Term Definition Examples/Notes active voice when the subject performs the action Whenever possible, use the active voice. of the verb. o I saw the bird. o I am hungry. action verb Verbs that show action o I went to the store o He hopes to see his mom. o Joe kicked me. o The accountant resigned. adjective modifies (describes) o those bricks (which one) o noun o brown boots (what kind) o pronoun. o ten boxes (how many) adverb modifies (describes) Answers the following ?s How? Elvis sang magnificently o adjectives (really cute dog), When? Elvis sang earlier o verbs (runs fast) Where? Elvis sang there o other adverbs (runs very fast) How Often? Elvis sang frequently To what extent? Elvis sang very well. Under what circumstances? Elvis sang under stress “Not” is always an adverb alliteration repetition of identical sounds at the o “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled beginning of two or more words peppers” placed closely together (but not necessarily right next to each other) o “Go instead sustained and soothed” allusion A reference found in literature to a Calling a situation a “Catch-22” is an allusion person, place, or thing that is fictional, to Joseph Heller‟s novel Catch-22 which biblical, historical, or real. describes a situation in which there is no easy answer. analogy A form of figurative language (often Dr. King used an analogy in his “I Have a used in spoken language) that makes a Dream” speech when he compared a bad comparison between two things to check with the broken promises of the make a point. Declaration of Independence. antecedent The word that a pronoun refers to or Huck struggles with his conscience as he and Jim takes the place of travel down the river. “Huck” is the antecedent. Several of the students typed their essays. “their” the antecedent. appositive/appositive o An appositive is a noun or o My dog, Champ, is a pain. Phrase pronoun that follows another o Champ, my dog, is a pain. noun or pronoun to identify or explain it. o An appositive phrase is made up of the appositive and its modifiers assonance o A type of rhyme o all /awful o Repetition of vowel sounds o feet/sweep o lake/fate ballad A narrative poem (often of folk o “Good Bye Miss American Pie” origin) that is meant to be sung o “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” blank verse o Unrhymed iambic “Something there is that doesn't love a wall, pentameter. That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it” o Iambic pentameter refers to - “Mending Wall” - Frost the length of a line of poetry The lines follow a pattern of stressed and that has meter (a pattern of unstressed syllables but do not rhyme stressed and unstressed syllables. clause A group of words CONTAINING a verb and its subject cognates Words that have the same root (origin) o “night” – English and are related in some way to words o “noche” – Spanish in other languages o “notte” – Italian o “nuit” - French coherence A term that refers to the fact that each sentence in a paragraph should be arranged in a logical order and clearly connected with transitional words conceit An elaborate or extended metaphor The “rivers” used throughout Langston carried throughout a poem Hughes‟s poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” represent the length and depth of the black culture. connotation o The emotion implied by a o cheap – negative word. o frugal – positive o This is usually positive or negative. o clever – positive o sly - negative consonance o A type of rhyme: o could /shed o Repetition of consonant o chitter /chatter sounds within or at the end of o meter/pattern words coordinating conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses For, and, nor, but, or, yet (FANBOY) correlative conjunction always used in pairs either….or, both . . . and, whether….or, neither….nor, not only . . . but also demonstrative pronoun Used to point out a particular person This is the best answer. (used as a or thing. When it is prior to a noun, demonstrative pronoun) it is considered an adjective. I like this answer. (used as an adj) denotation The actual dictionary definition of a word dependent (subordinate) o A clause that cannot stand Can act as a clause alone because it does not o noun: This is what he said. express a complete thought. o adjective: Everyone cheered for the o It also acts a single part of player who had the better serve. speech. (noun, adjective, or o adverb: When you go to New York, go adverb) to Ground Zero. descriptive writing Uses language to describe a person, o A travel brochure place, thing, or idea. o A character sketch diary A record of events that is meant to be The Diary of Anne Frank” private direct characterization A straightforward description of a He is mean character He is sad He is happy direct object Receives the action of the verb or o Drought destroyed the crops. shows the result of the action. It answers the question “what?” or “whom?”after an action verb. elegy A lyric poem or a song that mourns o Elton John‟s “Candle in the Wind” someone who has died mourns Marilyn Monroe o Whitman‟s “O Captain, My Captain” mourns Abraham Lincoln end rhyme Rhymes that occur at the end of a line “My dog was bad of poetry. Now I am mad” epistolary novel A novel written in the form of letters expository writing o Provides factual information o A lab report on a topic. o An instruction manual o “exposes facts” o A chronology figurative language Language used for descriptive effect in o simile order to convey ideas and emotion. o metaphor Figurative language is not meant to be o idioms/cliches taken literally o symbols o metonymy/synedoche o imagery o hyperbole fixed form poetry poetry