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What is cataphora and examples

What is cataphora and examples

"I told my father that I couldn't help him" is a phrase that contains a cataphora. Could you identify it? A cataphor is a particle of language that anticipate information which we will get later in the sentence.

In this lesson from a PROFESSOR we are going to explain what is a cataphora and we are going to give you some clear examples of this linguistic resource, so that you can understand it better.

As we have previously pointed out, the cataphora it's a literary resource which is used to designate all those particles in a sentence that refer to a information to be developed later. Let's see it with the example that we have given you in the introduction of this article:

  • I told my father that I couldn't help him: The pronoun "le" is a cataphor. It is advancing the noun phrase "my father" which has not appeared in the sentence so far.

This concept is often studied together to anaphora, which is the same, but the particle refers to someone who has already appeared before in the sentence, that is, an antecedent.

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The word cataphora It comes from the Greek words "kata" meaning downward and "pherein" meaning carrying. That is, the literal meaning of the word cataphora would be "carrying down", as if the particle in question wanted to advance information that is explained further down in the text.

In a text, we can find cataphors that are made up of words of different grammatical categories: pronouns, adverbs or combinations of both. They are used in written, oral, formal and informal language.

What is cataphora and examples - What is cataphora

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we leave you with some examples of cataphors so that you can see how they work in practice and we will explain, to the side, which particle of the sentence they refer to:

  1. "At that table there are new customers, a family with twin children." The phrase "new customers" refers to what follows in the sentence.
  2. "Borges was introduced to me twice: once in his house and once in a theater." The phrase "twice" introduces or prepares the arrival of the information that follows.
  3. "Stand there, by the statue." The pronoun "there" advances the placement "next to the statue"
  4. “I like that we are like this, totally alone.” The pronoun "so" advances the way the speaker likes to be.
  5. "I'm going to give you a book, an anthology of poems." The phrase "a book" advances "an anthology of poems" that is said later.
What is cataphora and examples - 5 examples of cataphora explained for children

we leave you with more examples of cataphors so that you can identify yourself the syntagma of which they advance information. We have marked the cataphora in bold and we have underlined the phrase to which they refer:

  • This is the place, here Michael Jackson was born.
  • That's what we talked about in the previous meeting, about giving everyone the same opportunities.
  • We met twice: once at the restaurant and once at the movies.
  • Those are the only pants left, the blue ones.
  • He ate all that was left, the cake, the sandwiches, and the cookies.
  • That's how I wanted to find you, doing your chores.
  • I almost always go to the park; every weekday, except when it rains.
  • The cup is disputed by two good teams, the reds and the yellows.
  • Stand there for the photo, in the shade of the trees.
  • That is the painting I want to buy.
  • It's better this way, without strangers.
  • Predators serve an important function: controlling the population size of their prey.
  • That is why you have advanced so much, because you practiced.
  • No one is going to scold you, not your father, not your mother, not the teacher.
  • There are two types of living things: autotrophs and heterotrophs.
  • Someone knocked on the door; it was John.
  • Do you regret it now, when we have already signed the contract?
  • That's my grandfather, the man in the beret.
  • This is the book to read, Crime and Punishment.
  • I did well in most of the exams, in mathematics, literature, chemistry and physics.
  • He is quite close, only a few meters away.
  • This is my only wealth, my friends.
  • That's the problem, you get discouraged easily.
  • I gave the bad news to Maria.
  • Those guys are a bad influence, the ones who smoke and are late for class.
  • Few students were congratulated, only those who obtained grades above eight.
  • That's why no one dares to tell you things, because you get angry easily.
  • Those times were terrible for women, both the Middle Ages and antiquity.
What is cataphora and examples - More examples of cataphora

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We propose an exercise so that you can put into practice what you have learned in this lesson. Find the cataphora that is hidden in each sentence and indicates which part of the subsequent sentence it refers to:

  • I said no to Martin.
  • All the elements of the scenery are prepared: the furniture, the lamps, the carpets and the paintings.
  • He showed me something disgusting, a stuffed spider.
  • That's why I don't want to go, because they always waste time.
  • We have to set the table for four: the two of us, dad and mom.
  • He is the winner, the man in the blue shirt.
  • As I had anticipated, we arrived very late.

In this section you will find the solutions to the previous exercise. We recommend that before consulting them, you try to find the answer yourself, since that is the best way to learn.

We have marked you bold the cataphora that is in each sentence and we have underlined the phrase to which it refers:

  • I said no to Martin.
  • All the elements of the scenery are prepared: the furniture, the lamps, the carpets and the paintings.
  • He showed me something disgusting, a stuffed spider.
  • That's why I don't want to go, because they always waste time.
  • We have to set the table for four: the two of us, dad and mom.
  • He is the winner, the man in the blue shirt.
  • As I had anticipated, we arrived very late.

We hope that this lesson has been able to help you understand what is the cataphora and see some practical examples. If you are interested in continuing to learn more about this topic, you cannot consult our grammar and linguistics section.

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