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Use Common Figures of Speech: Alliteration, Assonance and Onomatopoeia

In this worksheet, students will explore how to use alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia and learn how to recognise them while reading for meaning.

'Use Common Figures of Speech: Alliteration, Assonance and Onomatopoeia' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 9 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Poetic Convention Awareness

Popular topics:   Year 9 Reading Comprehension worksheets, Reading Comprehension worksheets

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Alliteration, Assonance and Onomatopoeia


Writers use figures of speech to add meaning to the text they're writing. These techniques engage the reader's interest using sound and imagery or by sequencing and contrasting ideas, in order to increase the effectiveness of the writer's words in conveying meaning.


There are many different forms of figures of speech. It's important that you recognise the most common ones so that you can demonstrate your knowledge and understanding when you are discussing a piece of writing. We are going to take a look at various figures of speech and then test what we have learned.



Alliteration is the repetition of the same first sound in a group of words in succession for emphasis.


For example:

'Everyone knew big, bold Billy from Brighton.' The repetition of the 'b' sound reinforces our image of Billy and makes the associations of 'big', 'bold' and 'from Brighton' more memorable.


teenage boy


"Tyger, Tyger burning bright."


Assonance is the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in a group of words.


For example:

'His father's car is a Jaguar.'

'How now brown cow.'


brown and white cow


This figure of speech applies when the sound reflects sense or meaning. The word then sounds like its meaning.


For example:

'The leaves rustled in the wind.' The word 'rustled' reflects the sound leaves in a tree make in a breeze.

'The hum of the bees.'


bee on a flower


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