Syllogism is a type of reasoning. There are two statements made. One is called the "major premise," and the other is called a "minor premise." The major premise is a very general statement. The minor premise gets more specific. Based on the two statements, a conclusion is drawn.
All dogs have four legs. Rover is a dog. Rover has four legs.
This channel only plays shows for children. "Lucky Duck" is a show that comes on this channel. "Lucky Duck" is a show for children.
All birds have two legs and wings. A dove is a bird. A dove has two legs and wings.
Reptiles do not have fur. A crocodile is a reptile. Crocodiles do not have fur.
Examples of Syllogism from Literature and Speech:
All love is wonder; if we justly do
Account her wonderful, why not lovely too? John Donne
1. All love is wonder.
2. She is wonderful.
3. She is lovely.
Three excerpted couplets from "To His Coy Mistress," by Andrew Marvel:
Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime ...
But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near ...
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
1. If we had time, you could be coy.
2. But, time is always passing.
3. So, you don't have time to be coy.
Literary Terms Examples