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Ch 5: NES ELA: Figures of Speech & Meaning

About This Chapter

Watch video and read text lessons lessons to brush up on the many types of figures of speech, such as similes and euphemisms, for the National Evaluation Series (NES) English Language Arts (ELA) exam.

NES ELA: Figures of Speech & Meaning - Chapter Summary

This chapter is a quick and easy way to dust off your understanding of figures of speech for the NES ELA exam. These lessons cover strategies for deciphering the meanings of figures of speech, as well as topics such as simile, metaphor and irony. You'll even review the use of puns in literature. In addition to these topics, you'll also find lessons on the following:

  • Identifying and interpreting figures of speech
  • Using relationships to understand word meanings
  • Illusion and allusion
  • Alliteration, assonance, consonance and repetition
  • Equivocation, paradox and cliché
  • Analogy, synonym and antonym
  • Euphemism
  • Oxymoron
  • Synecdoche and metonymy
  • Litotes and understatement

Our expert instructors have broken these topics down into a series of short video and text lessons. Each lesson lasts about five minutes and can be watched as many times as you'd like until you've mastered the topic. Track your progress through the chapter with the personal dashboard feature.

NES ELA: Figures of Speech & Meaning Objectives

The NES ELA exam is part of the certification process for English teachers in some states. You'll have three hours to answer 150 multiple-choice questions. These lessons are meant to prepare you for questions about poetry in the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature subsection of the exam, which makes up about 23% of the total test score. You'll be asked about poetic devices such as allusion, paradox, irony, simile, metonymy, metaphor and personification. Get an idea of the types of questions you'll be asked with the practice quizzes in this chapter.

16 Lessons in Chapter 5: NES ELA: Figures of Speech & Meaning
What Is a Figure of Speech?

1. What Is a Figure of Speech?

In this lesson, we will define figure of speech and explain why it is important in your writing. After this definition, we will examine the more common figure of speeches and look at some examples.

Interpreting Figures of Speech in Context

2. Interpreting Figures of Speech in Context

Figures of speech can add humor or drama to any situation, but you have to understand what they mean in order to connect the dots. In this lesson, we'll discuss how to interpret figures of speech, such as verbal irony, puns, idioms, and hyperbole.

Understanding Words By Their Relationships

3. Understanding Words By Their Relationships

Many words in the English language have multiple meanings. To really understand a word, we have to understand the relationship between particular words. In this lesson, we will examine this through connotations, denotations, synonyms, and analogies.

Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

4. Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

Allusions and illusions have little in common besides the fact that they sound similar. Learn the difference between the two and how allusions are an important part of literature and writing - and how to spot them in text.

Alliteration: Definition & Examples

5. Alliteration: Definition & Examples

Alliteration is a figure of speech used to create rhythm and bring focus to a line or sentence in a piece of written material. Learn about the definition of alliteration, see examples of alliteration and test your knowledge with a quiz.

What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

6. What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

Metaphors are all around you. They're the bright sparkling lights that turn plain evergreens into Christmas trees. Learn how to spot them, why writers write with them, and how to use them yourself right here.

Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

7. Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

Explore the simile and how, through comparison, it is used as a shorthand to say many things at once. Learn the difference between similes and metaphors, along with many examples of both.

Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples

8. Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples

In this lesson, explore the different ways authors repeat consonant and vowel sounds in their literary works. Learn about how writers use repeated words and phrases with well-known examples.

Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

9. Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

Learn about cliches, paradoxes, and equivocations, and how they can weaken or strengthen certain types of writing. Explore examples of all three from literature and daily life.

Using Synonyms, Antonyms & Analogies to Improve Understanding

10. Using Synonyms, Antonyms & Analogies to Improve Understanding

In this lesson, you'll explore your three best friends when it comes to understanding difficult words: antonyms, synonyms, and analogies. Then, test your knowledge of these three buddies with a quiz.

Euphemism: Definition & Examples

11. Euphemism: Definition & Examples

This lesson defines euphemisms, alternate language used in place of offensive language or when discussing taboo topics. Explore some examples of euphemisms in everyday language and well-known examples from literature.

Types of Irony: Examples & Definitions

12. Types of Irony: Examples & Definitions

Discover, once and for all, what irony is and is not. Explore three types of irony: verbal, situational and dramatic, and learn about some famous and everyday examples.

How to Recognize and Use Oxymorons

13. How to Recognize and Use Oxymorons

In this lesson, we will define the figure of speech called an oxymoron and look at several examples. We will then discuss how to recognize oxymorons and use them correctly in writing.

Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples

14. Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples

Would you lend your ears for a moment (or at least your eyeballs)? This lesson will explain what synecdoche and metonymy mean and how to spot them in a piece of prose or poetry.

Understatement & Litotes: Differences, Definitions & Examples

15. Understatement & Litotes: Differences, Definitions & Examples

In this lesson, explore the use of understatement as a way to draw attention to a specific quality or to add humor. Learn about litotes, a specific form of understatement, and discover examples from literature.

Pun in Literature: Definition & Examples

16. Pun in Literature: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we'll briefly review figurative language. Furthermore, we'll look closer at one type of figurative language: the pun. You'll be able to analyze some examples of the pun and see why it's used.

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