Introduction Authors often use figures of speech in both literature and poetry to enhance their writing. Figures of speech present ordinary things in new or unusual ways. They communicate ideas that go beyond the words’ usual, literal meanings.
Imagery: Descriptive writing that appeals to the senses.
Simile: Comparing two unlike things using like or as.
Metaphor: Comparing two unlike things without using like or as.
Alliteration: Repetition of beginning consonant sounds.
Hyperbole: A major exaggeration or overstatement.
Onomatopoeia: A word that sounds like its meaning.
Personification: Giving human traits or characteristics to something that isn’t human.
Imagery Descriptive writing that appeals to the senses (sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing) Think of it this way: Definition: When a writer uses imagery, the descriptive writing helps create a picture or image in our mind. Imagery = Mental Image
Imagery Example: The bearers bear the bride along like a pearl on a string.
Imagery Another example: The bride skims like a bird on the foam of a stream .
Simile Comparing two unlike things using like or as . Example: Definition: We bear her along like a pearl on a string. The bride and the pearl are unlike things. When you compare the softness of carrying the bride to the softly carried pearl, you are using a simile. Explanation:
Simile More examples: She sways like a flower. She skims like a bird. She hangs like a star. She falls like a tear. His temper was as explosive as a volcano.
Metaphor The definition of a metaphor is similar to the definition of a simile but there is one important difference between the two. There will also be two parts to the definition of a metaphor.
Remember the definition of simile has two parts:
Two unlike things are being compared
The words like or as are used to make the comparison
Metaphor vs. Simile Use the following examples to figure out the definition of metaphor. Simile: Mike is like a teddy bear. Simile: Mike is as soft as a teddy bear. Metaphor: Mike is a teddy bear. Simile: That boy is like a pig. Simile: That boy is as messy as a pig. Metaphor: That boy is a pig.
An implied comparison between two unlike things that actually have something important in common.
The boy was a fish in the water.
Alliteration Take a look at the following examples of alliteration.. Brad wore his blue and brown blazer. She springs like a beam on the brow of the tide. Gaily, O Gaily we glide and we sing. Six swans went swimming in the sea.
Alliteration Have you figured it out yet? Here are more examples to help refine your definition. Alliteration Sue shook her silky silver hair as the sun was setting. NOT Alliteration Elizabeth easily eyed an elephant in the elevator .
You’re Right! Alliteration is the repetition of beginning consonant sounds, such as “ S ix s illy s wans went s wimming in the s ea.” It’s important to note that not every word in the sentence has to begin with the same letter in order for it to be considered alliteration. In the above example, only 5 out of 8 words begin with an “s”.
Hyperbole Think about the following examples of hyperbole. You will later select the best definition for this figure of speech. My backpack weighs a ton.
Hyperbole Another example: The wolf was 100 feet high.
Hyperbole More examples: You could have knocked me over with a feather. I’ve told you a million times!
Hyperbole Hyperbole is a major exaggeration or overstatement. Authors use this figure of speech to emphasize a point or add humor. Example: I nearly died laughing
Onomatopoeia Buzz Ring When you see this: You often hear this: Buzz and ring are both examples of onomatopoeia.
Onomatopoeia Boom Moo Quack When you see this: You often hear this: More examples:
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like its meaning. It can also be described as the use of a word which imitates a sound. Other examples include: screech, whirr, sizzle, crunch, bang, , zap, roar, growl, click, snap, crackle, and pop.
Personification Giving human traits or characteristics to something that isn’t human, such as animals, objects or non-living things Think of it this way: Definition: When a writer uses personification, he or she gives characteristics of a person to an animal, object or thing.
Personification Example: The willow tree shook her long hair. The example is referring to the way that the willow tree’s long branches sway in the wind. By saying “shook her long hair”, the tree is given characteristics of a human. Explanation:
Personification More examples: The car danced across the icy road. The angry clouds marched across the sky. The stars in the clear night sky winked at me. The tulips nodded their heads in the breeze.