Enumeration Rhetorical Device: Examples, Types & Uses

Enumeration Rhetorical Device: this is a rhetorical device that occurs when a writer chooses to list out items, events, ideas, or other parts of a story/setting. E.g. At the store, I bought salt, pepper, flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. Related terms: Accumulation, catalog, repetition. Enumeration - Definition and Examples - Poem Analysis

Enumeration examples types and uses


Enumeration is a literary device that is based on placing the descriptive components of a sentence, sentence, or paragraph in a successive or cumulative way. For example: “The best thing about going on a trip is the feeling of freedom, landscapes, getting to know new cultures, gastronomy, and museums.” In this article, we will provide you with examples of  Enumeration.

Enumeration is used as a descriptive tool since it allows to exposure of the different features that give shape to an idea or thought. In addition, this literary figure contributes coherence, logic, coordination, and sequence to the discourse. There are different types of enumeration: simple, chaotic, ascending and descending.


The enumeration is a rhetorical figure that consists of enunciating successively the elements that make up a conceptual description. In other words, this literary tool is the continuous or chained sum of the components of a sentence.

Regarding the etymological origin of enumeration, it is known that it comes from the Latin word enumeration. This term is made up of the prefix ex which means “outwards”, by numerous, which is translated as a number, and by the suffix “tion” which is “action and effect”. Meanwhile, it is the action of exposing ideas in the enumeration.

Enumeration types

Enumeration occurs in four different types. Up next, each of the previews is described:


This type of enumeration consists of exposing the elements that make up the statement, sentence, or paragraph in an order that goes from least to greatest according to their importance and meaning.


I go for that which is good, lofty, and sublime.


Chaotic enumeration occurs when the sequential elements of the linguistic statement do not have any type of link between them.


What Pedro enjoys the most is rock, sushi, good fishing, and hiking.


This variety of enumeration focuses on ordering from highest to lowest the descriptive components of sentences or paragraphs according to their preponderance.


Let’s be clear, normally it gives jobs first to doctors, then to magisters, then to graduates, and finally to high school graduates.


It is the most common type of enumeration and consists of successively placing the elements that make up the parts or fragments of a whole.


If we talk about my childhood, we will go to the simple, to the toys, the tacos, the beach, the nets, the boats, the sand, the street dogs, and the fish on the shore, plus nothing.


In relation to the uses of enumeration, this literary resource has space in all genres due to its descriptive and expository nature. In this sense, enumeration is common in novels, short stories, chronicles, essays, and poems. In addition, enumeration is part of oral speeches and daily communication.

Enumeration examples

Below are examples of enumeration.

  • I never stopped counting the seconds, appreciating the minutes, valuing the hours, and yearning for the days. He was alive, it was what was worth the most. (Upward).
  • For some reason, I started to fear trucks, cars, motorcycles, and even bicycles. Everything that could transport me terrified me. (Falling).
  • What could I say about Fernando? He was someone attentive, he liked video games, singing, going fishing with his friends, and studying geography, in short, he was a very well-rounded young man. (Chaotic).
  • Go, walk along the beach, along the boardwalk, through the streets of the town, through the grandmother’s house, through the room from when I was a child, through the life that I remember and that is the life that really remains for me. (Simple).
  • Take the thread, tie the rods, then put glue on the paper and add it to the structure, put the tail on the parrot, the faithful, tie them to the spool of the wick and then throw it flying through the strong air. (Upward).
  • I saw the gannets fly to the level of the sea, the seagulls and the little earworms, each and everyone feeding on the sea. (Falling).
  • I saw her at dawn, I followed her footsteps at dawn, we ate at noon, love surprised us in the afternoon and when night came she went to her town. (Upward).
  • The fisherman dreamed of whales, killer whales, sharks, dolphins, swordfish, dorado, and sardines, all in a magical and giant net that supported them. (Falling).
  • The mechanic was meticulous, but different, he used everything to repair the car … cans, screwdrivers, wires, water pipes, clothespins, even strawberry ice cream … that was total madness.

More examples

  • First I saw millions, then thousands, then hundreds, then only about ten, and, in the end, a simple man, only one, but his hand was enough to destroy the world. (Falling).
  • He’s crazy, as a counselor, as a therapist, as a psychologist, as a psychiatrist. Anyway, it should be checked. (Upward).
  • The street was of everything that can be, it was white, black, high, low, deserted, hyper populated, it was of cats, of dogs, cloudy, sunny, of men, of women, violent and quiet, it was the center of my people … yes, it was everything possible. (Chaotic).
  • The child was very excited, there, in the ice cream parlor, there was a world of chocolate, vanilla, tangerine, lemon, mango, strawberry, kiwi, apple, pear, grape … every possible flavor, every joy. (Simple)
  • From the universe, I choose the Milky Way, from it, I take, the solar system, from there, the Earth, from that planet, the American continent, from that land, Venezuela, from that country, Nueva Esparta, from its three islands, Margarita, and in that place I choose you. (Falling).
  • Of the fish, everything, the body, the scale, the skin, the meat, the bone, and the marrow … I learned to eat everything, every piece of the soul of the sea. (Falling).
  • From the spirit, I went to the soul, from there to the cell, then to the blood, the fire, the flesh, the skin, the entire body, and thus I became a man. (Upward).

We hope you have understood the examples of enumeration.

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