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Figurative Language

Figurative Language (or "figures of speech") -a way of saying something other than the literal
meaning of the words. Two commonly recognized forms of figurative language are metaphor
and simile.
Metaphor- A figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two different
The bard, William Shakespeare said, All the worlds a stage.
His words were a punch in the gut.
This room is an oven!
When it came to math, he was a machine!

Simile - A figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two different things, and
expressed by the specific use of a word or phrase such as: like, as, than, seems or "as if."

Passing period is like the Running of the Bulls; if you dont move quickly, youll be trampled.
Staying awake during Mr. Aronsons class is as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest.
High school is like riding a bike: its difficult to balance, but once you hit a groove, its a smooth
The running back was fast as lightning!

In the following sentences, identify if it contains a simile, a metaphor, or neither.
Write S for simile, M for metaphor or 0 for neither. If the sentence contains a simile or metaphor,
identify the two concepts compared.

1. ____ His edict came down like a hammer; I knew there was no way hed let me go to the
____________ is compared to ____________.

2. ____ The weight of her words were heavy as bricks.

____________ is compared to ____________.

3. ____ Money cant buy happiness.

____________ is compared to ____________.

4. ____His cries were piercing bullets.

____________ is compared to ____________.

5. ____ The cars whizzed along the highway.

____________ is compared to ____________.
Writers choose to use figurative language to convey a message. Often, the use of figurative
language, such as similes and metaphors, work to emphasize or exaggerate a concept or idea
to make an impact on the reader.
Read the following paragraph from H.G. Bissingers Friday Night Lights:
Farther east, past the gas stations and fast-food joints and the old civic center that looks like a
brooding frown, there is a different Odessa. It is almost suburban, with a shiny mall and
comfortable ranch houses, many of which have FOR SALE signs planted in the front lawns. The
suburban driveways are like car dealerships, lined with luxurious automobiles and slimy men
trying to out-do one another in showmanship. Driving back south there is another Odessa,
called the South-side. It is across the tracks, and it is an area of town pre-dominantly for
minorities. These homes are prisons, with their inhabitants bound by racial prejudice and
inequalities they cant even begin to understand. Their driveways are considerably vacant,
except for muddy bikes that look second hand, and the dirty childrens toys that are carelessly
thrown in the yard. These children are ghosts; there is evidence of their existence, but they are
questionably absent from these homes.

Identifying and Analyzing Figurative Language

1. Underline figurative language that you see.
2. Identify and analyze it:
The author uses this _____________(simile/metaphor) to compare
____________to_____________ in order to suggest/show that
The master of ceremonies made the introductions with the flare of a circus ringmaster asking
the audience to direct its attention please to the center ring.

The stunningly dressed girls over in the corner with their leather skirts and Vuitton bags and
blond hair that rose to a peak and then fell like the fanned plumes of a peacock.

The lights went off for a flashlight show, little rings of light twirling around, once again like
something from the circus.

He stood out in class like a sore thumb.

She smiled at him as if he were a badgering but endearing little brother and he laughed.