Figurative Languages

Figurative Language is the use of words that go beyond their ordinary meaning.  It requires you to use your imagination to figure out the author's meaning. Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language.

Hyperbole- An exaggeration that is so dramatic that no one would believe the statement is true. Tall tales are hyperboles.


He was so hungry, he ate that whole cornfield for lunch, stalks and all.

Simile- A simile uses the words “like” or “as” to compare one object or idea with another to suggest they are alike. 


Mom is as busy as a bee. 

He is as strong as an ox.

Beth dances like a graceful butterfly.

Metaphor- The metaphor states a fact or draws a verbal picture by the use of comparison. A simile would say you are like something; a metaphor is more positive - it says you are something Example:

You are what you eat.

He is a strong ox.

Personification- A figure of speech in which human characteristics are given to an animal or an object.



My dog answered the phone.

My teddy bear gave me a hug.

The pencil jumped off of the desk.

Onomatopoeia- The use of a word to describe or imitate a natural sound or the sound made by an object or an action. Examples:

snap        crackle   pop     crash     boom     swish     tweet

Idioms A phrase which has a meaning that is commonly understood by speakers of the language, but whose meaning is often different from the normal meaning of the words is called an idiom.


A blessing in disguise

Something which seems like a problem, which has an unexpected beneficial effect or becomes an asset to you.

That sprained foot turns out to be a blessing in disguise; you weren"t in the bus crash because of that.

A chip on your shoulder

This is a grudge for a previous experience. It can apply to people, or subjects.

He"s got a real chip on his shoulder about the industry retirement schemes.

Actions speak louder than words

Not passive, active expression of deeds based on opinion or situation. Often relates to a response to debate or indecision.

Actions do speak louder than words. He just went and did that.

A dime a dozen

Common, cheap, substandard. The value is the idiom, which is usually derogatory, reducing the perceived value of something or someone.

People like that are a dime a dozen, always trying to sell you something.

A doubting Thomas

Derived from the New Testament, refers to the Apostle Thomas, famous for asking questions and needing explanations to be convinced.

A true doubting Thomas, he insisted on seeing some proof of the whole idea.

A drop in the ocean

A very small part of something. The statement is used to put things into a perspective, generally as a proportionate statement.

Their revenue is a drop in the ocean, compared to the debts.

A fair-weather friend   A person who"s a friend during the good times, but not the hard times.

Alliteration-The repetition of the same initial letter, sound, or group of sounds in a series of words. Alliteration includes tongue twisters. 


She sells seashells by the seashore. Peter

Piper picked a pack of pickled peppers.

Special Season

Special season: spring
Sweet scents sailing
Beautiful butterflies being
Sensational, so worth seeing
Reach for a ravishing red rose
A dandelion drifting as it blows?
Blissful birds sing in harmony
Making the most magical melody
Searching for summer to appear
Always enjoying the atmosphere

Copyright © 2011 Marinela Reka

posted under Alliteration