Recognizing Figurative LanguageFigurative language Language that means more than what it says on the surface. It usually gives us a feeling about its subject. Poets use figurative language almost as frequently as literal language. When you read poetry, you must be conscious of the difference. Otherwise, a poem may make no sense at all.
What is figurative language?Whenever you describesomething by comparing it withsomething else, you are usingfigurative language.
Types of Figurative Language Imagery Simile Metaphor Alliteration Personification Onomatopoeia Hyperbole Idioms
ImageryLanguage that appeals to the senses.Descriptions of people or objectsstated in terms of our senses. Sight Hearing Touch Taste Smell Her eyelashes were like a the legs of a black widow spider and brushed against my cheek as soft as a babys breath.
SimileA figure of speech which involvesa direct comparison between twounlike things, usually with thewords like or as .The muscles on his brawny arms are strong as iron bands.
MetaphorA figure of speech which involvesan implied comparison betweentwo relatively unlike things. Thecomparison is not announced by like or as . The road was a ribbon wrapped through the mountains.
AlliterationRepeated consonant soundsoccurring at the beginning ofwords or within words. She was wide-eyed and wondering while she waited for Walter to waken.
PersonificationA figure of speech which gives thequalities of a person to an animal,an object, or an idea. The wind yells while blowing. The wind cannot yell. Only a living thing can yell.
OnomatopoeiaThe use of words that mimic sounds. The firecracker made a loud ka-boom!
HyperboleAn exaggerated statement used toheighten effect. It is not used tomislead the reader, but toemphasize a point. She s said so on several million occasions.
IdiomsAn idiom or idiomatic expressionrefers to a construction or expression inone language that cannot be matchedor directly translated word-for-word inanother language."She has a bee in her bonnet," can mean "she isobsessed," and cannot be literally translated intoanother language word for word.