Go Figure! Figurative Language Sherwood Brooks Driftwood Middle School
Recognizing Figurative Language The opposite of literal language is figurative language. Figurative language is language that means more than what it says on the surface. It usually gives us a feeling about its subject. Poets use figurative language almost as frequently as literal language. When you read poetry, you must be conscious of the difference. Otherwise, a poem may make no sense at all.
Recognizing Literal Language “I’ve eaten so much I feel as if I could literally burst!” In this case, the person is not using the word literally in its true meaning. Literal means "exact" or "not exaggerated." By pretending that the statement is not exaggerated, the person stresses how much he has eaten. Literal language is language that means exactly what is said. Most of the time, we use literal language.
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 Alliteration Personification Onomatopoeia Hyperbole Idioms Euphemism Oxymoron Pun Irony Symbolism
IMAGERY Language that appeals to the senses. Descriptions of people or objects stated in terms of our senses. Sight Hearing Touch Taste Smell
SIMILE A figure of speech which involves a direct comparison between two unlike things, usually with the words like, as or than. Example: The muscles on his brawny arms are strong as iron bands.
I am as hungry as a horse. You run faster than a rabbit. He is sneaky like a snake. She is as happy as a clam.
METAPHOR A figure of speech which involves an implied comparison between two relatively unlike things using a form of be. The comparison is not announced by like or as. Example: The road was a ribbon wrapped through the desert. The sofa is fertile soil for a couch potato. But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill. - William Sharp, The Lonely Hunter
The girl was a fish in the water. The clown was a feather floating away.
ALLITERATION Repeated consonant sounds occurring at the beginning of words or within words. Example: She was wide-eyed and wondering while she waited for Walter to waken.
Stan the strong surfer saved several swimmers on Saturday. Tiny Tommy Thomson takes toy trucks to Timmy’s on Tuesday. She sells sea shell by the sea shore. Don't delay dawns disarming display. Dusk demands daylight. - Paul Mccan Sara's seven sisters slept soundly in sand.
PERSONIFICATION A figure of speech which gives the qualities of a person to an animal, an object, or an idea. Example: “The wind yells while blowing." The wind cannot yell. Only a living thing can yell. The flowers danced in the wind. The friendly gates welcomed us. The Earth coughed and choked in all of the pollution.
Onomatopoeia The use of words that mimic sounds. Example: The firecracker made a loud ka-boom! Yeeeeee Ahhhhhhhh Chug chug chug!! Swish swish swish
Hyperbole An exaggerated statement used to heighten effect. It is not used to mislead the reader, but to emphasize a point. Example: She’s said so on several million occasions. I'm so busy trying to accomplish ten million things at once. - I'm trying to accomplish several things at one time. Your dog is so ugly, we had to pay the fleas to live on him. - Here the hyperbole has been used as an insul t.
Idioms An idiom or idiomatic expression is one that cannot be matched or directly translated word-for-word in another language. Example: "She has a bee in her bonnet," meaning "she is obsessed," cannot be literally translated into another language word for word.
I would do that at the drop of a hat. I failed my Math test, so it’s back to square one. I would tell the truth, but I don’t want to upset the apple cart. You’ve been wasting too much time, get your act together!
Euphemism Substitution of a mild, inoffensive or politically correct term for one considered offensive or explicit Ethnic cleansing Enhanced interrogation Pre-owned Mentally challenged Chemical dependency We have to let you go. Read: You're fired. You're well fed. Read: You're fat.
SYMBOLISM The use of a specific item to represent or stand for another item or a vague idea Harry Potter’s mark symbolizes…… “Remember,” John said. “wear your red hat to lunch if the test was easy and your blue one if it was hard.”
Oxymoron The use of two words that are opposite in meaning being used together Walking dead Honest thief Pretty ugly Plastic glass Loners club A stripper's dressing room I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!
Allusion – a reference to an event, time period or work of literature that the writer feels the reader will recognize She has the patience of Job. Telling the story opened a Pandora’s box yesterday. The boxer’s weak chin was his Achilles’ heel and cost him the match.
Irony - the contrast between what is expected and what actually is Verbal irony – the difference between what is said and what is meant Situational irony – what is happening is the opposite of what is expected Dramatic irony – the audience or reader knows more than the characters do
Irony Having a fight with your best friend just before your birthday, and commenting -"Great, this is just what I needed". - Verbal Irony (It is probably the worst thing that could happen before your birthday.) In Romeo and Juliet, when Juliet is drugged, Romeo assumes her to be dead, and kills himself. Upon waking up Juliet finds him dead, and kills herself. - Dramatic Irony (mainly based on miscommunication and misunderstanding)
A Pun is a play on words I bet the butcher the other day that he couldn't reach the meat that was on the top shelf. He refused to take the bet, saying that the steaks were too high. Santa's helpers are subordinate Clauses What is a prisoner’s favorite punctuation mark?. Multiple meaning words Homophones Homographs Usually used in jokes and riddles
OK….Let’s Practice!! Identify the figurative language used in each case. I got your back!! She was on cloud nine when she won the lottery. IDIOM
SIMILE The metal twisted like a ribbon. The willow is as sleek as a velvet-nosed calf. Her hair is softer than silk.
METAPHOR Men are dogs. Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. The sun is a yellow ball of fire in the sky.
PERSONIFICATION The sun was smiling down on me. Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid to answer. The trees bowed gracefully to the wind.
HYPERBOLE I'd rather take baths with a man-eating shark, or wrestle a lion alone in the dark, eat spinach and liver, pet ten porcupines, than tackle the homework, my teacher assigns.
PERSONIFICATION Ravenous and savage from its long polar journey, the North Wind is searching for food—
HYPERBOLE The ice cream was piled a mile high on the cone. The teacher told us a million times to stop talking. My book bag weighed a ton.
METAPHOR I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise
IRONY Bill Gates winning a computer. Anne Frank did not know how her story would end, but her readers do.
Pun A circus lion won’t clowns because they taste funny. The boy had to brace himself for the orthodontist visit.
Oxymoron Jumbo shrimp Graduation was a bittersweet experience The kind robber left him with enough money for bus fare.
ALLITERATION Peter Piper picked a pack of pickled peppers. Rubber baby buggy bumpers Sharon showed Shana some shiny shoes.
ONOMATOPOEIA With the click of a mouse, I can open another window on my computer The microwave dinged when the dinner was ready.
SYMBOLISM I don’t want them to turn my little girl into a swallow. she would fly far away into the sky and never fly again to my straw bed, or she would nest in the eaves Where I could not comb her hair. I don’t want them to turn my little girl into a swallow.
Euphemism I had to put my dog to sleep yesterday. Peter was sent away for four years. My grandmother is no longer with us.
ALLUSION Enjoy your night at the theatre. Don’t have a Lincoln experience. That couple was around since Adam married Eve. Please walk through the metal detectors. We want to avoid another Columbine.
IMAGERY The cool clear water flowed over the stony creek bed. It was a gloomy summer night and creepy shadows fell on the wall. My mouth watered hungrily as I bit greedily into the creamy delicious chocolate cake.