ELA Terms to Know

By Brooke Edwards | 2nd Period

Connotation & Denotation

  • Connotation is typically what a word means to you, or in your own way. For example, spiders: I would associate with fear, disgust, shock, etc. For other people, a spider could be cool or interesting, so: amazing, cool, intriguing. It would be when you're giving a definition but it isn't too complex.
  • Denotation is when you are giving the literal meaning, or the dictionary term. Again we are using spider. The literal meaning would be something along the lines of: arachnid, living thing, etc. Those would be the words that would most likely be in the dictionary for the word spider.

Point of Views! (First Person, Second Person, Third Person, Third Limited, Third Omniscient)

  • First person: it's my point of view. One way to tell that it's 1st person POV, is by looking for the following words. I, me, my, we, us, our. Those are referring to the reader, or the narrator depending on the book type, is telling the story.
  • Second Person: it's addressing the reader or someone else in the story. You, your, he, she, his, hers. These words are addressing someone else instead of yourself.
  • Third person is nobody's point of view. You are pretty much an onlooker of what's going on.
  • Third person limited is an onlooker focused on someone, and only one person. Let's say there are 4 people in a certain setting. The author has set the reader up in a third person POV. You would only be looking in on... Let's say Amy's thoughts.
  • Third person Omniscent would be looking in on everyone. So not just Amy, Claire, Heather, and Billy, too.

Similes & Metaphors

Ah, the memories of learning this stuff back in the 4th grade. Let's hope I remember, haha.

A Simile is when you are making a comparison using "like" or "as". For example, Lisa ran as fast as a bullet. See how it works? Here's an example using "like". Yolanda eats like a pig. There is is again, that like & as.


Now for the metaphors. A metaphor is a figure of speech that most writers use. It could mean a symbol for something, or a representation. A synonym for metaphor would be an analogy. Basically, you're using ____ (word) as a symbol for this. One example: I have fallen through a trapdoor into depression. That basically means the trapdoor is the way you fell into depression.

Commonplace Assertion, Opinions, and Facts.

  • Commonplace assertion is something along the lines of a stereotype. For instance, All pitbulls are aggressive. Some people actually have this mindset, unfortunately. They have no proof that all pitbulls are aggressive. I have a pitbull and you would think she was a Labrador, that dog is so nice.
  • Facts: are beliefs that could be proven with research.
  • Opinions: are beliefs that cannot be proved with research.