written with traditional rhyme and usually in stanzas flashback An interruption in the chronological In Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman often has sequence of a narrative to show an flashbacks to the times when he enjoyed a close event that happened earlier in time. relationship with his boys. foreshadowing The use of clues by the author to hint As a boy is packing for a camping trip, the author at or prepare readers for events that may describe a hunting knife in detail. The same will happen later in the future knife becomes significant later as the boy finds himself alone in the wilderness. formal language o Language that is found in grammatically correct o reports o free from slang, o business letters colloquialisms, or o proposals regionalisms. o policy manuals frame narrative A story told within another story free form poetry Poetry that follows no particular rhyme, meter, length, or organization. generalization A statement that is as yet unproven or Huck Finn is the most important book in American unsupported with details, facts, or Literature. (Why?) examples genre Category of a larger group Literature genres include novels, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and drama gerund a verbal Reading is fun ends in „ing‟ I like shopping looks like a verb Use this brush for painting. acts as a noun She has always loved dancing. In cooking, use salt sparingly. Swimming is excellent exercise. I have tried camping. helping verb o “helps” the verb show action, If a verb phrase has four verbs, the first three are state of being, or make a helping (and so on) statement o We have been taking notes all day. o generally used to indicate o She will be cold with out a jacket. tense. hyperbole Figurative language that uses o I‟m so hungry I could eat a horse. exaggeration to express strong emotion, to make a point, or to evoke humor. iambic pentameter Refers to the length of a line of poetry “Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? that has meter (a pattern of stressed Thou art more lovely and more temperate: and unstressed syllables. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. And summer's lease hath all too short a date” – Shakespeare Sonnett XVIII The lines follow a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables idiom o a commonly used-saying made up of a group of words o He‟s a “piece of work” that takes on special meaning o I‟m leading a “hand-to-mouth existence.” that is different from the o “Close but no cigar” usual meaning of the words that make it up; a cliche imagery Language that presents an image “Her eyes were blue with age. Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless wrinkles and as though a whole little tree stood on her forehead.” – “A Worn Path” (Welty) in media res occurs when a story begins with a significant moment; the rest of the story fills in the events leading to that moment. indefinite pronoun o refers generally, not all, another, any, anybody, anyone, both, each, specifically, to persons, either, everybody, everyone, everything, few, places, or things many, more, most, much, neither, nobody, o can be the subject of a non, no one., one, several, somebody, sentence someone o can be singular or plural independent (main) A clause that can stand alone because o If you buy your ticket early, you won’t clause it expresses a complete thought have to wait in line. o I hope that you will find happiness o FDR, who was the only man elected four times, died in 1945. o I have a terrible headache. indirect When a character is revealed by his “He is dressed quietly . . he unlocks the door, characterization thoughts/ actions/words and/or how comes into the kitchen, and thankfully lets his other speak/react to him burden down.” This passage from Death of a Salesman lets us know that Willy is tired and depressed. Indirect object The indirect object of the verb The principal gave her the award. precedes the direct object and usually tells to whom or for whom the action of the verb is done. infinitive a verbal I like to eat (n) consists of “to” + the verb It is the best place to eat (adj) looks like a verb I need to eat soon. (adv) acts as a noun, adjective or The boy began to do his homework when adverb he went to class. (Note: to class is a prepositional phrase because it ends in a noun) informal language language that is casual and includes found in slang, colloquialisms, and o emails regionalisms. o friendly letters intensive pronoun Adds emphasis to a noun or other o Leigh herself gave the information to pronoun. the reporters. o They themselves don‟t think it will happen. internal rhyme rhyme that occurs within lines of “I awoke to black flak”. poetry Interrogative pronoun Used in questions who, whom, which, what, whose Who is calling? What should we do? irony A contrast between appearance and Many many examples are present in life, reality throughout history, and in literature. irregular verbs Verbs in which the past and past participle verb forms are formed w/ an irregular spelling journal A record of events that is meant to be Christopher Columbus‟s narrative of his journey to public. the new world; A travel journal A blog linking verb A verb that expresses a state of o all “be” verbs (am, is, are, was, were, being/existence or the senses be, being, been) o also: appear, become, feel, grow, look, remain, seem, smell, sound, stay, and taste literary period o also known as a literary American Literary Periods movement o Native American o refers to a period of time o Settlement/Colonial when the majority of writers o Revolutionary/Nationalism wrote about similar topics, o Romanticism/Transcendentalism for similar