Figures of Speech: Hyperbole

Figures of Speech: Hyperbole

Our much-demanded blog series on English Grammar- Figures of Speech is finally here. Figures of speech come in many varieties. The aim is to use the language inventively to accentuate the effect of what is being said. Our online English tutors will provide weekly in-depth articles to help you understand them in as simple words as possible.

Most online English speaking courses in India will offer comprehensive courses that simply introduce Figures of Speech as a concept. This is primarily on account of Figures of speech being promoted for Advanced English levels only. Though they are tricky to use, we at Speechify recommend that our students learn these phrases to get that extra “edge” or dramatic effect in their English speaking abilities.

Online Spoken English classes will generally cover them in Grammar function lessons. However, we recommend that learners should attempt learning basic definitions and must be able to identify one from the other. Regular practice and learning as many examples as possible is one way you can begin your learning journey.

What are Figures of Speech?

A figure of speech is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetorical effect. Thus, “Figuratively” these phrases add colour, imagination and make our conversations interesting as opposed to literal language.

For example- She speaks very fast- Literal versus She speaks like a parrot- Figurative

Thus, without knowing Figures of speech you will find it tough to follow what people are saying or even present your ideas in a captivating manner. Many a times you will also see that proficient English speakers will invent newer phrases on the go and this has given rise to different types of Figures of Speech.

Let us list down few here:

alliteration, 

antithesis,

apostrophe,

hyperbole,

irony,

onomatopoeia,

paradox,

pun,

simile

Today, in our online English classes, we shall be learning about the Hyperbole, its definitions and examples.

What is a hyperbole?

Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. In rhetoric, it is also sometimes known as “auxesis”. In poetry and speech, it emphasizes, evokes strong feelings, and creates strong impressions. As a figure of speech, it is usually not meant to be taken literally.

Hyperbole has been considered the best tool in political speeches, children’s stories, poems, movies, and public addresses. Hyperbole has been used for creating impact and emphasis on the message to be conveyed to the listeners, addressees, or readers. In all these ways, hyperbole has roused, influenced minds and thought processes.

We hear, listen, observe, and find many people around us who are making great impressions and impactful communications with hyperbole, which ultimately work as trend-setters. Speechify, the best online English speaking course in India, is here to help you with learning few basics to get started with.

Use of Hyperbole in Literature:

Whether it is reading or speaking, hyperbole has been dominating for ages now. You can very well understand the impact of it by simply reading the below usage in literature as well as regular communication.

As an online English teacher, one has to understand the importance of knowing such a commonly and effectively used figure of speech as hyperbole.

The emphasis on what we wish to convey or address has not been seen without the use of hyperbole in the past, present, and no doubt in the future as well.

It is highly present in children’s fairy tales and legends. Writers like Shakespeare have used hyperbole to impress young minds from time to time. If you are unfamiliar with hyperboles, it will be difficult to understand a book or a story. For example: "The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars/As daylight doth a lamp."

Examine the differences between the basic and hyperbolic sentences below-

Without exaggeration, -The annual day programme is taking a long time; please leave now or we will be late.

This new sandal is hurting my feet.

With exaggeration, -The annual day programme is taking forever; please leave now or we will be late.

This new sandal is killing my feet.

Here we recommend the implementation of Hyperbole with examples-

  1. My children are so starving that they could even eat a horse.
  2. That dress is amazing and looks like it cost a million dollars.
  3. I love my family to the moon and back.
  4. He means to say that he is buried under a mountain of work nowadays.
  5. I felt like dying of thirst.
  6. His dog is quite adorable and, in my opinion, the cutest thing alive.
  7. She loves him more than life itself.
  8. All his luggage weighs a ton.
  9. The competition for the team leader position at my office is going to be the death of me.
  10. After a family wedding function, I felt like I could sleep for a week.
  11. The lyrics to this song are the worst thing I have ever heard.
  12. This room is so cold that I’m getting hypothermia.
  13. My brother is addicted to video games.
  14. Our English teacher is well dressed and is more beautiful than the moon and stars.
  15. I've told you a million times to keep your files organized.
  16. The weather is extremely cold and polar bears are just roaming outside.
  17. She’s so funny and believes everything like Taco Bell is a Mexican phone company for her.
  18. I have a million chores to finish at home today, so I must leave early.
  19. One day when buses were on strike, I had to walk 15 miles to school uphill, in the snow.
  20. I had a tonne of projects to complete this week.
  21. If I don’t find the perfect dress for today’s function, I’ll die!
  22. I could not see the number of the car as it just zoomed faster than the speed of light.
  23. His new house is pretty expensive and cost a bazillion dollars.
  24. The watchman is old and so poor that he does not have two cents to rub together.
  25. This is a joke I've heard many times before; I think I even rode a dinosaur once.
  26. They ran like greased lightning.
  27. He can flaunt his new car. After all, he has got tonnes of money.
  28. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
  29. Sometimes she does not understand anything. I believe she has a brain the size of a pea.
  30. Our geography teacher’s hair is grey. He must be older than the hills.
  31. After a long day, I literally slept like a rock last night.
  32. I am never comfortable wearing high heels. They simply kill me.
  33. Be alert and careful, it’s a dense forest out there.
  34. My cousin is just one year old and she is light as a feather.
  35. I’m drowning in formalities as I move abroad.
  36. Household chores are quite tedious and there are a million other things to do.
  37. My grandfather is quite old and now he simply walks as slow as a turtle.
  38. First, he delayed the work and now he is running around like a chicken without a head.
  39. It is not safe as the winds are blowing as a hurricane.
  40. My bag after receiving so many gifts at last year's festival weighs a ton.
  41. Sleeping is my hobby and I can sleep a million years.
  42. I was so well prepared for the test that I actually found it to be the easiest test in the world.
  43. My mom loves cooking so much that she can easily prepare food to feed an army.
  44. He drives his car faster than a speeding bullet.
  45. I love my younger brother to the moon and back.
  46. I am on cloud nine after getting car as a gift from my parents.
  47. When I met my husband, we almost had fireworks in our eyes.
  48. I can smell sweet cookies from a mile away.
  49. Tea was so hot that my ears were smoking.
  50. Cry me a river.
  51. Due to my untidy dress, whole class was staring at me.
  52. I have worn this dress a thousand times.
  53. I would move mountains for my favourite ice-cream.
  54. My maid was so poor that she did not have two cents to rub together.
  55. You knocked this project out of the park.
  56. I would walk 500 miles if I could get to see my favourite actor.
  57. If you have that, your tongue will fall off.
  58. His onion and garlic breath could knock over an elephant.
  59. To make my family happy, I’d go to the ends of the earth.
  60. I could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far.
  61. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before."

The communication world is incomplete without the mention of Hyperbole. We would surely recommend learning, understanding, and using these words in your conversation.

Related Article: Onomatopoeia | Simile & Metaphor | Alliteration | Antithesis | Apostrophe

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