We most frequently associate figurative language through poetry, however we uncover figurative language widely used in countless other contexts too. We discover it in usage in every little thing from fiction and also folk music come drama and also our everyday speech.

You are watching: This goes beyond the literal meanings of words to create special effects or feelings.

The ax figurative language ad to any use of language that goes past the literal definition of the indigenous themselves. In numerous instances, the phrase also refers come instances whereby the use of sounds, syntax, and also word bespeak deviate indigenous what is thought about the normal fads of use. The is this meaning that we will check out in this guide.



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In both regards stated above, figurative language represents a sophisticated, an innovative use the language come convey meaning and mood among other effects. The represents an important tool in the writer’s toolbox.

These an innovative applications that language assist readers to visualize the writer’s intended meaning, as well as establish atmosphere, rhythm, and also other stylistic effects. The usage of this literary tools creates one effective and beautiful method to interact through the created and spoken word.

Using figurative language helps speak come a reader’s emotions, as well as to articulate more abstract and complicated concepts in a relatable way. Exactly how a writer offers figurative language in their work constitutes a huge element of their style.


Figurative language is a large category that encompasses all varieties of figures of speech, including sound devices and imagery.

There are several different varieties of figures that speech, but generally speaking these deserve to helpfully be split into 2 groups: tropes and also schemes.

In this article, we will certainly look at various examples of numbers of speech within these two categories. Us will define them, carry out an instance of exactly how they space used, and administer a straightforward activity that requires minimal preparation and will permit students to exercise these in class.




A trope is a number of decided that supplies words or unit volume in a means in i m sorry the intended meaning extends beyond the literal definition of the native used. Few of the most commonly used tropes encompass metaphor, simile, and personification. But, over there are countless others. We will take a look at at few of the key ones below.



Definition: This figure of speech supplies exaggeration for focus or other details effects such together humour, because that example. Just like other numbers of speech, that is not supposed to be taken literally by the audience or the reader – they are usually in ~ above it. We often use hyperbole in our daily speech.

Example: I can have died of embarrassment

Task: Give student a list of comparative adjectives. Friend can identify these follow to the students’ ages and abilities. Difficulty students to compose hyperbole based upon each of this adjectives. Usage the version phrase ‘brighter than the sun’ to acquire the round rolling.

We have actually a complete guide come hyperbole in literature which deserve to be uncovered here



Definition: An idiom is a figurative usage of language that cannot be taken from a literal expertise of the indigenous alone. Idioms room a component of the language and also each language develops its own distinct idioms end time. Idioms are comparable to other numbers of speech other than that while many other numbers of speech can be the initial conceptions of the writer, idioms are currently in existence within the language. Plenty of of Shakespeare’s figures of decided have become crystallized in the language together the idioms of today.

Example: ‘Kick the bucket / provided up the ghost / passed away

Task: You can assist students bridge the gap in between their understanding of numbers of speech and idioms v this activity. Carry out students with a perform of idioms on assorted themes. Comment on these and also ensure they have a sense of their meaning. Difficulty the students to create their own figures of speech on every of this themes making use of the sample idiom together a beginning point.


Definition: A metaphor makes a comparison in between two unrelated points by stating one point is the various other thing. This is commonly done by highlighting or suggesting a common quality or characteristic in between the two distinctive elements.

Example: Life is a rollercoaster

Task: Metaphors are frequently used in speech, poetry, plays, songs, and stories. To offer your students practice identifying metaphors in a selection of contexts, organize lock into teams and carry out them with a variety of the varieties of analysis materials provided above. Have students read and also listen to this materials and also identify instances of an allegory in each, translate in a list together they go.


Definition: Oxymorons integrate two opposing facets into a single phrase or sentence. They deserve to be provided to create a range of effects, comedic, dramatic, or thought-provoking.

Example: “Parting is together sweet sorrow.

Task: Oxymorons are really common in our daily speech, for example ‘seriously funny’, ‘random order’, and ‘pretty ugly’. Organise the student into groups and challenge them to come up through as numerous other usual examples as they can. As an extension exercise, asking the student to compose some original oxymorons too.



Definition: Personification is a special kind of an allegory where human being actions or feelings space ascribed come a non-human thing. As soon as we talk around something that isn’t human as if it was, then we are personifying the – the is, make it right into a person. This figurative usage of language is many commonly associated with poetry and literary fiction, however we deserve to often discover it in our daily speech too.

Example: An angry sky / publications were her continuous companions / that car’s a beauty

Task: theorem the students into pairs. Instruct companion 1 to compile a list of 10 nouns, these have the right to be inanimate objects such together a pencil, a chair etc or organic phenomenon together as moon, stars, sun etc. Have actually Partner 2 translate in a list of 10 verbs connected with the actions of human beings, for instance laugh, tell, sing etc. As soon as both partners have completed their lists they can use their nouns and verbs to create their very own personification sentences.


Definition: Similes make comparisons in between two look at unrelated aspects by utilizing ‘like’ or ‘as’ to highlight a typical quality or characteristic both things share. Similes do a to compare by suggesting a similarity in between two things, quite than do a comparison by stating that one point is something rather – such as we find with metaphors.

