Chiasmus examples with Characteristics


The chiasmus is a rhetorical element consisting of repeating a phrase, but placing its components in inverted order. The repeated phrase is placed right next to the original and generates an impact on the reader, which leads to rethink and reflect on what the author wanted to convey. Chiasmus it characteristics and examples

Speaking simply about chiasm, it allows an “AB” phrase to be presented in the “BA” form. A simple example would be: “Humanity must end war or war will end humanity.” There you can clearly see an exchange or cross position of ideas, and they maintain the sense of what you want to express.

The etymological origin of chiasmus is found in the Greek word chiasmos , which translates as “disposition to cross”. It should be borne in mind that when exchanging the components of a sentence, reference is also made to another rhetorical element of duplication which is called a “pun”.


Chiasm is characterized by the following aspects:

– It is a rhetorical figure of repetition commonly used in prose, although it has also been cultivated in poetry.

– It exposes in a cross way the order of the components of two syntactic structures.

– Modifying the order of the words that are repeated should not alter the meaning of the sentence .

– The chiasm has the purpose of emphasizing an idea to produce reflection and also presents the possibility of observing an event from two different points of view. Chiasmus it characteristics and examples

– It is common for it to be presented in the following way in poetry: “noun adjective, adjective noun”. Example: “Beautiful Maria, beautiful Maria.”

Examples of chiasmus

Short examples

  1. – Some interfere without wanting to, others interfere because they want to.
  2. – Is the room messy or am I the mess in the room?
  3. – Do not expect life to bear fruit, be the fruit that life awaits.
  4. – Don’t wonder what will happen tomorrow, tomorrow will happen so don’t ask yourself.
  5. – The night usually transforms me and I usually transform at night.
  6. – The day hurts and I hurt the day. Chiasmus it characteristics and examples
  7. – Sometimes I eat vegetables, I eat vegetables sometimes.
  8. – Does Pepe have freckles, or do freckles have Pepe?
  9. – Sometimes I laugh so as not to cry, and other times I cry so as not to laugh.
  10. – Banana trees loaded, yellow pastures.
  11. – Leave, what for? I would miss you. I would miss you, why leave?
  12. – Rich and juicy sausages, soft and warm breads.
  13. – Marine waters, goldfish.
  14. – Red apples, leafy tree.
  15. – Do not feed him, teach him to get food.

Examples with authorship

  1. – “We have seen how a man can be a slave; now we will see how a slave can be made man ”. Frederick Douglass.
  2. – “When I want to cry I don’t cry and sometimes I cry without meaning to.” Pablo Neruda.
  3. – “Loaded fruit trees, golden wheat fields”. Manuel Machado.
  4. – “That we never negotiate because we fear. But let us never fear to negotiate ”. John F. Kennedy.
  5. – “And he asked the oleander and the juco he asked.” Emilio Prados.
  6. – “It gives fortune goods that are not written: when you whistle flutes, when you whistle flutes.” Gongora.

Other examples

  1. – “Put beauties in my understanding and not my understanding in beauties.”
  2. – The piety of man can be questioned, but the piety of man cannot be denied.
  3. – “Being kissed by a cheater is stupid; being fooled by a kiss is worse ”.
  4. – The war has tried to erase the men, even so, the man does not try to erase the war.
  5. – “And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to eternal life and others to shame and eternal damnation.”
  6. – The homeland lives within one, even if one does not live within the homeland.
  7. Life expects a lot from me, but I don’t expect much from life.
  8. – The dog barked and bit the drunk and the drunk bit and barked at the dog.
  9. – Some stop time, and time stops some. Chiasmus it characteristics and examples
  10. – The sea was the excuse to make poetry, and poetry became an excuse to go to the sea.
  11. – I had company when I wanted to be alone, now that I am alone I want company.
  12. – Give your life and all the rest, not be even a remainder of everything that life gives.
  13. – You forget what you want to remember and remember what you want to forget.
  14. – When I try to remember I can’t, but when I remember I have done it without trying.
  15. – When I had a girlfriend I didn’t have money, now that I have money I don’t have a girlfriend.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button