Words or phrases can actually have literal meanings or the other way around. There are two principal methods that describe the meaning of a specific word- the connotations and the denotations.

The words used with a deeper meaning or words used to make flowery content are called connotations. It consists of either embellishing positive or negative associations of words. Also, through this, the feelings exerted in the words are being effectuated.

Example: The term “bloom” means the flowering state or period of flowering. However, using connotations, the term “bloom” can also mean a glow-up or beauty of an individual.

“After their break up, she learned how to love herself even more. Look at her now, she is in bloom.”

On the other hand, denotations convey the same literal meaning of a word that can be seen or read in the dictionary or any wordbook.

Example: The word “mirror” literally means a surface like glass that forms images by reflection.

Jenny always looks at her reflection in the mirror before leaving.”

In the example given, it is shown that the word “mirror” does not convey anything like a double meaning.

To clearly understand the whole concept of connotations and denotations, here is an example through the given sentences:

Sentence 1: “Our teacher asked us to write a reflection paper about COVID-19.”

Sentence 2: “I always look at my reflection on my phone before taking a selfie.”

Both sentences used the term “reflection,” however, it carries a different meaning. In the first sentence, reflection means realization about a certain topic. The word is used with connotations that give a different meaning to the context. In this case, you have to read between the lines in order to understand it correctly. While on the second sentence, the term reflection pertains to its actual meaning which is the image of what you see when you look into a mirror; it used denotations.

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Aerish Gail Oliveros

Reading and writing have become my passion. These hobbies brought me to the next level when I became a part of the Editorial Board as the Literary Editor when I was in 10th grade. I’ve also joined reading and writing contests and I must say that it’s not all about competition. It is an eye-opener that brought changes in my perspectives in life. I learned so many things from writing and it made me see the beauty of unseen things. Until now, reading and writing are my ways of spending my leisure time and it serves as my comfort zone especially when I am facing problems. Although I won’t be able to join contests anymore because of my responsibilities in school as well as my spiritual duties, my love for reading and writing will always stay the same. In fact, it is a God-given talent that I should treasure and be proud of.