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Monosyllabic Rhyme

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English

Mono means 'one', so the word 'monosyllabic' refers to words that consist of one syllable. With this in mind, what is the likely definition of monosyllabic rhyme?

Monosyllabic Rhyme, monosyllabic means one, studysmarter

Monosyllabic means one syllable, freepik.com

What is Monosyllabic Rhyme?

Monosyllabic Rhyme is the repetition of identical sounds in single-syllable words. A basic example of this would be any rhyme between monosyllabic words - such as door and more, hit and sit, cat and mat, etc.

It is important to distinguish between Monosyllabic Rhyme, Multisyllabic Rhyme, and Syllabic Rhyme.

Syllabic rhyme is the rhyming of the last syllable of words. It is when the sound in the last syllable of word pairs is the same but does not contain stressed vowels.

  • An example of Syllabic rhyme is pitter and patter .

Monosyllabic rhyme is the rhyming of single-syllable words.

  • An example of Monosyllabic rhyme is hit and sit .

Multisyllabic rhyme is the rhyming of multiple syllables. This can be with multisyllabic words, or rhyming multiple monosyllabic words with other monosyllabic words:

  • An example of Multisyllabic rhyme is gratitude (gr-ah-tih-chew-d) and latitude (l-ah-tih-chew-d), (rhyming multisyllabic words).

  • Another example of multisyllabic rhyme is no way and snow day , (rhyming multiple monosyllabic words).

Examples of Monosyllabic Rhyme

Masculine Rhyme

Masculine Rhyme is a technique that places stress on the final syllable of a rhyme. It is the best example of the use of monosyllabic rhyme. Masculine rhyme uses monosyllabic rhymes frequently to rhyme a single syllable at the end of one line with a single syllable at the end of another line.

Take this example in Patience Agbabi's 'The Black, the White and the Blue' (1995):

He's an East End lad, East End Ed

East End born, East End bred

See his muscles, have a feel

Made in England, made of steel

He's an East End lad, East End Ed

East End born, East End bred

See his muscles, have a feel

Made in England, made of steel

Each line ends with a single-syllable word - these single-syllable rhymes are a clear example of monosyllabic rhyme.

The use of monosyllabic rhyme reinforces and draws the reader's attention to the blunt, sharp staccato-rhythm of the poem. This is important because this poem uses masculine rhyme to describe a stereotypical macho hooligan; the rhyme scheme mirrors the blunt, brutish nature of the character.

Monosyllabic Rhyme: Shakespeare

Monosyllabic Rhyme, William Shakespeare, Studysmarter

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), pixabay.com

In Shakespeare's works, multisyllabic words are often shortened for the purpose of creating monosyllabic rhyme.

His use of iambic pentameter (ten-syllable lines) means there are numerous occasions in which words such as ' even' are shortened to the monosyllabic ' e'en' in order to fit the meter and rhythm of the poem.

An example of a shortened multisyllabic word can be seen in this internal monosyllabic rhyme from Romeo and Juliet (1597) :

The game was ne'er so fair. (Act 1, Scene 4, Line 41)

'Never', which should contain two syllables (ne-ver) has been shortened to the monosyllabic 'ne'er' (pronounced na-ir) in order to rhyme with 'fair', which is a monosyllabic word.

Another example of monosyllabic rhyming in Shakespeare can be found in an excerpt from Love's Labor's Lost (1598) (Act IV Scene 3). See if you can spot the different types of rhyme present in this poem:

On a day, alack the day!

Love, whose month is ever May,

Spied a blossom passing fair

Playing in the wanton air.

Through the velvet leaves the wind,

All unseen, can passage find;

That the lover, sick to death,

Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.

Monosyllabic rhyme is easy to spot. Day-May, fair-air and death-breath are all rhymes between single-syllable words.

Masculine rhyme is another rhyming technique that is easily noticeable in this poem. Note how the final syllable of every line is stressed - the rhyme between each final syllable serves to place emphasis on these words and highlight their significance in relation to the main theme of the poem, which is love.

End rhyme is the rhyming of words at the end of each line, as can be seen in this poem.

Eye rhyme is another rhyme technique in the poem. 'Wind' and 'Find', while having identical -ind endings, are pronounced differently (w-ih-nd and fy-nd) and thus are eye rhymes.

Monosyllabic Rhyme, love, StudySmarterLove, freepik.com

Monosyllabic rhyme is intentional in this poem. Consider the use of multi-syllabic words that are littered throughout the beginning and middle of each line - blossom, passing, playing, wanton, velvet etc. The lilting effect of multisyllabic words echoes the flowery sentiments of love being expressed by Shakespeare. This use of multisyllabic words is then contrasted with the simple, staccato-like sounds of the monosyllabic words.

Consider what effect ending each line with a monosyllabic rhyme has on the flow and rhythm of the poem. Does it indicate to the reader how Shakespeare intended the rhythm to sound?

Monosyllabic Rhyme vs Monorhyme

Monosyllabic Rhyme is not to be confused with Monorhyme (a rhyme scheme that uses a singular rhyme throughout the whole poem, such as AAAA). Given the closeness in names, it is easy to see why these two techniques are often confused.

Distinguishing between monosyllabic rhyme and monorhyme is easy - monosyllabic rhyme is when one-syllable words are rhymed, while monorhyme is when there is a singular rhyme throughout the poem between words.

