Everything you need to know about English Language features

Ever wondered about the secret of achieving high grades in your English language paper? The proper usage of language features is the untold secret. Wondering what language features are? Every word that adds meaning to your sentence and enhances the quality of your writing is a language feature. Renowned writers make the most of language features to convey their message through the writing. From sentence structure to noun, vocabulary, punctuation and even adjective are language features.

English Language features

Now, most of the problem is with the usage of English. The language features definition varies according to the type of your text and the meaning it wants to convey. So, many students are unaware of when to use a language feature so that the writing is enhanced. The choices can change, depending on the purpose of the text, subject matter and your target audience.

To draft an impeccable and impressive essay, it is important for every student to understand the correct way and time of using the language features. So, here’s a list of language features that can improve your writing quality to a great extent.

The List of language features:

  • Allegory
  • Alliteration
  • Allusion
  • Analogy
  • Anaphora
  • Antithesis
  • Assonance
  • Emotive language
  • Dramatic irony
  • Euphemism
  • Homonym
  • Imagery
  • Hyperbole
  • Mood and tone
  • Litotes
  • Metaphor
  • Oxymoron
  • Pathos
  • Satire
  • Zeugma
  • Pun
  • Symbolism

There are several other English language features that you might find out on the Internet. But, this language features list has the most common ones that will help you while writing your English language paper. Amongst these, the most complex language feature examples include allegory, metaphors, analogy and alliteration. So, let’s discuss the four complicated language features that students usually find hard to understand.

Next time, when you’ll be asked to write an English assignment, keep the above-mentioned language features in mind because it will help you convey the message of your assignment in a better way.

It is a poem, picture or story that has a hidden meaning, usually related to moral value or political insights. You can use it to convey a symbolic message about the real world. When you use a fictional story to highlight a specific moral or political message, allegory helps you to enhance the way you would want your readers to perceive the message. In fact, when the story has a fixed meaning, you can use allegory to develop different layers of the meaning.

An Example of Allegory

If you have read ‘The Animal Farm’ written by George Orwell, then you’ll know that the story was about the Bolshevik Revolution in the Soviet Union. But, when you read it for the first time, it seems to be about a group of animals rebelling against the farmers. However, the leader pig misuses his power and manipulates the animals to escalate the revolution. This situation is similar to the way Joseph Stalin led the Soviet Union in real life.

George Orwell uses allegory as a weapon to fuse the political and artistic purpose into the story and clarify the situation of the Russian Revolution in 1917.

  • Alliteration: Definition and Usage

Consider this sentence:

Larry’s leopard likes leaping lizards.

What is unique about this line? Well, all the words start with the same alphabet and this is what alliteration is about. It is quite fun to hear and is used to capture the reader’s attention to certain words, thereby adding more emphasis. Amongst all the other language features, this one is the most interesting one.

This figure of speech does not necessarily mean that the same sound will appear at the beginning of all the words. It can also appear in only two or more words. Its importance lies in the fact that all sounds create rhythm and mood, and can also have connotations. Your assignment quality gets a notch higher when you use alliterative sounds.

Some examples of alliterative sounds are as follows:

‘Pied Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.’

Heavenly Hillsboro, the buckle on the Bible belt.

The second example has a repetitive ‘h’ and ‘b’ sounds. The ‘h’ sound imparts a soothing effect while the ‘b’ sound imparts a persuasive and sharp effect. So, you can use alliteration if you want your reader to focus on certain words.

  • Analogy: When and Why To Use It?

An analogy would be your best option as a language feature to use in a persuasive essay. Persuasion is about helping your readers understand what you’re communicating through the write-up. Your reader will understand your point only if you have a sound argument and well-targeted facts and theories explained and an unavoidable conclusion. When it comes to persuasive essays, analogies are hard to beat.

An analogy is also a comparison to explain an idea in a better way. Some students tend to confuse analogy with metaphors and simile. No, they are just the tools that are used to draw an analogy. When you need to compare two things that are quite different from each other, the analogy can help you do so.

An Example of Analogy

Have a look at this sentence:

‘Just as the caterpillar comes out of its cocoon, so we must come out of our comfort zone.’

In this sentence, the analogy has been used to compare or rather link the transition of a butterfly from a caterpillar with the behavioural changes of humankind. This example states that the caterpillar slowly changes itself inside the cocoon and flies away after it becomes a butterfly. Similarly, change is also required in humans when they want to come out of their comfort zone.

  • Metaphor: The Definition and Examples

A metaphor is when you write similar things without using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’. Apart from this simple definition, metaphor can be explained as the feature of the language that you can use to attract your reader’s attention. You want your writing to stand out of the rest, right? The metaphor will help you do so if you use it logically. You can inspire your readers to change their beliefs or to take action using these metaphors. It makes your writing more personal, memorable and persuasive. As mentioned earlier, it is not similar to the analogy. It is a tool used to apply analogy.

Metaphors can do wonders with the writing. For instance, they can connect dry stuff to fascinating topics and abstract topics to the concrete ones. It compares two things to explain a point and entertain the readers.

An Example of Metaphor:

“Walt becomes a real pig when he starts eating.”

Who would have thought that someone named Walt can have a connection with a pig? But, the metaphor compares Walt to the pig without using words like ‘as’ or ‘similar to’. It is also understandable that Walt is not literally a pig. He just looks like a pig when he eats food, probably because he spills food everywhere and has poor table manners.

Other Examples of Language features and their effects

Let’s check out other language forms and features along with their effects in writing. The following language features are quite common and you may use them without knowing the definition or the right way to use it.

The difference between mood and tone has always been a matter of confusion among students. The mood is the literary element that is responsible for evoking emotions or feelings in the reader’s mind through descriptions and words. The tone is the attitude with which the writer would be writing the story.

Sometimes, you might find the tone of a fictional story to be sassy or bossy. A serious story can have a humorous tone, or a funny story can have a sarcastic tone. It is achieved by choice of words, sentence construction and proper word order.

Mood is what the reader feels while reading the story or essay. It is the vibe of your story and not all readers would have the same mood while reading your essay. Mood can be dark, rushed, light-hearted or heavy. It sets the theme of your essay and makes your write-up easily understandable by the readers.

How many times did you see a sentence followed by the term ‘pun intended’? A pun is the humorous use of a word to convey different meanings other than the original. You can use puns if you want to convey something witty or funny. It probably won’t make you laugh, but it can definitely make you smile.

Some examples of pun are as follows:

‘Did you hear about the kid who thought he was a giraffe? It was a tall story’. In this example, the phrase ‘tall story’ is linked to ‘giraffe’ to convey that the initial question was a lie and it was merely meant to crack a joke. Similarly, when Hannibal Lecter says ‘I am going to have some friends for dinner’ in the last scene of ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’, he meant he was going to eat them up for dinner because he played the character of a cannibal in the movie.

The list of language features of a narrative essay can go on endlessly. Use these features with care and make sure the techniques enhance the quality of your writing and do not make it seem abrupt.

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