24 junio, 2024

Anecdote: characteristics, parts, examples

A anecdote It is an account of an own event or of third parties. This tells a true story, usually not long, which can be presented orally or in writing. The narrated events may contain a topic of interest. Sometimes they turn out to be funny, sad, tragic, or embarrassing.

In the first place, an anecdote tells a true story, but with the passing of time it is possible that it will undergo some modifications. Once many people have related such an anecdote (and added details), it can become fictitious or sometimes exaggerated.

Anecdotes are memories lived, heard or read and that many use to enliven a meeting or start a topic of conversation. They are also written and can become memorable stories that everyone remembers.


Characteristics of an anecdote

It has narrative

The anecdotes are expressed as if a story were being described. That is why they have to maintain an order of how the events are happening, from its preamble, through its development and to its end.

Based on true events

Necessarily, an anecdote must come from a true story, from some interesting or funny event. In some cases, non-real details can be added, but without changing the essence.

are short lived

Since they are used to grab attention, they are generally short stories. However, despite its short duration, they must have good content for their objective to be achieved.

Told with attitude

When making an anecdote, it is important to have a good attitude and sympathy to tell it. Express yourself according to what is being narrated, with a variety of voices to catch the audience.

Tell curious facts

They are usually stories of unusual things. Many full of comedy that entertain the receiver.

follow a sequence

It is essential that an anecdote is told in an orderly manner, to maintain the thread of the narrative. It must go from start to finish, without interruptions or details that are not part of it.

Parts of an anecdote


It is where it is presented in a global way that the story was about, the protagonists of it, where and when the events occurred. Details such as:

Characters: They are a fundamental part of the anecdote that is being developed, since they are the ones who are part of the action or help its progress. Similarly, you may come across additional characters described in development.
Space: is the place where the anecdote is developed. On some occasions, it can be described with many details if they are an important part of the story. In some cases it is only named as a reference, specifically in situations where the characters or the message are more relevant.
Time: Describes the exact moment in which the anecdote takes place. This allows the public to move to that specific point, and with this, more attention is captured. This period determines how long the anecdote will be, and also allows you to have a chronology.


It is the most tense point of the anecdote. There, the narrator describes in detail the most relevant event carried out by the characters.


It is the end of the anecdote, where the plot of the narrated closes. Here the knot has been resolved.


It can appear after finishing some anecdotes, as an event after said stories.


In general, the anecdotes are expressed to give a specific message that we can call moral. It is the teaching that was left for the receiver after hearing or reading said story.


They are an important part, since they are in charge of telling the anecdotes. Many times the stories can be their own, but also experiences of other people or people from the region.

Types of anecdotes


It is an anecdote that adds a touch of humor to the conversation.


It is a story that recalls something general about the past or a specific event. It is expressed with phrases such as: «this reminds me when…», «when I was a child…», «I remember once…»…


This type of anecdote makes you think deeply about a subject.


It is an anecdote told to inspire hope or other positive emotions. They are often about not giving up, reaching your dreams or goals, and making the impossible possible.

of warning

They are anecdotes that speak of the dangers or negative consequences that a certain action entails.

How to make an anecdote?

Present the anecdote

First, you must think of a fact that is considered to meet the qualities of an anecdote. This can be for its content, whether funny, interesting or dramatic. In addition, you should think about whether it can be told in public or written without any shame.

make a draft

You can make notes in writing outlining the parts of the story. Remember that you must have elements such as: characters, plot, place and time. In addition, that said story has a beginning and an end.

have chronological order

It is fundamental in an anecdote that from the beginning it is raised in an orderly manner in time, until it ends. If you don’t respect that order, you will be affecting their understanding and they may lose interest in it.

practice storytelling

If the anecdote is presented verbally, it is recommended that it be rehearsed. This way you can highlight important data and keep your narrative brief. In addition to this, try to give different tones to the action.

Use time expressions

It is very important to place the receiver in the period of time where the anecdote is taking place. Beginning with a description such as: “A few years ago” or “One night ago”, they give orientation to whoever reads or listens.

Similarly, in the middle of the story it is also recommended to introduce words such as: «after» or «the next day», to effectively continue the chronology.

use action verbs

You must use words that show an action and that express movement of the characters. Clear examples are: «I walked», «I went» or «I ran». Also you must be concise, it is important. Too many details can slow down the plot and lose interest in the story.

Use Narrative Point of View

Remember that the anecdote can be your own or that of other people. So, you must know how to give a narrative tone in the first or third person, depending on the case. They can also be combined when it is their own story, but other characters act.

space reference

As well as the location in time, the place is important when describing an anecdote. This aspect helps the interlocutor to be located in the place mentally. Using words such as: “in the park”, “on the other side”, “to the left”, is very useful.

anecdote examples

The old woman

Two days ago I was in line at the supermarket waiting to pay. Before my turn came, there was an old lady paying. The poor woman was missing 20 pesos. Noticing it, I did not hesitate to give it to them. She thanked, although she was sorry. She told me that she had left the rest of her with her son.

Total that I left there, I went for a coffee, to distract myself for a while and then I went to the bus stop. Going up, I swiped my card to pay the fare, and guess what? What embarrassment! I dind’t have balance! The driver looked at me and told me that he had to recharge it, but just as he was getting off, the old woman from the supermarket was getting on.

She had seen everything, she had a bag of food with her. I greeted her and let her go up before getting down, embarrassed. She told me: «Mijo, stay, she’s going.» Immediately afterwards, she gave the bag of food to the driver. It turns out that she was her son! And, well, she told him everything and I left without paying. Well, actually, one good deed brought another. Also, I gained two friends.

Anecdote that happened on a bus

I got on the bus heading to Esparta Suites to go to work, I had to sit a little behind. There was a large group of children about six and a half years old, first grade, I reckon.

I couldn’t help but listen to their conversation, enthusiastically and loudly they talked about the size of Russia and how it snowed there, and how it was bigger than Spain, among other things. It sounded:

—Yes, Russia is bigger than Spain, and it’s colder!

—Of course, very cold, you won’t be able to dress like that, you’ll have to put on a sweater.

—I put it on, but in Spain it’s colder, because it’s in Europe.

—No, it’s colder in Russia, because it snows there and it’s in Greater Asia.

—Snow also falls in Spain…

Total that I was stunned, as a teacher, with the fluid handling of information by the children, already made known because they spoke properly. However, the average of the passengers were immersed in their conversations, as if it were normal to hear that geography lecture from the mouths of such small creatures.

For a moment a silence invades the unit, as if all those present had agreed to hold their breath and immerse themselves in their thinking, suddenly one of the small knowing voices that dictated the course on Eurasian geography and climate says out loud:

«My mom is a teacher…

To which another child replies:

—And?… My grandmother is a bachaquera… (reseller of basic products).

Almost everyone on the bus burst into laughter; I, however, worried, I worried because it is unfortunate to see how for many the bad makes them laugh and the good is ignored. Here we are.


Anecdote. (2012). Spain: Wikipedia. Recovered from: es.wikipedia.org. The anecdote. (S.f.). Galicia: Xunta. Recovered from: edu.xunta.gal. Parts of an anecdote. (2019). (N/A). Parts of the. Recovered from: partesdel.com. Anecdote. (2018). (N/A). Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: enciclopediaonline.com. Characteristics of the anecdote. (2017). (N/A): The Color of the Rainbow Reading. Recovered from: lalecturacolordelarcoiris.wordpress.com.

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