Go Figure! Using Figurative Language to Help with Word Choice
Word Choice Word Choice is the careful use of language to create meaning. Don’t settle for the first word that comes to mind. Constantly search for the “just right” word or phrase to get your point across. Using figurative language can help with making your writing more exciting!
Replace “to be” verbs with strong verbs “To be” verbs: am, are, been, being, is, was, and were. Alice was ten minutes late for breakfast. Alice huffed to the breakfast table ten minutes late, flung herself into the chair and snagged the Captain Crunch cereal.
Replace “to be” verbs with strong verbs “To be” verbs: am, are, been, being, is, was, and were. The wind was strong. The wind fumed and shrieked about the house, yanking at the loose shingles.
You Try It! Revise this sentence and make it AMAZING! George is angry at Maxine.
Recognizing Figurative Language How do you recognize figurative language in writing? It usually gives us a feeling about the subject or main idea. It’s a great way to “show” your reader what you’re writing about instead of just telling.
What is figurative language? Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language.
Types of Figurative Language Imagery Simile Metaphor Personification Onomatopoeia Hyperbole Idioms
Imagery Language that appeals to the senses. Descriptions of people or objects stated in terms of our senses. Sight Hearing Touch Taste Smell
Simile This involves comparing two items by usually using the words like or as. Example: The muscles on Mr. Samford’s brawny arms are strong as iron bands.
Metaphor This is an actual comparison between two relatively unlike things. The comparison is not announced by using the words like or as. Example: The road was a ribbon that wrapped through the desert.
Personification A figure of speech which gives the qualities of a person to an animal, an object, or an idea. Example: The wind whistled loudly through the forest. The wind cannot whistle. Only a living thing can whistle (Unless you’re a bird of course!).
Onomatopoeia The use of words that mimic sounds. Example: The firecracker made a loud ka- boom!
Hyperbole An exaggerated statement used to heighten effect. It is not used to mislead the reader, but to emphasize a point. Example: I’ve told you a million times to please raise your hand if you have a question!
Idioms An idiom refers an expression in one language that cannot be matched or directly translated word-for-word in another language. Example: That test was a piece of cake! That was an easy test.
How can you Improve Word Choice? Read any & everything! Ask myself, “How else can I say this?” Play around with language: – idioms, dialects, slang, colloquialisms Build power in verbs. Put “tired” words to rest: – stuff, things, good, bad, really Learn to use resources: – Thesaurus and Dictionary Be careful with the thesaurus though! Make sure the words you’re using make sense with what you’re trying to say! He worked his way to the kitchen. He cultivated his way to the kitchen.