Non sequitur

Team English -
Created by: Team English -, Last Updated: April 25, 2024

Non sequitur

Non sequitur means “it does not follow” in Latin. It’s when someone says something that doesn’t make sense with what was said before. Imagine talking about cats and suddenly someone says, “I like pizza.” That’s a non sequitur! It doesn’t fit with the topic. These can be confusing because they don’t follow the conversation. Non sequiturs often pop up in funny or strange ways, but they’re important to notice because they mess up the flow of a discussion. Understanding non sequiturs helps us make sense of conversations and think more clearly.

What is a Non sequitur?

A non sequitur is a statement or argument where the conclusion doesn’t logically follow from the premises. It’s like when someone talks about one thing, then suddenly says something unrelated that doesn’t make sense in the context. For example, discussing the weather and someone suddenly mentions their favorite color. Non sequiturs disrupt logical reasoning and can confuse conversations. Recognizing them helps maintain coherence and clarity in discussions.

Pronunciation of Non sequitur

Non sequitur, a Latin term literally meaning “it does not follow,” is pronounced as \ˌnän-ˈse-kwə-tər\ (non-SEK-wi-tur).

Non sequitur is pronounced as “non sek-wi-ter.

  • Non” is pronounced like “non” in “nonstop.”
  • Se” is pronounced like “say” without the “ay.”
  • Qui” is pronounced like “quee” in “queen.”
  • Tur” is pronounced like “ter” in “term.”

Remember to stress the second syllable: “sek-wi-ter.

Using phonetics: /nɒn ˈsɛkwɪtər/

Types of Non sequitur

  1. Random Statements: Statements that are completely unrelated to the previous topic or context. Example: “The sun is shining. I need to buy some new shoes.”
  2. Red Herring: Introducing a distraction or irrelevant topic to divert attention from the main issue. Example: “You should vote for me because I volunteer at a soup kitchen. By the way, have you seen the latest movie?”
  3. Appeal to Emotion: Using an emotional appeal that doesn’t logically support the argument. Example: “We must pass this bill to help the children. By the way, did you know my opponent’s favorite color is blue?”
  4. Faulty Cause and Effect: Assuming a cause-and-effect relationship without logical support. Example: “I ate carrots yesterday, and today it’s raining. Carrots must cause rain!”
  5. Non Sequitur in Comedy: Deliberate use of absurd or unrelated statements for comedic effect. Example: “I asked for a glass of water, not a bucket of tears!”

When Do We Use Non sequitur?

  • Informal Conversations and Comedy:
    • Non sequiturs are often used in casual conversations among friends or family.
    • They add humor or surprise by introducing unexpected or irrelevant topics.
    • In comedy, non sequiturs can create absurd or surreal humor, breaking the expected flow of conversation.
  • Creative Writing and Artistic Expression:
    • Writers and artists may use non sequiturs to challenge traditional narrative structures.
    • They can disrupt linear storytelling to evoke a sense of disorientation or ambiguity.
    • In artistic contexts, non sequiturs may contribute to surrealism, symbolism, or avant-garde aesthetics.
  • Formal Settings and Logical Arguments:
    • Non sequiturs are generally avoided in formal discussions, debates, or presentations.
    • They weaken the logical coherence of arguments by introducing irrelevant or illogical statements.
    • In logical reasoning, sticking to relevant premises and conclusions is crucial for clarity and persuasiveness.

How to Use Non sequiturs in Writing

Using non sequiturs in writing can add a unique flair to your work, but it’s essential to use them strategically to maintain coherence and engage your readers effectively. Here’s how to use non sequiturs in writing:

  1. Create Surprise or Humor:
    • Introduce non sequiturs to catch your readers off guard and add an element of surprise.
    • Use them in comedic writing to create absurd or unexpected situations that provoke laughter.
  2. Establish Character Quirks:
    • Incorporate non sequiturs into dialogue to characterize eccentric or quirky personalities.
    • Show how characters think or speak in unconventional ways, adding depth to their characterization.
  3. Challenge Conventional Narrative:
    • Experiment with non-linear storytelling by inserting non sequiturs to disrupt the traditional narrative structure.
    • Use them to create ambiguity or disorientation, encouraging readers to interpret the text in multiple ways.
  4. Convey Theme or Mood:
    • Employ non sequiturs to convey themes such as existentialism, absurdity, or surrealism.
    • Use them to evoke specific moods or emotions, such as confusion, alienation, or whimsy.
  5. Maintain Balance and Coherence:
    • Integrate non sequiturs judiciously to ensure they enhance rather than detract from the overall narrative.
    • Use them sparingly to prevent the writing from becoming disjointed or confusing for readers.
  6. Consider Context and Audience:
    • Tailor the use of non sequiturs to fit the genre, tone, and intended audience of your writing.
    • Be mindful of cultural references and context to ensure non sequiturs resonate with readers.

