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Figurative Language

Grade 6
Aug 27, 2022

Figurative Language 

It is the use of descriptive words, phrases, and sentences to convey a message without explicitly articulating what it means. 

For example: If a chess player is performing well, you might say they’re “on fire” metaphorically. (Which fortunately won’t happen). 

Let’s look at figurative language in a different light 

It is the utilization of words in a non-traditional order and meaning to convey a complex meaning, colorful writing, clarity, or evocative contrast. It uses a common language to allude to something without explicitly declaring it. 

Why should you use figurative language? 

The writer can use figurative language to appeal to the reader’s senses, imagination, and humor. It creates a mental image in the reader’s mind to help them better describe parts of their story and make it more engaging to read. 

It may turn mundane descriptions into significant events, heighten emotions, and turn prose into poetry. It can also assist the reader in better comprehending the underlying symbolism of a scene or recognizing a literary subject. 


Types of figurative language  

In modern literature, there are various varieties of figurative languages. Among them are: 

  • Simile 
  • Metaphor 
  • Personification 
  • Hyperbole 
  • Onomatopoeia 
  • Idiom 

Let’s take a closer look at these figurative language in detail 


It is a figure of speech that compares two dissimilar items using the terms “like” or “as,” and it is widely employed in ordinary discourse. A simile is employed to make an interesting link in the imagination of the reader. 

An example of a simile is, “The rat sat in the chair like a king, looking out over his realm.” The rat’s sitting posture is likened to that of a king who unwinds in an unique chair intended exclusively for him and no one else in the realm. 


  1. The teacher was as busy as a bee with the students. 
  1. Mr. henry was as scheming as a wolf. 
  1. Mrs. Kennedy is as curious as a cat; nothing escapes her attention. 


A metaphor is a comparison of two things that are not the same. Metaphors, unlike similes, do not use the terms “like” or “as.” Such comments are only understandable if the reader is aware of the relationship between the two objects being compared. 

“Time is money,” is an example of metaphor. The statement contrasts time with money, but it does not imply that the amount of time you have is equal to the amount of money you have. Instead, it implies that time is a precious resource that should be utilised efficiently to generate revenue. Any time squandered equates to a missed opportunity to earn more money.  


  1. She is a ray of sunshine. 
  1. My friend is going through a rollercoaster of emotions. 
  1. The worrier has a heart of stone. 


The attribution of human qualities to non-living objects is known as personification. Personification changes the way readers think about things and piques their interest in the subject. 

“The moon smiled and hugged us with its warmth,” is an example of personification. Because smiling and hugging can only be performed by live things, the sun has been given human features. 


  1. The car stopped with a groaning complaint. 
  1. The car brakes screamed all through the journey. 
  1. That final piece of cake is calling my name. 


Hyperbole is a type of exaggeration used to accentuate a point or to generate a sense of amusement. It is frequently employed without the speaker’s knowledge in ordinary talks. No one would believe the exaggeration if it were genuine. It’s utilized to give a statement more depth and color. 

“You are so skinny that the wind can carry you away,” is an example of hyperbole. The sentence does not necessarily imply that the person is carried away by the wind, but it is often used to emphasize that the person is so frail that he can’t even withstand a strong breeze. The word slim is exclusively used to describe someone who is frail. 


  1. I have told you a million times to complete your homework. 
  1. This work is going to take me forever. 


Onomatopoeia is a type of naming that imitates the sound associated with something or an action. They give the work a sense of realism. 


  1. The dog is barking. 
  1. The fire engine rushed down the street, roaring. 


An idiom is a phrase that doesn’t necessarily mean what it says. It’s a collection of words that, when put together, mean something unrelated to the individual words’ meanings. 


  1. Get a taste of your own medicine. 
  1. Don’t put all your eggs in one bucket. 

Let’s go over these figurative again. 

  • Figurative language refers to the use of figures of speech like similes and metaphors to convey an image, meaning, or concept. When we want to convey ourselves in a creative and forceful way that cannot be reached by straightforward, literal forms of speech or writing, we usually utilize figurative language. 
  • Poets often use figurative language. It is not intended to be understood literally. It allows us to capture the image, the emotion, the movement, and the linking thoughts in a few words, going beyond dictionary definitions. 

Let’s practice with some examples: 

Match the following with the appropriate figurative language 

  1. Simile ____________ A. My alarm clock yells at me every morning. 
  1. Metaphor ____________ B. I am so hungry I could eat a mountain. 
  1. Hyperbole ____________ C. Alex was humming a song. 
  1. Personification ____________ D. At the drop of a hat. 
  1. Onomatopoeia ____________ E. Her heart is an ice floe. 
  1. Idiom ____________ F. This dog is as heavy as a rock. 



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