Expletive is a grammatical construction that begins with phrases like it, here, and there. This rhetorical device normally interrupts ordinary speech and lays emphasis on sure words. It originates from the Latin word explore, which means “to fill.” It performs a syntactic role, however does not contribute to the meaning of a sentence or line. It is also called empty phrases, such as on this sentence, “There are a few guests anticipating you,” in which there are is an expletive word.
Common Use of Expletive
There are seven chairs round that dining table.
It is the director of a company, who keeps the discipline.
There’s a time bomb hidden inside the convention hall.
It is excessive bliss that has Samuel reaching for some other cup of tea.
Examples of Expletive in Literature
Example #1: Pride & Prejudice (By Jane Austen)
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in ownership of a good fortune should be in want of a wife.”
See, the use of it is become no longer important at the start of the sentence, however, it emphasizes the overall effect of this sentence. You can see the expletive phrases in italics.
Example #2: The Nightingale and the Rose (By Oscar Wilde)
“‘Here certainly is the real lover,’ stated the Nightingale. ‘What I sing of, he suffers – what is pleasure to me, to him is pain. Surely Love is a exquisite thing. It is more valuable than emeralds, and costlier than best opals. Pearls and pomegranates can't buy it, nor is it set forth within the marketplace. It may not be bought of the merchants, nor can or not it's weighed out inside the balance for gold.'”
Look in this excerpt wherein Oscar Wilde has used the expletive word here, and the word it's far at the beginning in their respective sentences.
Example #3: A Tale of Two Cities (By Charles Dickens)
“It was the nice of times, it turned into the worst of times, it changed into the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it become the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness … There have been a king with a large jaw and a queen with a simple face, on the throne of England … It turned into the yr of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favoured period, as at this.”
Dickens usually used expletive phrases, it became, and there were, inside the advent of his famous novel A Tale of Two Cities. Though these phrases haven't any semantic motive to serve, they allow him to specific the significance of the ideas, with emphasis on every one.
Example #4: Jane Eyre (By Charlotte Bronte)
“There changed into no opportunity of taking a walk that day. We had been
wandering, certainly, in the leafless shrubbery an hour within the morning …
‘… It is properly I drew the curtain,’ notion I; and I wanted fervently he won't find out my hiding-place.”
Again, in this example, look cautiously on the italicized phrase, there become, at the hole of this extract. The use of this phrase attracts the readers’ attention, to the emphasis and lack of it on other words.
Example #5: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (By S. T. Coleridge)
“There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.”
In this case, Coleridge makes use of the expletive phrase there, to focus on the concept of weary time, and allows readers to cognizance on it, and the issue follows the verb, as opposed to previous the verb.
Example #6: La Belle Dame sans Merci (By John Keats)
“There are four seasons within the thoughts of man:
He has his lusty Spring, whilst fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an clean span…”
Here, using the expletive phrase there are, makes readers word an object—the spring season.
Function of Expletive
An expletive word acts as an operator that allows writers to manipulate their sentences in lots of ways. We see its usage in novels, poetry, prose, journalism, advertisement, and plenty of other kinds of communication. Expletives also serve as filler phrases via which writers shift other phrases to distinct places for emphasis. Hence, they serve a purpose. However, if you use expletives commonly in a text, they will weaken the pleasant of the writing. Another cause in the usage of this construction is to help writers express something in a one-of-a-kind way than a instantly and simple recitation could do.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw