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Assonance 01
I will try to light the candles is an example of assonance. Note the 'i' sound in both try and light.

Assonance 01

In English, assonance means similar vowel sounds used in groups of words, not necessarily rhyming or following each other, e.g. in "slow motion" the long "o" sounds make the words seem slow.

Assonance is often used for poetic effect. It is a technique similar to alliteration or consonance, but involves the vowels, rather than the consonants. Also, the vowel sounds should be similar, but do not need to be exactly the same. They may also occur anywhere in the word, rather than merely at the beginning or in a stressed syllable.

Poets can use assonance to draw particular words together, or to create particular effects associated with certain sounds. Rhyming words always demonstrate assonance, since in order to have at least one rhyming syllable, the vowel sounds of each word must be the same. Because of this, the technique is also useful when poets create approximate rhyme. Assonance can give the impression that two words rhyme, even when the consonants at the beginnings or ends of their syllables are actually different.

See how well you do in the following quiz all about assonance. Remember that assonance describes how words sound, rather than how they are spelled!

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1.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
Bus travel is free for me!
a
e
i
o
Assonance of long "e" sounds occurs in "free" and "me"
2.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
Pass the bowl of peas please!
a
e
i
o
"Peas" and "please" demonstrate assonance of long "e" sounds
3.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
I'll try to light the birthday candles.
a
e
i
o
"I'll", "try" and "light" share "i" sounds
4.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
Put up your umbrella quickly!
a
e
o
u
"Up" and "umbrella" share "u" sounds
5.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
Nobody knows his sorrow.
a
e
o
u
"Nobody", "knows" and "sorrow" share "o" sounds
6.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
We seemed to be the last team to cross the stream.
a
e
o
u
"Seemed", "team" and "stream" demonstrate assonance because they also rhyme
7.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
The tame dog ran down the lane.
a
e
i
o
"Tame" and "lane" do not rhyme but do demonstrate assonance of the "a" sound
8.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
The interview was incredibly successful.
a
e
i
o
Assonance of the "i" sound is heard in "interview" and "incredibly"
9.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
The upper reaches of the river undulated for miles.
a
e
o
u
"Upper" and "undulated" demonstrate assonance of "u" sounds
10.
Select the vowel used in the following example of assonance.
"Lemons, melons or oranges?" asked the fruit seller.
a
e
o
u
The assonance of the "o" sound is demonstrated by "lemons", "melons" and "oranges"

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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