Figurative Language Notes
Whenever you describe something by comparing it to something else, you are using figurative language. Use figurative language to make your writing interesting and colorful.
Some Figurative Language Terms:
Simile: uses the words “like” or “as” to directly compare one object or idea with another to suggest they are alike.
Example: busy as a bee, blind as a bat, they fought like cats and dogs, don’t just sit there like a bump on a log.
Metaphor: An indirect comparison between two, unlike things that actually have something important in common. Does not use “like” or “as”.
Example: time is a thief, the world is my oyster, the light of my life, Kathy arrived at the grocery store with an army of children, I was lost in a sea of nameless faces.
Personification: When human characteristics are given to something that is non- human.
Example: the wind howled throughout the night, the blizzard swallowed the town, the delicious dinner tickled my taste buds.
Onomatopoeia: The use of a word to describe or imitate a natural sound or the sound made by an object or an action.
Example: snap, crackle, pop, bang, boom.
• Hyperbole: an extreme exaggeration used to make a point. It is the opposite of an “understatement.” It is from a Greek word meaning “excess.”
Example: I am so hungry I could eat a horse, I have a million things to do, if I can’t buy that new game, I will die, he is older than the hills.
• An idiom: is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.
Example: A chip on your shoulder, raining cats and dogs, break a leg, sick as a dog.