Figures of speech

English language


Figures of speech

Figures of speech:A figure of speech is a particular expression which does not mean what its words say,but has another interpretation.Let’s consider some of them.                               


A simile is a direct comparison between two things or objects which are in general not alike, but in particular aspect are similar. It involves the use of ‘as’ or ‘like’.E.g.(a)Bola is as gentle as a lamb (b)The angry man barks like a dog. Copy and let me see your note  now.


A metaphor is the implied resemblance  in particular of things that are otherwise unlike. It has no introductory word such as ‘as’ or ‘like’.E.g.(a)David was a lion in the fight 

(b) The news of his mother’s death was a dagger in his heart.                             


Here,things that are inanimate are given life and personality. E.g.(a) Night descended and spread her gentle blanket of dark and peace over us. (b) Death,be not proud.   Class Work:Give two examples(in sentence)each of simile,metaphor and personification. Do it and submit now.


This is a figure of speech by which a truth is stated in apparently contradictory terms. E.g.(a)The child is the father of the man.(the child is the one fending for his own old father, invariably becoming the father of the old man) (b) The best way to learn a language is to teach it.


This is  used when a statement is made in exaggerated terms. E.g.(a)I feed a thousand mouths. (b) She invited the whole world to her party.


When this figure is used, the user says the opposite of what he means, knowing that his true meaning will be perceived by the hearer. E.g.Please,ensure that all the plates are broken before I return from work.(the Madam of the house tells the house help). This statement actually means that he/she should be more careful with her plates.


In this figure of speech, a thing is called not by its true name,but by something associated with it. E.g.(1)The House of Representatives was in an uproar.i.e the members of the house .(2)The pen(i.e he who uses the pen) is mightier than the sword (i.e he who uses the sword).


This is a figure in which the part stands for the whole and whole for a part.E.g.(a) All ‘hands’ must be on deck(Here,the part is put for the whole) (b) All the ‘intellect’ of the University used to meet in his room. (Here, the abstract is put for the concrete)


This figure speaks in pleasant terms of an unpleasant subject. (a) How ‘sleep’ the brave who sink to ‘rest’ (The quotes represent ‘the dead’)

 Rhetorical Questions

They are questions asked by the speaker that calls for no response from the audience. E.g.Nightfall! Nightfall! Why are you ever created? Why can’t it be day all through?