Persuasive Language Function: Characteristics And Examples

The persuasive function of language is one that has the purpose of influencing the behavior of the recipient of the message and inducing a certain reaction in him.

The persuasive function of language is also known as the appellative function or the conative function, given the implicit intention that the receiver perform or stop doing a particular action.

This function of language is merely oriented towards the receiver and his interaction with the received message. To do this, the sender uses command voices and suggestive questions.

This role is predominant in the field of advertising and marketing. It is also used as a support resource in political speeches.

Characteristics of the persuasive function

In this type of language function, the sender wants to advise, influence or manipulate the receiver so that he or she does just what the sender wants.

To achieve this, imperative, enunciative and interrogative sentences are used. The use of vocatives is also used to specifically mention a person.

Persuasive texts are usually written in the second person. Consequently, the tone of the appellative phrases is personalized, and the personal pronoun “tú” is emphasized at all times.

These are generally short, concise and mandatory sentences, or closed questions that only admit one type of answer. For example, the question “Did you do your homework?” It only supports one type of answer: yes or no.

Resources used in the persuasive function of language

1- Imperative phrases

They are used to enunciate orders and commands. Depending on the context, these phrases are also used in a desirable way; that is, to issue requests or wishes.


«Go do your homework!

2- Vocatives

It refers to the words that are used to designate a person.


In the phrase “Raquel, come here”, the vocative is the name of the person, that is, Raquel.

3- Questions

Each question asks for an answer. Consequently, it is understood that interrogative phrases implicitly require interaction on the part of the receiver.


When asking “have you had dinner?” it is understood that the person asking the question is waiting for the answer as to whether the recipient had dinner or not.

4- Connotations

These are expressions that in addition to a literal meaning, have a figurative or metaphorical meaning. 


Get out of the bubble once and for all!

5- Infinitives

It is a very common resource when giving instructions.


“You must fix the clothes!”

6- Affective elements

They are dissuasive resources that seek to connect with the recipient based on pre-existing emotionality and emotional ties.


“I’m telling you because I love you, that person is not for you!”

7- Evaluative adjectives

These are adjectives that give specific qualities to the noun on which they exercise the valuation action. 


“Those gloves are gigantic, don’t use them.”

Themes of interest

Language functions .

Metalinguistic function of language .

Aesthetic function of language .

Referential function of language .

Emotional function of language .

Poetic function of language .

Types of language .


  1. How to make a text with an appealing function? (2014). Recovered from:
  2. Appellate or Conative Function (2017). Encyclopedia of Examples. Bogota Colombia. Recovered from:
  3. Language Functions (2007). Ministry of Education-Spain. Recovered from:
  4. Language functions: appellative (2012). Santiago de Chile, Chile. Recovered from:
  5. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (2017). Appellate function. Recovered from:

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