (rather than fall flat on their faces). One such literary device is assonance.
Assonance Is Figurative Language
Assonance is a form of figurative language that writers use. This is where vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y) along with combination vowel sounds are repeated in a sentence or group of sentences. You might not have realized it, but you've seen it already in this article. Remember the phrase in the previous paragraph, "fall flat on their faces"? This was an example of assonance that repeated the "a" sound. It is the sound that matters, not what the words look like. Here's another assonance example:
- Who knew the tune?
This is assonance because it repeats the long "oo" sound, even though the spellings are all different.
Loud Proud Words Shout Sounds
Have you ever read something that made you cry? Did you hear a song that made you smile? That's because the writer was intentionally setting the mood for you, whether it was sad, scary, happy, or funny. One way writers do this is by using assonance. The repetition of the vowel sounds can create a feeling in the writing that's meant to be read out loud. Read these examples out loud and see what you think.
- "Who knew that tune would bloom into a spooky sound?" Did you get a little chill there?
- "The dying of the fire light brought the dark trying night. " Are you anxious of the coming dark? The writer was too.
- "He danced and beat his feet as he screamed along the beach!" All those long e sounds kind of make you want to scream a little bit, too.
Word Fight Fun
As you may already know, assonance isn't the only tool that you can use to make your writing stand out. In the literary fight club of tools that writers use, assonance might not be the "smackdown belt" holder, but it stands out in its own way among consonance, alliteration, and rhyming. Explore how these contenders are similar and different through examples.
Assonance vs. Consonance
While assonance focuses on the repeated sounds of vowels, consonance focuses on the repeated sounds of the consonants. If you have a hard time remembering which is which, just remember that "consonance" sounds the same as "consonants." Here, the consonant sounds will repeat to create a feeling or emotion in the writing. For example:
- "Chuck checked out the church for his catching club." The "ch" repeats in this sentence.
- "Ralph ran four fish through phases of flowing water." In this consonance, the "f" sound is repeated.
Assonance vs. Alliteration
Assonance and alliteration both deal with repeat sounds, but alliteration is the repeat of a sound at the beginning of the sentence. This can be both a consonant and vowel sound like:
- "Sally sells sandals at the store." Notice the repeating "s" at the beginning of the sentence.
- "Matt made machines." The "m" at the beginning repeats throughout this sentence.
Assonance vs. Rhyming
How is assonance different from rhyming? Both assonance and rhyming work with repeat sounds, but the placement of the sounds is different. Rhyming uses the repeated sound at the end of a sentence. Rhyming looks like this:
- "The time of the rhyme." Time and rhyme are the rhyming words.
- "The bat sat on the mat." Bat, sat, and mat are important here.
Assonance Example Sentences That Dance Across the Page
Now that you know what assonance is and how it compares to the other literary tools, take a look at some of these assonance examples for students and kids. You can even try your hand at writing some of your own phrases using assonance.
- The duck jumped into the mug to soak up some sun.
- The bug dug up the mud.
- Drew knew the bloom of the tulips would smooth things over.
- Calvin clapped his hands and stomped his feet.
- The swishing sound wisped along the sideline of the sea.
- The clamor of the bells spelled the end of the era.
- Grace placed the pail next to the mail.
- Nevermore will the bells toll the sound of the end of the night.
Duplicating Sounds for Extra Effect
Writing with assonance in mind is a lot of fun. This unique literary device allows you to repeat sounds in words and it can shape the mood in a piece of work. But assonance isn't just for advanced writers; it's for kids and novice writers, too! Try writing your own poem using assonance and see how it feels. As with anything, the more you practice it, the better you will become. If you want to discover more types of figurative language, you can learn about alliteration poems and simile poems, too!