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In rhetoric, antimetabole (// AN-ti-mə-TAB-ə-lee) is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed order; for example, "I know what I like, and I like what I know". It is related to, and sometimes considered a special case of, chiasmus.
An antimetabole can be predictive, because it is easy to reverse the terms. It may trigger deeper reflection than merely stating one half of the line.
- "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno" ("One for all, all for one")
- "Eat to live, not live to eat." —attributed to Socrates
- "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." —John F. Kennedy, "Inaugural Address", January 20, 1961.
- "There is no 'way to peace'. Peace is the way." —Mahatma Gandhi
- "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." —Mark 2:27
- "When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
- "With my mind on my money and my money on my mind." —Snoop Dogg in the song "Gin and Juice"
- "In America, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, Party always finds you!" —Yakov Smirnoff
- "The great object of [Hamlet's] life is defeated by continually resolving to do, yet doing nothing but resolve." —Samuel Taylor Coleridge on William Shakespeare's Hamlet
- "We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. The rock was landed on us." —Malcolm X
- "He was just the man for such a place, and it was just the place for such a man." —Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
- "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" —William Shakespeare, Macbeth
- "And we'll lead, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example." —Joseph R. Biden, "Inaugural Address"
- "All crime is vulgar, just as all vulgarity is crime" —Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
- "I'm hoping that somebody pray for me, I'm praying that somebody hope for me." —JID in the song "Enemy (Imagine Dragons and JID song)"
- Fahnestock, Jeanne (1999). Rhetorical Figures in Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 123–134.
- "Mark 2:23-28 NIV". Bible Gateway.
- "Malcolm X: Speech excerpt "Ballot or the Bullet"".
- Douglass, Frederick (1995). Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. p. 13. ISBN 0-486-28499-9.
- Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Act I, Scene 1, 12.
- "Inauguration Speech". The New York Times. US Capitol. January 20, 2021.
- Wilde, Oscar (2000). The Picture of Dorian Gray. London: Penguin Classics. p. 203.
- Corbett, Edward P.J. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. Oxford University Press, New York, 1971.
- Audio examples of antimetabole at americanrhetoric.com
- Lapidos, Juliet (September 5, 2008). "The Hottest Rhetorical Device of Campaign '08". Slate.com. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
- Lapidos, Juliet (September 19, 2008). "The Old Switcheroo". On The Media. National Public Radio. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
- Antimetabole detector at lingfil.uu.se