Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Alliteration and Consonance

Alliteration and consonance are literary devices used for emphasizing some phrases and words in a workpiece. They are also used to engage the workpiece reader’s auditory senses. Even though the two are almost similar since they deal with the repetition of consonants, they are varied in their meanings, applications, and position in a sentence.

So, what is the difference between alliteration and consonance? Can each stand for the other or can the two be interchanged with each other? Those are the questions most people would ask and can only be answered by diving deeper into the study of both words and differentiating them.


What is Alliteration?

Alliteration can be defined as a special case of consonance where there are repeated consonant sounds at a stressed syllable. It is distinguished from consonance, however, because the consonants, in this case, are repeated at the beginning of two or more words in a sentence.

Noticeably, alliteration is used in poetry and prose for adding catchy sounds. It is also sometimes used to represent actions along with audible effects.

Examples of Alliteration

  • After the wicked woman from the west was arrested, wished she wasn’t a witch.
  • She stood stalk still seriously wounded.
  • The friendly farmer fed the five families every year.
  • Better batter makes batter better.


What is Consonance?

Consonance is also a stylistic literary device that applies the repetition of similar or identical consonants at the end of a couple or more words in a sentence. The vowels of those words, however, are different.

Examples of Consonance

  • The big ugly frog leaped on a log.
  • Lady luck struck again.
  • All that starts well ends well.


Difference Between Alliteration and Consonance

Despite them both being literary devices that apply the repetition of consonants, alliteration and consonance have their differences, that is:

  1. Meaning of Alliteration Vs. Consonance

Alliteration is a stylistic device where consonant sounds are repeated at a stressed part of the word, usually at the beginning. Consonance, on the other hand, is similar to alliteration in that it employs the repetition of consonants. However, in consonance, the repetition happens at the end of closely connected, following, or adjacent words in a sentence.

  1. Consonant Sound in Alliteration Vs. In Consonance

In alliteration, the consonant sound appears at the beginning of a word or the stressed part of it. Conversely, the consonant sound in consonance is repeated with emphasis on the end of the stressed words.

  1. Connection Between Alliteration and Consonance

Alliteration is a part of consonance while consonance is the main category which alliteration falls under.

  1. Examples of Alliteration Vs. Consonance

Examples of alliteration:

  • A good man is gruff, grumpy, and cranky.
  • The witch’s wishes made the woman worried.
  • The seashore shells she bought are on sale again.

Examples of consonance

  • The first and last brush sweeps fast and best.
  • He said he would come home hot and on foot.

Alliteration Vs. Consonance: Comparison Table


Summary of Alliteration Vs. Consonance

Alliteration and consonance are applied in the worlds of literature, poetry, and prose to add rhythm, to pieces of work, engage a reader’s auditory skills, and make the piece interesting. They both involve the repetition of consonants, but they have a striking difference. With the major one being that one focuses on the repetition of initial consonants while the other focuses on the repetition of mostly the last ones, the two are no doubt dissimilar.


Sarah Brown

Sarah Phylis Brown
Origin: Houston, Texas
Education: Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) | University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also has Certificate in Statistical Applications. She has written numerous Articles,Blog Posts, Articles, Product Descriptions, Product Reviews, Ghost, Fiction, and Scripts.
She has led a team of experts in establishing the impacts of subsidized sewerage connections in rural slums in Kenya (under the umbrella of the World Bank).

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/82/IPA_Pulmonic.gif

[1]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasongraham99/26537885615

[2]Literary Devices. (2019). Alliteration - Examples and Definition of Alliteration. [online] Available at: http://literarydevices.net/alliteration/ [Accessed 1 May 2019].

[3]Ojumu, B. (2019). Difference between ALLITERATION, ASSONANCE and CONSONANCE | Passnownow. [online] Passnownow.com. Available at: https://passnownow.com/grammar-clinic-the-real-difference-between-alliteration-assonance-and-consonance/ [Accessed 1 May 2019].

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