Synonyms & Antonyms of Non sequitur

Synonyms & Antonyms of Non sequitur
Irrelevant remarkRelevant argument
Logical fallacyLogical reasoning
Inconsequential statementPertinent point
Tangential commentCoherent argument
Unrelated assertionConnected conclusion
Illogical conclusionLogical inference


  1. Irrelevant remark: A statement that doesn’t relate to the topic being discussed.
  2. Logical fallacy: An error in reasoning that makes an argument invalid.
  3. Inconsequential statement: A comment that doesn’t have any importance or relevance to the discussion.
  4. Tangential comment: A remark that goes off-topic or doesn’t directly address the main point.
  5. Unrelated assertion: Making a claim that has no connection to the current topic.
  6. Illogical conclusion: Drawing a conclusion that doesn’t logically follow from the information provided.


  1. Relevant argument: An argument or statement that is directly related to the topic under discussion.
  2. Logical reasoning: Using sound logic and evidence to support an argument or conclusion.
  3. Pertinent point: Making a point that is relevant and applicable to the current discussion.
  4. Coherent argument: Presenting a well-organized and logical argument that flows smoothly from one point to the next.
  5. Connected conclusion: Drawing a conclusion that logically follows from the information presented.
  6. Logical inference: Making a logical deduction or conclusion based on the available evidence or premises.

Examples of Non sequitur in Real life

  1. During a Political Debate: “The candidate promises to improve healthcare. By the way, did you know they have a pet dog?”
  2. In a Classroom Discussion: “We’re learning about World War II. Oh, I love pizza for lunch!”
  3. During a Work Meeting: “Let’s discuss the quarterly sales report. Speaking of sales, has anyone seen the latest movie?”
  4. In a Conversation with Friends: “We were talking about the weather. Did you see the new painting I bought?”
  5. During a TV Interview: “The actor discusses their upcoming film. Suddenly, they start talking about their favorite childhood toy.”
  6. In a Public Speech: “The speaker discusses environmental issues. Suddenly, they mention their favorite vacation spot.”
  7. During a Job Interview: “The interviewer asks about your qualifications. Suddenly, they ask if you like sushi.”
  8. In a Social Media Comment Thread: “The discussion is about climate change. Suddenly, someone comments about their favorite TV show.”
  9. In a Family Dinner Conversation: “The family is discussing vacation plans. Suddenly, someone brings up a funny story from their childhood.”
  10. In a Customer Service Call: “The customer is reporting a problem with their internet connection. Suddenly, they start talking about their favorite book.”

Examples of Non sequitur in Politics

  1. During a Political Debate: “The candidate discusses economic policies. Suddenly, they bring up their opponent’s choice of clothing.”
  2. In a Press Conference: “The government official addresses national security concerns. Suddenly, they start talking about their favorite sports team.”
  3. In a Political Speech: “The politician outlines their plan for education reform. Suddenly, they mention a recent vacation they took.”
  4. In a Campaign Rally: “The candidate talks about healthcare. Suddenly, they make a joke about the weather.”
  5. During a Legislative Session: “Lawmakers discuss a proposed bill on tax reform. Suddenly, one of them brings up their favorite movie.”
  6. In a Political Advertisement: “The ad focuses on immigration policy. Suddenly, it shows the candidate playing with their pet dog.”
  7. During a Town Hall Meeting: “Citizens voice concerns about infrastructure. Suddenly, someone starts talking about their favorite hobby.”
  8. In a Policy Discussion: “Experts analyze environmental regulations. Suddenly, one of them starts talking about their favorite food.”
  9. During a Press Briefing: “The spokesperson addresses foreign policy issues. Suddenly, they mention a recent celebrity scandal.”
  10. In a Political Interview: “The politician discusses healthcare reform. Suddenly, they start talking about their personal fitness routine.”

Examples of Non sequitur in Sentence

  1. The cat meowed loudly, and then the sun rose.
  2. She forgot her umbrella, therefore the sky turned gray.
  3. He studied hard for the exam, but the coffee was cold.
  4. They went to the beach, and the car needed gas.
  5. I love chocolate cake, yet the moon is bright tonight.
  6. The dog barked incessantly, so the doorbell rang.
  7. We sang songs around the campfire, however the stars disappeared behind the clouds.
  8. She laughed at the joke, while the flowers bloomed in the garden.
  9. He danced in the rain, meanwhile the clock struck midnight.
  10. They traveled the world, although the map was upside down.

