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VILLANUEVA, Karriel Mae S.


Types of Figurative Language

Simile- A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing

similarities between two different things. Unlike a metaphor, a simile draws
resemblance with the help of the words like or as. Therefore, it is a direct


Her cheeks are red like a rose.

The boys in the playing field were feeling as happy as dogs with two tails.
The beggar on the road looked as blind as a bat.

Metaphor- is a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied, or

hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated, but which share
some common characteristics. In other words, a resemblance of two
contradictory or different objects is made based on a single or some common


Words are daggers when spoken in anger.

Her dance is a great poem.
My brother was boiling mad. (This implies he was too angry.)

Personification- is a figure of speech in which a thing an idea or an animal is

given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way
that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. For example, when
we say, The sky weeps, we are giving the sky the ability to cry, which is a
human quality. Thus, we can say that the sky has been personified in the given


Look at my car. She is a beauty, isnt she?

The wind whispered through dry grass
The shadow of the moon danced on the lake.
Onomatopoeia- is defined as a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a
thing. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described, making the
description more expressive and interesting.

Examples: The sack fell into the river with a splash.

The books fell on the table with a loud thump.
The rustling leaves kept me awake.

Oxymoron- is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to

create an effect. The common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an
adjective proceeded by a noun with contrasting meanings, such as cruel
kindness, or living death.

The green pasture surrounded by hills was teeming with a deafening
The political scientist was asked to give his unbiased opinion on the
current issue.
The CEO of a multinational company said, We have been awfully
lucky to have survived the disastrous effects of the recent economic

Hyperbole- derived from a Greek word meaning over-casting, is a figure of

speech that involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis.


The old man was older than the Himalayas.

The mule is able to lift tons of weight uphill.
His classmates laughed at him, saying he had a pea-sized brain.

Allusion- is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of

historical, cultural, literary or political significance. It does not describe in detail
the person or thing to which it refers. It is just a passing comment and the writer
expects the reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the allusion and grasp
its importance in a text.

This place is like a Garden of Eden. This is a biblical allusion to the
garden of God in the Book of Genesis.
Hey! Guess who the new Newton of our school is? Newton, means a
genius student, alludes to a famous scientist Isaac Newton.
Stop acting like my ex-husband please. Apart from scholarly allusions
we refer to common people and places in our speech
Idiom- refers to a set expression or a phrase comprising two or more words. An
interesting fact regarding the device is that the expression is not interpreted
literally. The phrase is understood as to mean something quite different from
what individual words of the phrase would imply.


Break a Leg when you go on stage. (do a good job in the performance)
You just hit the nail on the head. (said something accurate)
Dont let the cat out of bag. (tell a secret)

Imagery- means to use figurative language to represent objects, actions, and

ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses.


The beacons of moonlight bathed the room in ethereal light.

The wild gusts of cold wind pierced her body.
The burger, aromatic with spices, made his mouth water in anticipation of
the first bite.

Symbolism- is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them
symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.


You have a sixth sense like an owl. (Owl symbolizes wisdom.)

You work like an ox. (The ox symbolizes hard work and stamina.)
When he saw a bat in dream, he grew white with fear. (Bats are the
symbol of death.)

Alliteration- is derived from Latins Latira. It means letters of alphabet. It is a

stylistic device in which a number of words, having the same first consonant
sound, occur close together in a series.


The Scotch and Sirloin

But a better butter makes a batter better.
A big bully beats a baby boy.
Assonance- takes place when two or more words, close to one another repeat
the same vowel sound, but start with different consonant sounds.

Examples: Go and mow the lawn.

Johnny went here and there and everywhe
The engineer held the steering to steer the vehicle.

Consonance- refers to repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a

sentence or phrase. This repetition often takes place in quick succession such as
in pitter, patter.


The ship has sailed to the far off shores.

She ate seven sandwiches on a sunny Sunday last year.
Shelley sells shells by the seashore

Metonymy- It is a figure of speech that replaces the name of a thing with the
name of something else with which it is closely associated. We can come across
examples of metonymy both from literature and in everyday life.


England decides to keep check on immigration. (England refers to the

The pen is mightier than the sword. (Pen refers to written words and sword
to military force.)
The Oval Office was busy in work. (The Oval Office is a metonymy as it
stands for people at work in the office.)

Synecdoche- is a literary device in which a part of something represents the

whole or it may use a whole to represent a part.


The term coke is a common synecdoche for all carbonated drinks.

Pentagon is a synecdoche when it refers to a few decision makers.
The word glasses refers to spectacles.
Irony- is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their
intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also
be a situation that ends up in quite a different way than what is generally


A vehicle was parked right in front The CEO of a big tobacco company
said he did not smoke.
The fear of long words is called Hippopotomonstrosesquippedalio
of the no-parking sign.

Litotes- derived from a Greek word meaning simple, is a figure of

speech which employs an understatement by using double negatives or, in
other words, positive statement is expressed by negating its opposite


I cannot disagree with your point of view.

William Shakespeare was not a bad playwright at all.
He is not the cleverest person I have ever met.

Anaphora- In writing or speech, the deliberate repetition of the first part of the
sentence in order to achieve an artistic effect is known as Anaphora.


An apple fell on the head of a peasant, but he couldnt grasp the laws
of motion.
The search party barely got to the middle of the desert, when a storm
overtook it.
The film was based on a true story, but it failed to get viewers attention.