'7 Years' (2015) by Lukas Graham contains monorhyme:

It was a big big world but we thought we were bigger

Pushing eachother to the limits we were learning quicker

By eleven smoking herb and drinking burning liquor

Never rich so we were out to make that steady figure

This is an example of monorhyme, but 'bigger', 'quicker', 'liquor', and 'figure' are all multisyllabic words - two-syllable words to be exact. This distinguishes monorhyme from monosyllabic rhyme, which uses monosyllabic words.

There are also examples of poems which monorhyme using monosyllabic rhymes. For example, 'Upon Julia's clothes' by Robert Herrick (1648):

Whenas in silks my Julia goes ,

Then , then, methinks, how sweetly flows

The liquefaction of her clothes !

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see

That brave vibration each way free ,

- O how that glittering taketh me !

Here, monosyllabic words are being rhymed to maintain the monorhyme. The use of monorhyme and monosyllabic end rhymes reflects the simplicity of the central theme of the poem, which is the speaker's admiration for Julia and how she wears her clothes.

Monosyllabic Rhyme - Key Takeaways

  • Monosyllabic Rhyme is the repetition of identical sounds in single-syllable words. It is often used in Masculine Rhyme.

  • Syllabic Rhyme is the rhyming of the last syllable of words.

  • Multisyllabic rhyme is the rhyming of multiple syllables. This can be multisyllabic words, or rhyming multiple monosyllabic words with other monosyllabic words.

  • Multisyllabic words can be shortened for the purpose of creating monosyllabic rhyme.

  • Monosyllabic rhyme is 'one syllable' rhyme in which one-syllable words are rhymed, while monorhyme is 'one rhyme' in which there is a singular rhyme between similar words.

Monosyllabic Rhyme

Monosyllabic rhyme is the repetition of identical sounds in single-syllable words. 

Examples of monosyllabic rhymes are ‘light and bright’, ‘toe and foe’, and ‘win and kin’.

Syllabic Rhyme is the rhyming of the last syllable of words e.g ‘pitter and patter’.

Final Monosyllabic Rhyme Quiz

Question

Which of these is an example of monosyllabic rhyme?



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Answer

Butter and Bitter

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Question

Fill in the blanks: Monosyllabic Rhyme is the repetition of ______ sounds in single-syllable words. 


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Answer

identical 

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Question

True or False: A monorhyme can also be a monosyllabic rhyme.



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Answer

True

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Question

Which of the following techniques particularly uses monosyllabic rhyme?


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Answer

Masculine Rhyme

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Question

True or False: Multisyllabic rhyme can only occur between multisyllabic words.

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Answer

False, rhyming multiple monosyllabic words with other monosyllabic words is also multisyllabic rhyme, not just rhyming multiple multisyllabic words.

Show question

Question

What type of rhyme is this?: 


She stood there as I brushed my hair

She walked my way with nothing to say


  1. Monorhyme

  2. Monosyllabic Rhyme

  3. Feminine Rhyme

  4. End Rhyme

Show answer

Answer

 Monosyllabic Rhyme - ‘there’ and ‘hair’ and ‘way’ and ‘say’ are internal single-syllable rhymes.

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Question

What is the difference between monorhyme and monosyllabic rhyme?

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Answer

Monosyllabic rhyme is ‘one syllable’ rhyme in which one-syllable words are rhymed, while monorhyme is ‘one rhyme’ in which there is a singular rhyme between similar words.

Show question

Question

Sandy describes a technique used by Shakespeare in one of his poem’s whereby he rhymes the last syllable of each word with one another. Which two techniques could she be referring to?


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Answer

Syllabic Rhyme

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Question

Match the following rhyme with its technique: Masculine Rhyme, Syllabic Rhyme, Monosyllabic Rhyme, Eye Rhyme


  1. Butter and Bitter

  2. Principle and Disciple

  3. Sit and Hit

  4. Possessed and Confessed

Show answer

Answer

a - Syllabic Rhyme, b - Eye Rhyme, c - Monosyllabic Rhyme, d - Masculine Rhyme

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Question

Correct the incorrect word: In Shakespeare’s works, multisyllabic words are often shortened for the purpose of creating multisyllabic rhyme.

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Answer

should be monosyllabic rhyme, not multisyllabic rhyme.


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Question

True or False: Internal rhyme cannot be monosyllabic, only end rhyme can be.

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Answer

False - Both internal and end rhyme can be monosyllabic.

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Question

Is that an example of an internal monosyllabic rhyme or an end monosyllabic rhyme?: 


The game was ne’er so fair.

Show answer

Answer

Internal monosyllabic rhyme.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is not a monosyllabic rhyme?:

  1. Girl and Hurl

  2. Slip and Grip

  3.  Bit and Sit

  4. Top Gear and Hop Sphere

Show answer

Answer

d) is an example of multisyllabic rhyme that rhymes monosyllabic words.

Show question

Question

Correct the incorrect word: Feminine rhyme uses monosyllabic rhymes frequently to rhyme a single syllable at the end of one line with a single syllable at the end of another line.

Show answer

Answer

Feminine should be Masculine.

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Question

True or False: Monorhyme can occur between multisyllabic words.

Show answer

Answer

True - monorhyme is a single rhyme scheme such as AAAA, which can occur with multisyllabic words.

Show question

Question

What technique is not present in this example?:

I looked down at my shoe

That was stuck to the floor like glue

While distracted by the view

I noticed that my shoe size grew

Show answer

Answer

Monorhyme

Show question

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