Consonance is when nearby words repeat the same consonant sounds.

Easy Examples of Consonance

  • To crack a lock.
  • (The repeated ck sound creates the consonance.)
  • The witch stretched out to touch the wretched child.
  • (The repeated ch sound creates the consonance.)
Consonance contrasts with assonance, which is when nearby words repeat the same vowel sound.

Real-Life Examples of Consonance

  • We're bound by a bond that transcends the beyond.
  • (The repeated nd sound creates the consonance.)
  • I'm not rattled by your little tittle-tattle.
  • (The repeated st sound creates the consonance.)
  • The uncertainty of the source will cause despair.
  • (This example shows the importance of listening to the sounds rather than looking at the letters. The c in uncertain and the c in source are part of the consonance.)
Of note, alliteration (when nearby words start with the same letter) is a form of consonance.
  • Porky Pig pinched Peter Piper's peppers apparently.
  • (Of note, alliteration can also include words that include the repeated consonant sound at the stressed syllable, which is why apparently has been underlined too.)

Why Should I Care about Consonance?

Consonance is a common literary technique used by poets to draw in their readers because it forces readers to pause to consider the near rhyme created by consonance. Non-alliterative consonance can also add rhythm and musicality to writing without being as obvious as alliteration.

Consonance is less common in prose (especially business writing) than in poetry, but it can be useful for emphasis or for making a message more memorable.
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    Key Points

    • Use non-alliterative consonance to force your readers to think more deeply about your word choice.
    • Use consonance to add rhythm and musicality to your writing (either obviously with alliteration or subtly without).
    • Use consonance (especially but not exclusively alliteration) to make your message more memorable.
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