WRITERS use figurative language to express ideas in vivid or imaginative ways.

To get you started, these are the various ways to use a figurative language:


Simile uses “like” or “as” to show two different things that are alike in some ways.

For example:

A feather is light.

Alice is light.

We can say: Alice is as light as a feather / Alive is light like a feather.

These expressions are simile.

As Like
As solid as a rock Eyes sparkled like diamonds
As tall as a giraffe Ball streaked across the field like meteor
As cold as winter Christmas tree lit up light fireworks
As quiet as a mouse Fast like a bolt of lightning
As sly as a fox Free like a bird


Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement to emphasize a point.

For example:

My backpack weighs a ton!

Of course, the backpack doesn’t weigh a ton – it is only a figure of speech.

The sentence is trying to make a point that the backpack is heavy.

Other Hyperbole Examples:
The food was so hot my eyes were smoking!
That boy runs faster than a car!
I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!
The walk was a million miles long!
waited in the line for centuries!


Alliteration is the repetition of the same initial letter or sound at the beginning of each or most of the words in a sentence.

It is often use in poems or tongue twisters.

For example:

Carrie’s cat clawed her couch, creating chaos.

The easiest way to use alliteration would be to repeat the starting letter of the words.

In this case, letter C is repeated.

Other Alliteration Examples:
Samantha soared down the street on her sleek skateboard.
Matt, the monkey likes munching marshmallows.
Tim, the terrifying tiger tiptoes through tangled tree.
Dan’s dog dove deep in the dam, drinking dirty water as he dove.
Eric’s eagle eats eggs, enjoying each episode of eating.


Idioms are a phrase that doesn’t exactly mean what the words say.

For example:

A) She spilled the beans.

(Spilled the beans is an idiom that means she talked too much and told the secret.). Jordan has been

B) Jordan has been burning the candle at both ends for weeks, working two jobs, and made himself ill.

(Burn the candle at both ends is an idiom that means to exhaust oneself, especially by being up late and getting up early to work – not having enough rest.)

Other Idiom Examples:
I have butterflies in my stomach. (Anxious feeling in your stomach)
To have your head in the clouds. (Day dreaming or not paying attention)
Cat got your tongue? (If someone asks if the cat has got your tongue, they want to know why you are not speaking when they think you should)
The icing on the cake. (Something that makes a good situation even better or a bad situation even worse)
Be in the same boat. (Be in the same situation)


Simile and metaphor are quite similar but there is one important difference between the two.

Here, comparison is made without using word like and as.

For example:

My mom is a raging bull.

When written in context: My mom became a raging bull, who was racing towards a target, when she realized I had not cleaned my room.

In the example above, the mom is a raging bull is clearly impossible. The expression however, accurately shows the reader how angry the mother felt.

The clouds sailed across they sky.
Her face was a sunny sun, beaming at every one who walked past.
My heart swelled with a sea of tears.
The children were roses grown in concrete gardens, beautiful and forlorn.
The teacher planted the seeds of wisdom.


Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes.

For example:

The willow tree shook her long hair.

This refers to the way that the willow tree’s long branches sway in the wind. By using “shook her long hair”, the tree is given characteristics of a human.

Other Examples of Personification:
The fire swallowed the entire forest.
The wind whistled throughout the day.
My computer stubbornly refused to start.
Excitement entered the room.
Fear began to tap dance in my heart.


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