purposes, and o Realism addressed similar themes. o Naturalism o Sometimes, themes present in o Modernism one literary period will o Postmodernism appear in writings from other periods local color o the portrayal of a region‟s distinctive ways of talking or behaving. o also known as Regionalism lyric poem A poem whose primary purpose is to express emotion. metaphor o a figure of speech that She is the rose of the family and I am the thorn. compares or equates two seemingly unlike things. o does not use “like” or “as” meter A regular pattern of stressed and Iambic pentameter (the length of the meter – the unstressed syllables that gives a line of pattern) poetry its rhythm. metonymy Figurative language where the name of “The White House refused to comment on the a thing is substituted for a word or allegations.” White House refers to the presidency term closely associated with it Modernism o A literary period (1900-50) o Hemingway o themes of alienation and o Fitzgerald disillusionment o Frost and others narrative poem A poem that tells a story narrative writing Uses language to tell a story Fiction Biography/autobiography Naturalism o A literary period Stephen Crane o Approx 1880-1940 “An Episode of War” o An offshoot of Realism o Depicts life accurately but features characters trapped in situations beyond their control and enduring with dignity non-standard English Language that is grammatically o Ain‟t incorrect o Them boys don‟t like me. o I seen Hailey‟s Comet. o I done seen Hailey‟s Comet. o Was you going to the store? o and more!! noun Person, place, thing, or idea Common nouns (general): band, president, honesty Proper nouns (particular/capitalized) The Beatles, President Bush object Answers the question „what‟ Direct object: He threw the ball. or „who‟ after a verb or at the Indirect object: I gave him $20. end of a phrase. Object of the prepostion: He climbed If the object is a pronoun, you up a tree. should use the objective case of the pronoun. objective complement Refers to the object as a noun or an The named Mary secretary. adjective Everyone considered him foolish. objective Writing that is free from opinion/bias writing/objectivity ode A lyric poem that praises something or someone onomatopoeia The technique of forming words that “splash, fizz, honk, whoosh, buzz” imitate specific sounds paradox A statement that at first seems Less is more contradictory but which, upon reflection, expresses a truth parallelism The repetition of grammatical “I came, I saw, I conquered” structures (parts of speech, phrases, “My four little children will one day be judged not clauses, etc) by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” - King parenthetical expression o an expression which is o He is, of course, my best friend. inserted into the flow of o Being well-liked is, without a doubt, his thought goal in life. o also called an interrupter o can be a word to provide transition participial phrase o A phrase that contains a Hoping against hope, the fans stayed until the participle and its objects fourth quarter. o Used as an adjective Traveling down the path, the runner sprained his o Set off with a comma at the ankle. beginning of the sentence The runner gave up the race having no hope of finishing. (no comma since the phrase is at the end of the sentence) participle a verbal I have running shoes. ends in „ing‟ or „ed‟ Frightened, I ran down the street. looks like a verb Waiting patiently for the bus, I read a acts as a adjective book. passive voice When the subject receives the action o Breakfast was eaten. of the verb o He was seen. past participle form o One of the four principal parts of a verb; o used to form the present perfect and past perfect tenses personal pronoun o Refers to the first person, John and I went to see the movie, and he agreed second person, or third with me that, of all of Julia Roberts‟s films, it was person her worst movie. o Has nominative, objective, and possessive forms personification Giving human characteristics to “Nature has a voice of gladness and a smile” – animals, objects, or ideas Bryant, “Thanatopsis” persuasive writing Uses language to persuade or convince o An editorial o A speech o A position paper phrase A group of related words used as a single part of speech and NOT CONTAINING a verb and its subject. possessive pronoun o A personal pronoun in the o His girlfriend and her friends are going to possessive case the movie. o See personal pronoun o The dog hurt its foot. Postmodernism o A literary period o 1950-present day o reflects the diversity present in today‟s society predicate adjective An adjective complement that o The sea is calm. modifies the subject of a linking verb o The manuscripts are rare and valuable. and follows the linking verb. predicate nominative The noun or pronoun complement that Adela St. John was a famous writer. renames the subject of the linking verb The Twin Cities are St. Paul and Minneapolis. and follows the linking verb. preposition A preposition links nouns and to I went to the game after the dance other words in a sentence. Commonly Used Prepositions about ▪above ▪ across▪ after against ▪ along ▪ amid ▪among ▪ around ▪ as ▪ at ▪before ▪ behind ▪ below▪ beneath ▪ beside ▪ besides ▪ between ▪ beyond ▪ but (except) by ▪ despite ▪ down▪ during ▪ except ▪ for ▪ from ▪ in ▪ inside into ▪ like ▪ near ▪ of ▪off ▪ on onto ▪ opposite ▪ out ▪ outside over ▪ past ▪ since ▪ through ▪ throughout ▪ to▪ toward ▪ under ▪ underneath ▪ until▪ unto ▪ up ▪ upon ▪ with ▪ within ▪ without last prepositional phrase o A group of words beginning He was in the conference room and he knew with a preposition and ending about the discussions