Prose comes from the Latin "prosa" which means "straightforward." Prose can be written or spoken and has no formal metrical structure. It is basically ordinary language - the way people speak.
Prose in Nonfiction
Here are examples of prose found in nonfiction sources, such as newspapers, magazines, history books and encyclopedias:
- Some of the exports of Brazil are soybeans, sugar, orange juice and iron ore.
- The cheetah is the fastest land animal.
- Tomorrow we have a sixty percent chance of snow with a high temperature around 34 degrees.
- Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan were married in 1988.
- The population of Rome was 600,000 in 1900 and 3,500,000 in 1990.
- The planets of our solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
- A family trust is formed in order to pass assets to children and other heirs.
Prose in Novels
Here are examples of prose that appear in novels:
- Call me Ishmael. - Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
- It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. 1984 - George Orwell
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
- Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
- You better not never tell nobody but God. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
Prose in Plays
Here are examples of prose that appears in plays:
- All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. "As You Like It" - Shakespeare
- You can be young without money, but you can't be old without it. - "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" - Tennessee Williams
- My love is like a stone tied round my neck; it's dragging me down to the bottom; but I love my stone. I can't live without it. - "The Cherry Orchard" - Anton Chekhov
- In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. - "The Hobbit" - J. R. R. Tolkien
- One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing. - "The Picture of Dorian Gray" - Oscar Wilde
Prose in Speeches
Here are examples of prose in speeches:
- As for the marriage laws, they are due for a sweeping reform, and an excellent beginning would be to wipe the existing ones off the books. - Shirley Chisholm
- You can see that there is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow (of death) again and again before we reach the mountain tops of our desires. - Nelson Mandela
- The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. - Mother Teresa
- I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. - Sir Winston Churchill
- The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Prose in Movies
Here are examples of prose from movies:
- My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. - Forrest Gump
- There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me, 'keep your friends close, but your enemies closer'. - The Godfather: Part II
- Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope. - Star Wars: Episode IV
- If the good Lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn't have invented roller skates. - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
- You are a TOY! You aren't the real Buzz Lightyear. You're - you're an action figure. You are a child's plaything. - Toy Story
- You know what the difference is between you and me? I make this look GOOD. - Men in Black
- He's a man from outer space and we're taking him to his spaceship. - E.T.
Prose in Comedy
Here are examples of prose in comedy:
- Never have more children than you have car windows. - Erma Bombeck
- Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. - Woody Allen
- Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny, but chaos in the midst of order is. - Steve Martin
- You see much more of your children once they leave home. - Lucille Ball
- I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. - Will Rogers
- A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
Prose examples, as you can see, are found in all different types of literature and entertainment.