8 junio, 2024

Enumeration: concept, types, uses, examples

The enumeration It is a literary resource that is based on placing successively or cumulatively the descriptive components of a statement, sentence or paragraph. For example: «The best thing about going on a trip is the feeling of freedom, the landscapes, getting to know new cultures, gastronomy and museums.»

The linguistic enumeration process generally separates the elements with a comma (,) and by connectives or links (and, e, that is, then, therefore, a cause). The following is an example of enumeration: García Márquez, Benedetti, Borges, Neruda, Rulfo and Parra were influential writers.

The enumeration is used as a descriptive tool, since it allows exposing the different features that shape an idea or thought. In addition, this literary figure brings coherence, logic, coordination and sequence to the discourse. There are different types of enumeration: simple, chaotic, ascending, and descending.



The enumeration is a rhetorical figure that consists of enunciating successively the elements that make up a conceptual description. In other words, this literary tool is the continuous or chained sum of the components of a statement.

Regarding the etymological origin of enumeration, it is known that it comes from the Latin word enumeration. This term is made up of the prefix ex which means «outside» numbers, which translates as number, and by the suffix “ción” which is “action and effect”. Meanwhile, it is the action of exposing ideas enumerated.

enumeration types

Enumeration occurs in four different types. Up next, each of the preview are described:

– ascending

This type of enumeration consists of exposing the elements that make up the statement, phrase or paragraph in an order that goes from minor to major according to their importance and meaning.


I go for what is good, excellent and sublime.

– chaotic

Chaotic enumeration occurs when the sequential elements of the linguistic statement do not have any kind of link between them.


What Pedro enjoys the most is rock, sushi, good fishing and hiking.

– descending

This variety of enumeration focuses on ordering from highest to lowest the descriptive components of the sentences or paragraphs according to the preponderance they possess.


Let’s be clear, normally they give jobs first to doctors, then to magisters, then to graduates, and finally to bachelors.

– Simple

It is the most common type of enumeration and consists of successively placing the elements that make up the parts or fragments of a whole.


If we talk about my childhood, we will go to the simple, to the toys, the tacos, the beach, the nets, the boats, the sand, the street dogs and the fish on the shore, nothing else.


In relation to the uses of the enumeration, this literary resource has space in all genres due to its descriptive and expository nature. In this sense, the enumeration is common in novels, stories, chronicles, essays and poems. Furthermore, enumeration is part of oral discourse and everyday communication.

enumeration examples

– I never stopped counting the seconds, appreciating the minutes, appreciating the hours and longing for the days. He was alive, it was the most valuable thing. (Upward).

– For some reason I started to fear trucks, cars, motorcycles, even bicycles. Everything that could transport me terrified me. (Falling).

– What could I say about Fernando? He was someone attentive, he liked video games, singing, going fishing with his friends, studying geography, in short, he was a very complete young man. (Chaotic).

– Go, walk along the beach, along the boardwalk, through the streets of the town, through my grandmother’s house, through the room from when I was a child, through the life that I remember and that is the life that I really have left. (Simple).

– Take the thread, tie the rods, then put glue on the paper and add it to the structure, put the tail on the parrot, the faithful, tie them to the wick reel and then launch it to fly through the strong air. (Upward).

– I saw the gannets fly at the level of the sea, the seagulls and the tiiritas, each and every one feeding on the sea. (Falling).

– I saw her at dawn, I followed her steps at dawn, we ate at noon, love surprised us in the afternoon and when night came she went to her town. (Upward).

– The fisherman dreamed of whales, killer whales, sharks, dolphins, swordfish, dorados and sardines, all in a giant magical net that supported them. (Falling).

– The mechanic was meticulous, but different, he used everything to repair the car… cans, screwdrivers, wires, water pipes, clothespins, even strawberry ice cream… that was total madness.

More examples

– First I saw millions, then thousands, then hundreds, then barely ten, and, in the end, a mere man, only one, but his hand was enough to destroy the world. (Falling).

– He is crazy, as a counselor, as a therapist, as a psychologist, as a psychiatrist, to tie! Anyway, he should check himself. (Upward).

– The street was everything that can be, it was white, black, high, low, deserted, hyper populated, it was cats, dogs, cloudy, sunny, men, women, violent and calm, it was the center of my town… yes, it was all possible. (Chaotic).

– The boy was very excited, there, in the ice cream parlor, there was a world of chocolate, vanilla, tangerine, lemon, mango, strawberry, kiwi, apple, pear, grape… every possible flavor, every joy. (Simple)

– From the universe, I choose the Milky Way, from it, I take, the solar system, from there, the Earth, from that planet, the American continent, from that land, Venezuela, from that country, Nueva Esparta, from its three islands, Margarita, and in that place I choose you. (Falling).

– From the fish, everything, the body, the scale, the skin, the meat, the bone and the marrow… I learned to eat everything, every piece of the soul of the sea. (Falling).

– From the spirit I went to the soul, from there to the cell, then to the blood, to the fire, to the flesh, to the skin, to the entire body, and thus I became a man. (Upward).


Enumeration. (2020). Spain: Dictionary of the Spanish Language. Recovered from: dle.rae.es.
Enumeration (rhetoric). (2020). Spain: Wikipedia. Recovered from: es.wikipedia.org.
2 examples of enumeration. (2014). (N/A): Rhetoric. Recovered from: rhetoricas.com.
The enumeration. (S.f.). (N/A): Literary Figures. Recovered from: figurasliterarias.org.
Enumeration. (2020). Spain: Wikilengua. Recovered from: es.wikilengua.org.

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