Difference Between Assonance and Alliteration and Consonance

Assonance vs Alliteration vs Consonance

The difference between assonance, alliteration, and consonance basically lies in the use of vowels, consonants, and the placement of the similar sounding alphabets inside words in a line of the poem.


Poets use certain tricks while choosing words in the poems to make their poems more fluid and appealing to the ears of the listener or the reader. These elements of a poem are talked in terms of alliteration, assonance, and consonance and the primary motive of all three is to make the poem more appealing and interesting to the listener. Students learning poetry often remain confused between these three elements of poetry. This article attempts to find out the differences between assonance, consonance, and alliteration.


This is the practice of choosing words that begin with the same letter, to produce similar sounds consecutively. The classic example of alliteration is found in the tongue twister she sells sea shells by the seashore. Here, you can see that the writer has cleverly used the sounds s and sh multiple times to make the rhyme very appealing to the listener. The thing to remember with alliteration is that the similar sounds are produced at the start of the words that are used in succession.


This is a sound effect that is created using several words containing same vowel. Such words are used in succession, in the poetry to make for an interesting reading. Take a look at the following example.

The black bat sat on the back porch.

In this example, the use of the sound b with the first two words black and bat serves as an example of alliteration. Finally, the sounds ck in black and back create the consonance effect as these are not vowel but consonant sounds that are similar and are produced at the ends of the words that are in close proximity.


This practice tries to produce the same effect on the listener as is produced through assonance with the difference being the use of consonants rather than vowels. In consonance, just a single repletion of the sound is enough to create the effect.

What is the difference between Assonance and Alliteration and Consonance?

• Assonance is recurrence of vowel sounds in a sentence in a poem in words that do not rhyme.

• Alliteration is the repletion of similar sounds at the start of words that are in a single sentence in a poem.

• Consonance is similar to alliteration, but the similar sounds are produced, not at the start, but in the middle or at the end of the words.

• If the repeated sounds are at the start of words, it is alliteration; otherwise, it is consonance.

• The difference between assonance, consonance, and alliteration basically lies in the use of vowels, consonants, and the placement of the similar sounding alphabets inside words in a line of the poem.