IGCSE English Lesson: Irony


  • To learn about common figures of speech. 
  • To see examples of common figures of speech. 

Often in speech, words aren’t exactly as they seem. This is partly due to figures of speech, which distort or add meaning to a group of words. They can also bring together contradictory words and phrases to make new meanings. Below I have provided examples of the most common figures of speech so that you can recognise them when you are reading or implement them in your own creative writing. 


Verbal irony is the expression of one’s meaning through words that normally mean the complete opposite. This is often done for humourous effect. This verbal form of irony is a very common figure of speech, however, there are two other types that you may come across; situational and dramatic. For an explanation of these terms, watch the informative videos below. 

Situational Irony: 


Verbal Irony: 


Dramatic Irony: 


For common examples of dramatic irony, follow the link below: 


As stressed in these videos, situations that are merely coincidental are often incorrectly deemed ironic. The most popular example of this is in Alanis Morrissett’s song Ironic, in which many of the situations she describes are not ironic. To listen to the song, and to read a parody of the song, follow the links below. 



Last modified: Thursday, 21 September 2017, 3:04 PM