Kinds of Figures of Speech

A figure of speech is used to make a thought more descriptive and imaginative. It is the same as "figurative language"; it paints a more lucid picture for you with the use of poetic words or words that do not portray their literal meaning.

  1. Simile

    • A simile is a figure of speech that compares one noun to another noun, usually with the words "as" or "like." A simile can be as precise or as poetic as you want it to be. Some examples of a simile: "She's as pretty as a rose" and "I slept like a log."

    Metaphor

    • Metaphors also compare one thing to another in terms of a different object or idea, often using the word "is." In a figure of speech, they are plainly stated, to the point and directly said. Examples of metaphors: "Her mind is a prison" and "The man is a devil."

    Hyperbole

    • Hyperbole distorts facts and is meant to exaggerate an idea, making the figure of speech critical, sometimes satirical and oftentimes humorous. "He was as big as a whale" and "I'm as hungry as a hippo" are some examples.

    Oxymoron

    • An oxymoron uses two words that contradict each other in one sentence. These polar opposite words are meant to give obvious hints to the underlying meaning of the sentence. Examples this figure of speech: "Your poetry is bittersweet" and "The room became deafeningly silent."

    Personification

    • This type of figure of speech gives human characteristics to animals, things and ideas. Some examples of personification: "The flowers were grateful for being watered" and "The wind is howling."

    Onomatopoeia

    • Onomatopoeia is a figure of speech that reflects the noise a sound makes. An example of this is "the clock tick-tocks," which describes the sound the ticking of the clock makes and imitates the noise with words. The sounds literally make the meaning in such words as "buzz," "zoom" and "bam."

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