GCSE English Language Revision: Basic Literary Terms: S-V

4th April 2017

GCSE English Language and Literature Revision

Basic Literary Terms: S-V


‘Literary term’ is the overarching description for the words used specifically in English literature and language writing. Consider these words in a dictionary of their own, which you can use to describe and give meaning to what you read. They help us to explain the techniques used in poetry, literature and in non-fiction writing.


SATIRE is the use of humour and irony to expose or critique people and often questions their ability. Politicians are often the targets of this ridicule as well as anyone who’s a celebrity.


A STANZA is like a verse but in a poem instead of a song. It can rhyme or not and can be short or long.


Sun shining down now

Shining on the sea

I’m swimming in its rays

Smiling happily


A STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS is the story teller’s uninterrupted thoughts.


If only the phone would ring. If only just one person would reach out to me and ask me how I was. Maybe then I would be able to get up, up out of this bed. I’m just so very tired. Even the cat won't come and lie next to me anymore.


SUSPENSE is a technique used to create an atmosphere of uncertaintyand/or tension to increase anticipation.


SYNTAX means the rules and the processes of sentence structure and their formation.


TONE is the overall character and atmosphere of the writing and its mood

Humorous, sad, sentimental or angry, these are all types of tones used by writers to tell their story.


VERSE is a division or grouping of words in a poetic composition.

It’s like a stanza or a verse in a song sometimes only said once, sometimes with repetition.





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