Figures of Speech- Metaphor versus Simile

Figures of Speech- Metaphor versus Simile

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 color, 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:

  1. alliteration,
  2. antithesis,
  3. apostrophe,
  4. hyperbole,
  5. irony,
  6. onomatopoeia,
  7. paradox,
  8. pun,
  9. simile

Today, in our online English classes, we shall begin with basic Simile and Metaphors, their definitions and examples.

Difference between Metaphor and Simile

About 90% of learners are unable to differentiate between Metaphors and Similes. Let's understand the elementary difference between both –

A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another

A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. Similes differ from other metaphors by highlighting the similarities between two things using comparison words such as "like", "as", "so", or " than”, while other metaphors create an implicit comparison (i.e., saying something "is" something else).

This distinction is evident in the etymology of the words: simile derives from the Latin word similis ("similar, like"), while metaphor derives from the Greek word metapherein ("to transfer").

Metaphor is generally use to draw the stronger description or is rather used more forcefully, on the contrary, Simile is just a comparison and can be easily identified by words ‘like’ and ‘as’ in the middle of a sentence. A simile is easy to understand due to explicit comparison whereas Metaphor is a bit complex but still more vivid than a Simile

We recommend that your practice learning few of the below examples and use it as often in your sentences.

Examples of Metaphors

Let’s read most common Metaphor-

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover- You must spend some time with the person before you make them your best friend, remember Don’t judge a book by its cover.

2. Elephant in the room- Slow progress due to the increasing population is an Elephant in the room for many politicians.

3. It’s raining cats and dogs- The sky is full of clouds and I am sure you will tomorrow say It’s raining cats and dogs.

4. In a nutshell- After listening to everyone, in the nutshell, I can say that we are making a big mistake here.

5. She’s the man of the house. - The sudden demise of her husband made her She’s the man of the house which she handled gracefully.

6. Born with a silver spoon- Both her parents are quite successful in their careers and she has born with a silver spoon.

7. Heart of stone- My boss is very strict and surely has a heart of stone.

8. The Zoo- In the absence of the teacher, the classroom turns into a zoo.

9. A mighty lion- The thunder which came last night was really powerful and appeared like a mighty lion.

10. Apple of my eye- Children are also precious to parents and no matter what, is the apple of their parent’s eye.

11. Sunshine- My teacher’s smile is infectious. She is always sunshine.

12. White blanket- Last winter there was heavy snow and a white blanket was right in front of my house.

13. Melting pot- India is a diverse country and is definitely a melting pot of cultures and people

14. Music to my ears- The news of my son getting selected in the best school in the town came as music to my ears.

15. Walking Encyclopedia- My friend’s son is a knowledgeable boy as is truly a Walking Encyclopedia as he is updated with everything.

16. Time is money- My grandfather would say Time is money so do not waste it and spend wisely and fully agree.

17. Tall tree- Some girls in my college have got very good height and they are like tall trees.

18. A computer brain: - My math teacher always says our brain is a computer and we can do all the calculations by mentally working on them.

19. Laughter is the best medicine: - No doubt that Laughter is the best medicine and we must always smile and stay happy.

20. A stitch in time saves nine- Do not avoid your problems, look for a solution now as A stitch in time saves nine.

Examples of Simile

Now let's look into widely use Similes

1 As big as a bus- They have invested a lot and their house is as big as a bus.

2. As busy as a bee- Due to his senior position in the company, he is mostly as busy as a bee.

3. As cold as ice- The food she took out from the fridge was as cold as ice, let it get a bit warm.

4. As light as s feather- After giving my final exams today I am feeling as light as a feather.

5. As brave as a lion- Your brother is really strong and as brave as a lion.

6. As deep as the ocean. -My mother’s love for me is as deep as the ocean.

7. As dry as the Sahara Desert. - I need water immediately as my throat is as dry as the Sahara Desert.

8. As slow as a snail- My son is very lazy and at times he acts as slow as a snail.

9. Like a baby- My husband has been pampered a lot and he sometimes act like a baby

10. Like an owl- Speak carefully in front of him since he hears like an owl.

11. As black as coal- Some people are very mean and they have a heart as black as coal.

12. As cool as a cucumber- Our boss is very sensible and even in a crisis and he knows how to be as cool as a cucumber.

13. As cunning as a fox- A detective has to be very sharp and as cunning as fox.

14. As fit as a fiddle- After following a proper diet now I feel as fit as a fiddle.

15. As hard as nails- My new boss is quite a serious person and as hard as nails.

16. As sharp as a razor- The big mouse has teeth as sharp as a razor, they can damage the clothes left in open.

17. As white as snow- Yesterday I saw a swan which was so bright and as white as snow.

18. Sleep like a baby- After a hectic day at the work, I mostly sleep like a baby.

19. Shine like diamonds- After following the health care regime my face now shines like diamonds.

20. Eat like a pig- After skipping my dinner last night, today I ate like a pig in the morning.

21. Sweet like sugar- Her voice is very beautiful and she sounds sweet like sugar.

22. Smell like a rose-Although all the evidence were against her she still came up smelling like a rose.

23. Like a dog- We have been working on the project like a dog.

24. Like a candle in the wind- With so much struggle you have definitely lived like a candle in the wind.

25. Like a rock- He is quite serious person and mostly like a rock.


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