which were held in May of with a noun or a pronoun (the this year. object) o Can act as an adjective or an adverb pronoun Takes the place of or refers to another Huck struggles with his conscience as he and Jim noun or pronoun (the antecedent) travel down the river proper noun see “noun” pun A play on words that have similar When you step on the scale and find that you have meanings gained weight, it is time to scale back your eating. Realism o A literary period Mark Twain o 1850-1900 Civil War Writing o depicts life accurately refrain o A word, phrase, or series of “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way.” line that is repeated to add emphasis to a poem or song. o Can make a poems/songs more dramatic, rhythmic, and memorable Regionalisms o Phrases associated with a Southern regionalisms: also called particular region “fixin‟ to” colloquialsisms o Informal but not non-standard “ya‟ll” “ I reckon” reflexive pronoun Refers to a noun or another pronoun Jenny hurt herself on the car door. and indicates that the same person or Peter bought himself a new car. thing is involved They found themselves as the center of attention. regular verbs Verbs that form the past tense and the past participle forms by adding “ed” relative pronoun o Starts a dependent clause Mark Twain is the man who wrote Life on the o relates/refers to a noun or Mississippi. pronoun in the independent clause The house that you saw is a historical landmark. repetition Refers to the repetition of specific words or phrases though writing in order to add emphasis rhetoric The art of using words Rhetorical devices can include parallelism, repetition, and rhetorical questions. When people refer to a candidate‟s rhetoric, they are describing how the candidate uses words and how effective the words are. Romanticism o A literary period o 1800-50 o celebrates nature, beauty, emotion, and individualism satire Literature that uses humor, irony, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a satire of sarcasm to expose the vices (bad slavery and racism. habits) or follies (foolish behaviors) of a society simile Compares two things using “like or The ants trailed under the canopy of leaves like a as” train moving slowly into the station. slant rhyme o Also called near rhyme or o parable and shell half rhyme o green and gone o The final consonant sounds o bone and moon are the same but the vowel sounds are different sonnet A fourteen line poem with a fixed rhyme scheme standard English Language that is grammatically correct stream of consciousness o A characteristic of Modern literature o The literary representation of a character‟s free flowing memories, thoughts, and feelings. subject Who or what is carrying out the One of the boys is hungry. meaning of the verb. We are going to sleep. Hunting is my favorite activity. It corresponds to the verb To err is human; to forgive divine. (the word that shows action or being) Must be a noun, pronoun, gerund or infinitive Is never in a prepositional phrase „Here‟ and „there‟ are never subjects. subjective Writing that contains opinion/bias writing/subjectivity subordinating Introduces dependent clauses conjunction Commonly Used Subordinating Conjunctions after ▪ because ▪ so that ▪ until although ▪ before▪ provided ▪ than ▪ unless ▪ as ▪ how ▪ since that ▪ if ▪ where ▪ though ▪ when▪ whenever ▪ wherever ▪ which ▪so We didn‟t know the reason until we got there. After she took a nap, she felt much better. We arrived late because our train was delayed. symbol Any object, person, place, or o The white whale in Moby Dick represents experience that exists on a literal level the power of nature. but also represents something else that o The seeds in Death of a Salesman is usually abstract (like an idea) represent Willy‟s hopes for the future synecdoche A part is used to represent the whole “wheels” = car “threads” = clothes The American Dream o A primary theme of American Literature o The idea that anyone, regardless of his or her background, can achieve success through hard work and determination. theme o The central message of a The primary themes in American Literature are: work of literature that readers o American Individualism can apply to life o The American Dream o An idea that is addressed one o Cultural Diversity way or another through out o Tolerance the work. tone Describes the emotion created by an One uses adjectives to describe the tone of a work. author‟s use of language and/or The tone could be playful, optimistic, pessimistic, through a character‟s words and angry, etc. action. Transcendentalism o A literary movement that was o Part of the New England Renaissance – an offshoot of Romanticism an effort to define a uniquely American o 1800-50 literary style. o saw nature and intuition as a o Founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson. vehicle to understanding the o Set forth by Emerson in his essay meaning of life. “Nature” understatement o Opposite of hyperbole Saying it‟s a little warm in August in Atlanta o The statement minimalizes the idea unity A term that refers to the fact that each sentence in a paragraph should relate to the main idea/topic sentence. verb Shows action, a state of being or helps I am hungry to make a statement. He is hoping. She wrote a note They laughed verb phrase o A verb of more than one He has spoken word Joe should have been there. o Made of main verb and one I do not want to see my grade. or more helping verbs verbals o Words that look like verbs but act as another part of speech. o See participles, infinitives, and gerunds Glossary You can also consider this a study guide for the American literature End of Course test!