Alliteration is a poetic technique in which the beginning sound is repeated in words for effect. Tongue twisters often use alliteration to create catchy phrases.

In this figure of speech, two or more words begin with the same letter or syllable.

Notice the effect of alliteration as you try to say the following tongue twisters:


1.      Potatoes, peas, and pumpkin are greengrocer's goods.

Here three words, in the beginning, begin with the letter 'P' and three words, in the end, begin with the letter 'g'.

2.      This miss is Sister Kissler.

Here 'is' pronunciation is repeated in 'this' 'is' and 'sister' and 'iss' is repeated in 'miss' and Kissler'.

Alliteration is the repetition of a speech sound in a sequence of nearby words.

The term is usually applied only to the consonants, only when the recurrent sound begins a word or a stressed syllable within a word.

In Old English Alliterative Meter(Having the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable), alliteration was the principal organizing device of the verse line, the verse is rhymed(Rhymed Lines - Correspondence in the sounds of two or more lines (especially final sounds)); having each line divided into two half-lines of two strong stresses by a decisive pause or caesura; and at least one, and usually both, of the two stressed syllables in the first half-line alliterate with the first stressed syllable of the second half-line.

In later English versification, however, alliteration is used only for special stylistic effects, such as to reinforce the meaning, to link related words, or to provide tone color and enhance the palpability of enunciating the words.

An example is the repetitions of the s, th, and w consonants in Shakespeare's

Sonnet 30:

When to thsessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought

And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste...

Alliteration Practice Example:

1.      Snakes slither on the sidewalk.

2.      The wind whistled through the willows.

3.      Magic markers can make masterpieces.

4.      Tommy tried to twist but tumbled.

5.      Greg grabbed the garnish from the graceful bowl.

6.      Six silly sailors swam south.

7.      Bobby bought a bunch of brown bananas.


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