Cohesion: Advanced

Anaphora and cataphora

Anaphora is the use of a word or group of words which refer back to another part of the text. Cataphora is the parallel term for word/words which link forward. As such, they are both important aspects of cohesion.

Many of the examples of cohesion given in the explanation of cohesion were anaphoric references, as backward references are far more common than forward ones. This is usually because the reader/listener has to be introduced to something before a reference can be made to it.

The students were excited about their first encounter with a class. They had prepared carefully but they still didn't know how they would cope in front of thirty hormonal teenagers.

A Serbian man surveyed the remains of his house. The man had lost everything he owned.

Many teachers enjoy being a tutor. And I am one of them!

The fast train to London leaves at 7.57. Two hours later, British Rail permitting, you are in London.

The ladies sipped chilled champagne in the conservatory. In the garden, the men drank beer and talked of little.

Examples of cataphoric references

A classic example of a cataphoric reference is the opening of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' where the truth referred to in the first clause is not explained until later in the sentence.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

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