ELA Terms to Know

Terms, Definitions, Examples and Memory Tricks!

Connotation and Denotation

Definitions

  • Connotation is the emotional, or informal meaning of a word. Connotation is the implied meaning of a word. Connotations are usually defined as something different in the dictionary.
  • Denotation is the literal, or dictionary meaning of a word.

Examples

Blue:
  • Blue's meaning in the dictionary is, "a color between green and violet, like the sky on a sunny day or sea."
  • Blue's connotation is a sad feeling, like "I'm feeling blue."
Fuzzy:
  • Fuzzy's dictionary meaning is, "having a fluffed appearance, and difficult to see or explain."
  • Fuzzy's connotation would be a warm feeling, as, "You make me feel fuzzy inside."

Tricks and Tips

You can remember which is which by remembering that Denotation starts with "D" like Dictionary, because it's the dictionary meaning!

Point of View: First Person, Second Person, Third Person Limited, and Third Person Omniscient

Definitions

  • First person is where the POV is that of the main character (imagine if you were that person, talking about them self). It uses pronouns like "I or my."
  • Second person is where the speech is directed at "you". It's usually used in instructional writing.
  • Third person limited is where the POV is that of a Narrator, and they only know about the other person's actions.
  • Third person omniscient is where the POV is that of a Narrator, and they know EVERYTHING about the other person, mainly actions and thoughts.

Examples

First Person:
  • "I saw her" (YOUR thoughts + actions)
Second Person:
  • "You need to go outside!" (Actions of the person you are speaking to)
Third Person Limited:
  • "She got up and left." (ONLY actions of others)
Third Person Omniscient:
  • "She thought about how hungry she was, and eventually got up to go get food." (Thoughts + Actions of others)

Tricks and Tips

Horrible phrases and puns:

First Person is where you put yourself first, and talk about yourself!


Second Person talks to the second person in the room.

Third Person limited limits your knowledge of the other person!

Third Person Omniscient makes you an "all-seeing-oracle".

Simile and Metaphor

Definitions

  • A simile is a comparison using "like" or "as".
  • A metaphor directly compares things by saying one "is" the other.

Examples

Sun:

  • "You are like the sun." You use "like" to compare the person to the sun, making it a simile.
  • "You are the sun." You directly say that they are the sun, making it a metaphor.
Tree:

  • "She is as tall as a tree." You use "as" to say that she is very tall.
  • "She is a tall tree." You say that she is a tall tree, describing her as really tall.


Tricks and Tips

Try remembering that Simile compares things and makes them Similar to each other!

Types of Poetry: Epic, Lyric, and Narrative

Definitions

  • An Epic is a long narrative poem that tells a story about heroic deeds/events.
  • A Lyrical poem is a poem that might not rhyme, but it has a set rhythm, like songs
  • A Narrative Poem is a poem that tells a story (not as long as an epic).

Examples

  • Your favourite song is an example of a lyrical poem, because it has a rhythm!
  • Out, Out-- by Robert Frost is a narrative poem, because it tells the story of a boy who dies after his hand is cut off.
  • The Odyssey by Homer is an epic poem, because it tells the story of Odysseus and his travels in a very long poem.

Tricks and Tips

Horrible phrases and puns:


  • "Epic poems tell epic(ally long) stories!"
  • "Lyrical poems have song lyrics!"
  • "Narrative poems have narrators!"

Commonplace Assertion, Opinion, and Fact

Definitions

  • A Commonplace assertion is a statement that is considered true by most people, but not backed up with facts.
  • An opinion is a statement based on feeling and cannot be proven.
  • A fact is a proven, truthful statement.

Examples

  • "Your brain will rot after reading too many comics," is a commonplace assertion, because it cannot be proven that your brain will rot, but it is regarded as true by many people.
  • "I am a human," is a fact because I am a human being.
  • "Red is the best color," is an opinion, because it cannot be proven that red is the "best" color.

Tricks and Tips

Horrible phrases and puns:

  • Commonplace assertions are common phrases that try to assert their truthfulness!

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Thank you!