Example: Her eyes shone favor diamonds / He was as solid as a horse

Task: Begin this activity by asking students to compile a perform of speak 10 nouns and 10 adjectives. An obstacle the students to type original similes utilising the nouns and also the adjective on their perform to set up a simile comparison. For example, if they select the noun cat and also the adjective smart they should generate the final element to complete their simile, for example, The cat is as smart together a computer. They need to do this until they have actually completed a simile for all items on their lists. Encourage them to strike a balance between the similes that usage like to do the comparison and also those that use as.

Definition: This figure of decided most frequently occurs when a component of a point is provided to represent the totality of a thing. However, it can likewise occur as soon as the entirety of a point is used to was standing for a component of a thing. The very first type is called microcosm and the second, macrocosm. This trope is far better conveyed v illustration than explanation.

Example: All hand on deck! (microcosm) / The unified States asserted war. (macrocosm)

Task: theorem students right into groups and give out duplicates of old newspapers. Difficulty the students come spot instances of synecdoche in the assorted articles and then to mark them. They might wish to use two separate colors for identifying the 2 different varieties mentioned above.


Schemes space a figurative use of language that deviates indigenous the normal mechanics the a sentence. This might be in regards to syntax, sound, or indigenous order. Writers have the right to use schemes to develop rhythm, musicality, or to draw comparisons or contrasts in ~ a text. They are specifically associated v poetry, as they frequently work ~ above a rhythmic basis or v sound. Unlike tropes, schemes run on a sense level more than an intellectual level.


Definition: The repeat of the early consonant sound of continuous or close to consecutive words for effect. Alliteration is also referred to together head luck or early rhyme.

Example: The slithering snake slid sideways silently

Task: Read some tongue twisters as a class and then difficulty the student to create their very own examples.


Definition: The repetition of vowel sounds within a team of words. As with alliteration, the is the repeating sound that are important, not the letters.

Example: “Fleet feet sweep through sleeping geeseby Pink Floyd

Task: Assonance have the right to be provided to convey different moods. Because that example, repetition of long, vast ‘o’ and ‘a sounds can express sore or melancholy. Difficulty your student to write a line that provides assonance come express a selected mood.


Definition: The repetition of consonant sounds everywhere in the words the are near each other. This need to be differentiated from alliteration, where the repetition is limited to the sound at the beginning of words. Alliteration is a special kind of consonance, so every alliteration is a type of consonance, however not every consonance is alliteration.

Example: “I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells

Task: Give out a worksheet through a mix the unmarked examples of alliteration, consonance, and assonance and have the students sort them into the exactly categories. You may want the students to use a Venn diagram so they can much more easily categorize those that fit into more than one category.


Definition: Onomatopoeia refers to words that sound choose the point they describe. Onomatopoeia is most typically seen in poetry wherein its usage serves as a powerful tool because that the creativity as the imitates the sounds of the things explained themselves. A usual example that onomatopoeia can be viewed in the surname of the sound various animals make.

Example: Woof! Baa! Moo! Oink! Cock-a-doodle-do!

Be certain to check out our complete guide to onomatopoiea here.

Task: To gain your student thinking around onomatopoeia, provide them a design template and an obstacle them to perform as many onomatopoeic words as they can around that theme. This can conveniently be differentiated for various period groups. Because that example, younger children can work-related on pet sounds favor those above, while older students can work ~ above a template such as that that water (drip, splish, splosh, splash, plop etc). For stronger students, simply provide them with a theme and task castle with creating their very own related and also original onomatopoeic words.


Definition: This system is also known as a parallel structure and also applies to sentences or phrases that employ an similar or very similar structure. Parallelism is regularly used to lug clarity and emphasis, as well as create a memorable rhythm. Few of history’s most memorable speeches and also statements offered parallelism to great effect and also these have actually stayed with us for many decades together a result. Neil Armstrong’s reported words top top the moon landing and also Martin Luther king I have actually a Dream speech gift prime examples.

Example: “That’s one tiny step because that a man. One large leap for mankind.by Neil Armstrong.

Task: provide students v sample sentence that do not usage a parallel framework within them. Difficulty the students to rewrite the sentence to incorporate a parallel structure into the brand-new sentences. Because that example, give the college student the following sentence:

Do you like spicy chicken, pork, or braided fish for the key course?

Students must work to recognize that the basic structure requires an adjective preceding two the the food alternatives and must rewrite the sentence to incorporate one for the pork. Answers will certainly of food vary, however all are valid as lengthy as castle conform come the pattern. For example:

Do you prefer spicy chicken, sweet pork, or salty fish because that the key course?

Go Figure!

These are just some that the various means that language is frequently used figuratively. There room many much more of course, though some of these have the right to be fairly rarely used. It’s best to start with these much more common ones first, prior to moving onto some of the more facility literary devices available.

Spending some time functioning on figurative language in isolation will help students come understand just how to use the various numbers of speech in their own writing.

But, to use them in a confident and also unselfconscious manner will certainly require numerous reinforcement in their usage throughout the institution year.

See more: Person Who Takes Care Of Plants In A Park, Best 17 Synonyms For Gardener

While beforehand attempts to weave them into their own writing may seem stilted and unnatural, with time and also practice they will become part of a student’s an individual style and assist enable them come articulate and express your thoughts in one artistic and coherent manner.