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Home » Shakespeare's Works » Elements » Figures of Speech » Figures of Speech by Name » Syllepsis


Syllepsis is type of zeugma that uses a single word, usually a verb but sometimes a noun, to govern or modify two or more other parts of speech. The governing part of speech usually has different meanings or connotations as applied to the words it governs. A syllepsis is different from a zuegma in that the governing word in a syllepsis applies erroneously to at least one of the referenced words. For example, “I drank my wine and crackers.” Crackers are eaten, not drunk. In this website, the general term zeugma will be used, not syllepsis.