Figurative language uses words, lingoes, jargon or expressions with a meaning that is unlike from the precise interpretation. When a student uses literal language he simply states the facts however when a student uses Figurative language he exaggerates or alters words in order to make a linguistic point. Figurative language is frequently used in prose, nonfiction and poetry writing. Figurative or Non-literal language refers to words or phrases that are used to exaggerate, understate, form analogies or similarities between concepts, ideas, or otherwise modify the usual meanings of the component words.Thus a Figurative language advances from the literal meaning in a speech or writing to achieve a special effect or gist.
There are various types of Figurative Language following is an explanation of each type of figurative language, with an example:
Use of a specific type of wordSimile
- is a comparison that often uses the words like or as. Example:
- Jamie runs as fast as the wind.
- He swims like a torpedo.
- Fish-like eyes
- emphasizes a fact or draws a verbal picture by the use of comparison. Example:
- It is a house of cards.
- Her eyes were darting torches.
- An icy stare
- is when non-human objects are given human traits wherein human characteristics are given to an animal or an object. Example:
- The leaves danced in the wind.
- My teddy bear gave me a hug.
- Autumn's icy touch
- is an exaggeration or extravagant statement that is so dramatic used for effect where its unbelievable that the statement is true. Example:
- They've got truckloads of money.
- I nearly died of embarrassment.
- It's a million times better.
- gives symbolic meanings to indicate ideas and traits with the help of symbols that are different from their literal sense. Example:
Unusual Combinations of words giving a new context to the wordAlliteration -
- Using an apple pie to represent an American lifestyle.
- The dove is a symbol of peace.
- A red rose or red color stands for love or romance.
is the repetition of the same initial letter or first consonant sounds in several successive words. Example:
- Those purple pigs are preposterous.
- She sells seashells down by the seashore.
- wide-eyed and wondering while we wait for others to waken
is the use of a word which sounds like a mimic sounds or what it represents.Words like baa, beep, boom, bong, click, crunch, clang, hum, swish, gobble, ping, munch, meow, moo, neigh, pow, smash, wham, quack, meow, oink, tweet, whirr, whoosh, zap and zing add fun and certainty to writing. Example:
- The plane whooshed in the sky.
- The dish clattered against the floor tiles.
- babbling bubbles from tap
- Cry, cock-a-doddle-dow!
- is an expression known to a particular group of people that has a meaning understood by the group. Example:
Other types of Figurative LanguageEuphemism -
- Kick the bucket
- Raining cats and dogs
- Whistling Dixie
is an innocuous expression used in place of an agreeable or inoffensive word to suggest something unpleasant or to replace rude or invasive ones. Example:
- didn’t make it = has died
- between jobs = unemployed
- exotic dancer = stripper
- economically disadvantaged = poor
- A pun also called as paronomasia, is a wisecrack or joke that plays multiple meanings of a word or two words which sound alike but have different meanings; a play on words. Example:
- It's hard to beat a boiled egg.
- I'm an honest tigress.
- Time flies like an arrow.
- Dieting is a matter of life and breadth.
- it is the repetition of the same vowel sound in neighboring words. When two or more words repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds is called Assonance. Example:
- Hear, not fear, the wisdom of wizards.
- Johnny went here and there and everywhere.
- The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains.
- it is the repetition of the same consonant sound within a sentence or phrase. Example:
- Shelly sells sea shells on the sea shore.
- The big dog dug a hole.
- Mike likes his new bike.
Mentioned below are few Figurative Language examples:
- I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.
- The toast jumped out of the toaster.
- Their prayers were like mayflies in June.
- The Redcoats are coming!
- The detective listened to her tales with a wooden face.
- Alason’s cell phone dropped into the toilet like a falling star.
- Cassiel talked to her son about girls as though she were giving him tax advice.
- Alan’s jokes were like flat soda to the children, surprisingly unpleasant.
- Kathy arrived at the grocery store with an army of children.
- John’s answer to the problem was just a Band-Aid, not a solution.
- David is a worm for what he did to Shelia.
- My heart swelled with a sea of tears.
- I'll be pushing up the daisies.
- Allie has a million pairs of shoes in her closet.
- The sorry engine wheezed its death cough.
- Justice is blind and, at times, deaf.