Examples of Non sequitur in literature

  1. In a moment of despair, he gazed at the stars, pondering the meaning of life.
  2. As the battle raged on, the hero suddenly thought about his favorite childhood toy and smiled.
  3. Amidst the chaos of war, the protagonist found solace in a field of daisies and hummed a tune.
  4. In the midst of her grief, she noticed a butterfly fluttering by and felt a sense of peace.
  5. As the storm approached, the old man reminisced about his youth and chuckled softly.
  6. In the heat of the moment, the detective paused to admire the sunset and felt a pang of nostalgia.
  7. While facing imminent danger, the adventurer remembered a joke from his childhood and laughed out loud.
  8. In the depths of despair, the heroine found a glimmer of hope in a passing cloud and smiled through her tears.
  9. As the world crumbled around him, the poet found inspiration in a blade of grass and penned a verse.
  10. Amidst the turmoil of revolution, the philosopher contemplated the flight of a bird and found peace in its freedom.

Examples of Non sequitur in Movies

  1. During a Suspenseful Scene: The protagonist is being chased by villains, and suddenly they start discussing their favorite flavor of ice cream.
  2. In a Romantic Moment: The couple is sharing a passionate kiss, and then one of them mentions their pet goldfish.
  3. During a Climactic Battle: The heroes are fighting against the antagonist, and out of nowhere, one of them starts reciting a recipe for spaghetti.
  4. In a Comedy Movie: The characters are engaged in a hilarious prank war, and then they break into a spontaneous song about cheese.
  5. During a Dramatic Monologue: The villain is delivering a menacing speech, and suddenly they start talking about their childhood pet hamster.
  6. In a Thriller: The tension is high as the protagonist tries to defuse a bomb, and then they start discussing their plans for the weekend.
  7. During a Heist Scene: The thieves are executing a daring robbery, and suddenly one of them starts telling a joke about chickens.
  8. In a Sci-Fi Movie: The characters are exploring an alien planet, and out of nowhere, they start debating the best type of pizza toppings.
  9. During a Horror Film: The protagonist is being chased by a terrifying monster, and suddenly they stop to admire a beautiful flower.
  10. In an Action Movie: The hero is engaged in a fierce battle, and then they start singing a lullaby to their injured comrade.

Examples of Non sequitur in Advertising

  1. Advertisement for a Car: The commercial shows the sleek design and features of the vehicle, and then suddenly switches to a scene of people dancing in the rain.
  2. Advertisement for a Beauty Product: The ad highlights the benefits of the skincare product, and then unexpectedly transitions to a shot of a tropical beach.
  3. Advertisement for a Food Brand: The commercial showcases delicious recipes made with the brand’s products, and then includes a scene of a family playing with puppies.
  4. Advertisement for a Smartphone: The ad demonstrates the phone’s advanced technology and capabilities, and then cuts to a group of friends having a picnic in the park.
  5. Advertisement for a Clothing Brand: The commercial features models wearing the latest fashion trends, and then shifts to a scene of people riding bicycles in the countryside.
  6. Advertisement for a Fitness App: The ad shows people working out and tracking their progress with the app, and then includes footage of a sunset over the ocean.
  7. Advertisement for a Home Cleaning Product: The commercial highlights the product’s effectiveness in removing stains and dirt, and then shows a family having a barbecue in their backyard.
  8. Advertisement for a Travel Agency: The ad promotes vacation destinations and package deals, and then includes footage of a child blowing bubbles in a garden.
  9. Advertisement for a Financial Service: The commercial emphasizes the benefits of saving money and planning for the future, and then features a group of friends having a bonfire on the beach.
  10. Advertisement for a Pet Food Brand: The ad showcases the nutritional value of the pet food and its positive impact on pets’ health, and then includes a scene of a couple dancing in the kitchen with their dog.

How to identify a Non sequitur?

Identify non sequiturs by spotting statements or arguments that lack logical connection to the preceding context or fail to follow a coherent line of reasoning.

What is another term for Non sequitur?

Another term for non sequitur is “irrelevant remark” or “illogical conclusion.”

How do you use Non sequitur in a sentence?

In a sentence, you might say, “The conversation was about politics, but then he mentioned his favorite color out of nowhere, making it a non sequitur.”

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