Anaphora Definition, the Examples, and How to Use It

20 April 2023 / Team Fun English Course

Anaphora is commonly used to emphasize the main idea of the content. But what is anaphora definition? How do you use it? Let’s dig deeper into this term.

What is Anaphora?

What is Anaphora

Anaphora is not as recognizable as other figures of speech types. However, this one is quite iconic and can be memorable as well.

The definition of anaphora is the repetition of a group of words at the beginning of sentences or successive clauses. Commonly, writers use this figure of speech to emphasize an idea, message, or point by stating repetition. 

Other than that, anaphora is an excellent way to add rhythm – to make sentences more memorable and exciting.

Anaphora itself came from the Greek – it means “a carrying back” or “reference”. English speakers have been using anaphora and its present definition since the 14th century.

The Function of Anaphora

The Function of Anaphora

As mentioned earlier, writers use this figure of speech as a literacy tool to emphasize the content’s main idea. 

The repetitive nature allows writing and speeches to be more memorable, sticking to audiences’ minds. Here are other functions of anaphora in writings that you should know.

1. Emphasizing

The first function of anaphora is to emphasize an idea or point. Its repetitive nature effortlessly draws attention to the repeated words. 

It is no wonder if anaphora has become one of the most popular devices for public speaking, especially when people have a shorter attention span. However, anaphora shouldn’t be used on a castaway verse – pick the part that swings the hardest.

2. Make a Rhythm

We all agree that repetition could turn texts more lilting and musical. Other than that, rhythm makes words much more pleasant to hear or read. This is why anaphora is popular in poetry, especially when it comes to creating momentum.

3. Comparing and Contrasting Ideas

Other than emphasizing ideas or points and making a rhythm, anaphora is great at contrasting, linking, or comparing ideas within sentences. 

The figure of speech encourages the audience to sense and appreciate the contrast, comparison, or even the link more deeply.

What is the Difference Between Anaphora and Repetition?

What is the Difference Between Anaphora and Repetition

Even though anaphora and repetition are used for emphasizing, they are surely two different things. But what is the difference between them?

Repetition is simply an act of repeating. Meanwhile, anaphora is the repetition of a word or a group of words. Anaphora is put at the beginning of verses, sentences, or phrases. Besides, this figure of speech may elicit emotion, whether sadness or empathy.

Understanding how to use this figure of speech correctly will help you to emphasize your writing as well as public speaking.

What are the Examples of Anaphora?

What are the Examples of Anaphora

So, how do you identify anaphora? Identifying and understanding this figure of speech would be easier if you look at these anaphora examples.

  • Once upon a time, it was paradise. Once upon a time, I was paralyzed.
  • Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck. Some nights, I call it a draw.
  • All I do is dream about you all day. All I do is dream about you everyday.
  • I remember, the way you glanced at me, yes I remember. I remember, when we caught a shooting star, yes I remember.

More than anything, anaphora is an effective device to emphasize the meaning of writing or public speaking. However, everything should be done correctly. 

Otherwise, it may turn your audience off, considering it could turn any sentence too empathic, dramatic, and so on.

And that’s a wrap – this is everything you need to know about anaphora definition and how to use it. Feel free to join us to understand more about anaphora, rhetoric, repetition, and anything about English.

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