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What Is End Rhyme?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 23, 2024
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End rhyme is a type of rhyme that can occur in a story, poem, or song that is created by two or more lines in which the final word or sound in each line rhymes with the other. This is in contrast, for example, to internal rhyme in which two words within a single line rhyme with each other. Such rhyming is often indicated by reviewers of a work by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme. End rhyme is one of the simplest and most common forms of rhyme, and not only stands out to a reader but can be quite enjoyable to read and hear.

Also called a tail rhyme, an end rhyme is a specific type of rhyme that occurs at the end of two or more lines in a poem or song. Though any sort of written work can potentially use this sort of rhyme, since it must occur at the end of a line or sentence, it is most common within the structure of poetry. In a poem, end rhyme occurs when two or more lines have a shared rhyme sound at the end of each line, rather than at the end of a grammatical structure like a sentence.

End rhyme can be quite easy to create. The lines “I had a dog so large and strong / but could not teach him right from wrong” is an example of such rhyming. This would be written in a poem as two separate lines, and the rhyme between each of them may be continued into other lines as well.

Such rhyming is often labeled by others reading or analyzing a poem using letters to indicate each line that rhymes. A poem with the lines “I had a dog / he was quite large / when I went for a jog / he was in charge” uses end rhyme in alternating lines. This would be indicated as an “A, B, A, B” rhyme scheme to show how the pairs of rhymes fit together. End rhyme schemes are quite popular in children’s stories and poetry, since they naturally create a sing-song rhythm.

Internal rhyme, on the other hand, occurs when a single line has two words within it that rhyme. The line “I saw a dog eat like a hog” is an example of internal rhyme. This is used quite commonly in poetry and song writing, as it allows the line to feel shorter and creates a rhythm within the line itself.

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