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  • Writer's pictureA. Gulvin Translation

No Rhyme or Reason

The idea of a #rhyme is that words with similar sounds are used, more often than not at the end of lines of poetry or songs, in order to create a special effect. Some languages have more rhyming words than others, because of the nature of the language and how words are created.

Rhyming can be really helpful for learning vocabulary, especially in English. Sometimes rhyming words are spelt similarly, and other times they have totally different spellings. This can help remind you of some sounds that look unfamiliar or that you have a hard time remembering.

For example, these words have similar spellings and rhyme:

look rhymes with book take rhymes with make big rhymes with wig

But these words are spelt differently but still rhyme:

light rhymes with kite go rhymes with low please rhymes with sneeze

It's the sound, not the spelling, that is important. For example, if you forget how to pronounce "though", just remember it rhymes with "slow" (see "below"!)

The number of syllables in a word is not important either - it's the final syllable that is of key importance when rhyming words. For instance:

below rhymes with slow above rhymes with love

Occasionally more than one syllable can rhyme as in the case of:

tantalizing rhymes with fantasizing (two syllables 'izing' rhyme)
ferocious rhymes with precocious (two syllables 'ocious' rhyme)

Rhymes are used a lot in songs, especially in rap, but often the rap artist stretches the boundaries of strict rhymes and combines this with rhythm and beat to create artistic effects. For example the words orange and porridge do not strictly rhyme, but have similar sounds, so using them together still creates a kind of rhyming effect. Other 'sound' effects utilised in poetry and song-writing include alliteration, onomatopoeia, and assonance.

Did you know there are no words in the English language that rhyme exactly with orange, purple, silver and month. There are some other less common words that don't have a rhyme either such as angst and width.

Note! Sometimes, the accent a person speaks with means a word will or will not rhyme with another word in the language that could rhyme in another accent. E.g grass and crass rhyme if said in a northern British accent, but do not rhyme if said in a southern British accent.

Why not get creative?! Making up poems, songs and rhymes in another language helps you to remember vocabulary in a fun way, that's easier to keep lodged in your brain. (Or at least that's what I find!) Try writing a short rap or poem using some new English vocabulary… it's great fun! You can be as silly as you like. Why not share it with us in the Comments section!

Check out this video of Cher Lloyd's Grow Up. Can you identify the rhymes at the ends of the lines of lyrics?

BEFORE YOU GO... check out the English bytes from today's post:

  • no rhyme or reason: something is unexplainable, a mystery, has no reason behind it e.g. I don't know why she always forgets her phone, there's no rhyme or reason for it.

  • more often than not: something does happen more frequently than it doesn't happen e.g. more often than not I'll eat chocolate on a Saturday night.

  • #spelling: the process of writing or naming the letters of a word e.g. how do you spell, 'SUCCESS'? S-U-C-C-E-S-S.

  • #syllable: a unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants, forming the whole or a part of a word e.g two has 1 syllable, twen-ty has 2 syllables, el-e-phant has 3 syllables, con-sec-u-tive has 4 syllables and so on.

  • key: (in this context) central, primary, main e.g. the key thing to remember is speak up so your audience can hear you.

  • #alliteration: consecutive words that begin with the same sound or letter e.g. the super, silver serpent.

  • #onomatopoeia: a word sounds like the thing it is describing e.g. cuckoo (sounds like the noise the bird makes), smash, sizzle

  • assonance: in poetry, the repetition of the sound of a vowel or diphthong in non-rhyming stressed syllables near enough to each other for the echo to be discernible e.g. penitence, reticence

  • lodged: stuck e.g. I dropped my phone in the car and it is now lodged between the seat and the floor.

Guest post by Chloe Sinden, with thanks!

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