Figurative Language

Download and/or print:

(hint: SMAPHO plus R, I, & A)

Your notes should include all the information below, plus at least one example of your own.

Simile – Making an indirect comparison using like or as.

  • His eyes sparkled like the stars at night.
  • Her eyes were as bright as the stars.

Metaphor – Making a direct comparison between two things.

  • The street was a ribbon of moonlight.
  • His eyes are jewels.

Alliteration – Using similar beginning sounds in two or more words close together.

  • The hungry hippo held tightly to his hamburger.
  • Those words all have the same starting sound.

Personification – Giving human characteristics to inanimate objects.

  • The sofa wept under the weight of all the people.
  • The angry wind howled ferociously during the storm.

Hyperbole – Using exaggeration to make a point.

  • I died laughing.
  • I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.

Onomatopoeia – Using a word whose sound reflects its meaning.

  • The dishes clattered and clanged as the young boy washed them.
  • The pesky mosquitoes buzzed in my ear.

Repetition – Using the same word or phrase at least twice throughout the piece.

  • Help me, help me!” cried the lost girl.
  • Oh how I love thee; let me count the ways, Oh how I love thee; through all my days.

Imagery – Describing a detailed picture of something in written or oral language.

  • The soft, moist snow gently brushed my cheeks as it blew from the clear, blue sky.
    (In this example, the senses of sight and touch are expressed.)

Allusion – A reference to a famous person, place, event, or work of literature.

  • Sign your John Hancock here.
  • You’d think she was the queen of England!