MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

368 views

What's the difference between sarcasm and irony?

Sarcasm and irony are very popular tones used in many and all forms of literary texts, yet there is a lot of confusion as to which is which - however the distinction between the two is actually quite easy! Firstly, you should think of irony as an overarching technique used by writers to enhance their writing, and sarcasm is simply a specific form of irony. Whilst irony can be situational (ie. ending up in the one place you said you'd never return to), dramatic (used a lot in plays - means a situation in which the audience knows something the characters on stage don't), or verbal, sarcasm is strictly verbal. Furthermore, sarcasm's main goal is to ridicule or attack someone, whilst irony is not necessarily mean spirited at all.  Let's try some examples:

a) Person A: "I'm going to join the gym this year!" Person B: "Great idea! That worked out so well last year!"

This example would be sarcasm; Person A is being mocked by Person B.

b) A parking enforcement officer gets a parking ticket.

This is an example of situational irony. It's not attacking anyone (so can't be sarcasm), yet still displays irony.  

Dana C. 11 Plus English tutor, GCSE English tutor, A Level English tu...

7 months ago

Answered by Dana, an IB English tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

5 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£36 /hr

Jack Robert C.

Degree: PhD French Philosophy and German Literature (Doctorate) - Durham University

Subjects offered:English, Politics+ 2 more

English
Politics
Philosophy
History

“The beckoning of an authentic life shattered my soul around the age of twelve, falling into anabyss where the light of Philosophy and study of the academic disciplines redeemed my existence and became my redemption. I am now happy in ...”

Elizabeth P. IB English tutor, IB English and World Literature tutor,...
£24 /hr

Elizabeth P.

Degree: English and Philosophy (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered:English, English and World Literature+ 3 more

English
English and World Literature
English Literature
English Language
Biology

“Whatever you are struggling with – grammar, key ideas, texts, structuring, or simply boredom – we can beat it together.”

Natalia C. GCSE English Literature tutor, IB English Literature tutor...
£22 /hr

Natalia C.

Degree: Theatre and English (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:English, Mandarin+ 4 more

English
Mandarin
History
English Literature
Drama
-Personal Statements-

“I am a joint-honours Theatre and English student at the University of Bristol. My passion within and beyond the faculty of arts is one I hope to share with others through my commitment as a tutor. I am friendly, enthusiastic and versa...”

About the author

Dana C.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Psychology & Linguistics (Bachelors) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered:English, Maths+ 3 more

English
Maths
French
English Literature
English Language

“Hi! My name is Dana, I am from Brussels, Belgium and I am a second year Psychology and Linguistics student at the University of Edinburgh. I absolutely  love languages - be it learning them or teaching them. I speak three languages flu...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Dana

What is a semantic field?

What's the difference between sarcasm and irony?

Other IB English questions

How do I approach an unseen poem or extract in an exam context?

How should I structure my essay?

How can I write a good introduction?

Using two or more of your drama texts, assess the ways in which the playwrights portray the human condition.

View IB English tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok