7 junio, 2024

Connocative language: what it is, definition, characteristics, examples

What is connotative language?

He connotative language It is one that is used in a symbolic and figurative way to communicate information, sensations or feelings. That is, it conveys something more than the literal meaning of the words or message.

For example, with the phrase «has silky skin» we are using connotative language, meaning that someone has smooth skin. Other examples are “his heart broke” or “Antonio is tough as a rock”.

Connotative language suggests through possibilities and ambiguities of language. It is not only found in literary language, but its use is also applied to colloquial language.

It is the opposite of denotative language, which is used to express reality as it is. Denotative language is that used to provide information. However, through connotative language emotions can be expressed through a subjective way. It is used poetically to make comparisons.

Connotative language features

– It is characterized because it always depends on the context. Each word can contain several meanings.

– We can include it in the emotive function of language, since the main motivation is to show the opinion or feeling of a situation or object. This is why it is not used in official or formal texts.

– It also has a personal and geographical character. There are groups of people who attribute the same connotative meaning to a word, either because of common experiences or because of a common regional characteristic.

– In literary figures, you can find many examples of connotative language. However, the most common examples are popular proverbs and sayings that are used in colloquial language.

When is connotative language used?

This type of language is used in:

Poetry, lyrical texts or novels in which you want to make the language or reading more beautiful. For example, it could be used by a writer when he says that «the man froze in surprise.» In everyday life, in conversations by speaking or messages written by applications, social networks or emails. In scientific texts or reports, although this is less common. For example, if you say «we ate our heads to find a solution». In didactic texts. In press articles. In official communications and speeches.

Explained examples of connotative language

1- He broke his heart when he heard the news

In this sentence, through connotative language, he suggests that it caused him great sentimental pain. The verb to break is used allegorically to evoke the pain produced.

2- His face was porcelain

In this example, the porcelain evokes something smooth and without impurities, and allows an image of what the face was like without any imperfection.

3- His skin is silk

As in the previous example, here silk evokes a feeling of softness. In this sentence this softness is applied to the skin.

4- Hard as jelly

In this irony, the hardness of gelatin, which is almost non-existent, is evoked to explain the fragility of a person. Depending on the context in which it is used, it can be a physical or psychological fragility.

5- Will of steel

Through language, the hardness of steel is evoked to express the will and commitment of that person to a task.

6- Get your batteries because there is a lot of work to do

It alludes to the energy that batteries have to start certain objects. It evokes the energy that the batteries give to the energy that the respondent needs to start work.

7- That movie gave me goosebumps

It alludes to the phenomenon that happens on the skin when something scares you. This is because when the hairs stand on end, a phenomenon with a slight resemblance to chicken skin that is full of pimples is produced.

8- If you continue on that path, sooner or later you will meet the last of your shoe

This phrase conveys that if the person questioned continues to carry out perverse actions, there will come a point where he will find another who does the same to him. It alludes to the last of the shoes that are the ones that give it shape.

9- Let’s shake the skeleton all night

The skeleton cannot be shaken as such. In this case, the expression «shaking the skeleton» refers to the action of dancing.

10- The stars of your eyes illuminate my soul

The eyes alone do not have a sparkle, but by suggesting that the eyes are stars, it is intended to evoke a feeling of wonder and love.

Other examples

The coldness of not looking to hide.
A bird in the hand is better than a hundred in the bush.
The new moon is the smile of heaven.
My head is going to explode from the hangover.
He got a taste of his own medicine.
María goes crazy when she sees a clothing store.
The neighbors look like parrots talking all day.
This kid is going to get green gray hair out of me.
That news seems to me to be frightening and I jump.
The devil knows more for being old than for being a devil.
The gloomy pond next to the mansion seemed to contain the horror that was lived in that house.
He lives a life of dogs since he left his job.
He managed people in such a way that they did what he wanted.
Don’t get me out of my boxes.
The measure is in the eye of a good cubero.
The vultures of my uncles came to see what they were taking after the death of my grandmother.
He is a cowardly mouse, he always hides when he has to work.
The sparkle in his eyes was life.
His face looked like a poem.
Do the words are gone with the wind.
The look of that woman makes me feel in the clouds.
No need to cry over spilled milk.
I feel like I’m melting in the heat.
His gaze was piercing.
His heart is gold.
Plays an important role.
They are a pair of lovebirds.
He turns into a lion when his team loses.
His hand looked like a paddle.

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