Welcome to Figurative Language

figurative language Words are very important because they allow us to express ourselves. Knowing and understanding different parts of figurative language will help you tremendously throughout life. Using the correct words will let you get your point across. Let’s examine some of the more useful elements of figurative language. Below is a list of common types of figurative language with examples, for a more detailed explanation or to view other types of figurative languge, use the links to the right. Please feel free to leave comments.


A metaphor is a part of speech that is expressed by comparing two things, saying that one was or is the other. It’s a comparison of two things that does not use as or like. It is effective because of the direct way that it communicates a message.

An example of a metaphor is: That essay was a breeze.


A simile is also a good way to compare two things. They are similar to metaphors, but instead of using was or is, you would use like or as.

An example of a simile is: His nose leaked like the kitchen faucet.


A hyperbole is an element of writing that allows you to exaggerate. Sometimes it is used with a comical intention.

An example of a hyperbole is: I have told you a million times.


Personification, simply put, allows you to apply inanimate objects and abstract ideas with person-like features or actions.

An example of a hyperbole is: The year raced by me in a blur.


Alliteration is a literary style that utilizes the same letter or sound in a row or string of words.

An example of alliteration is: Ralph’s reindeer rose rapidly and ran around the room.


A cliché refers to an overly used expression that has lost meaning and impact over time. These are common expressions that you hear frequently.

An example of a cliché is: What goes around comes around.


An idiom is a phrase that means something different than its literal meaning.

An example of an idiom is: The phrase, “Throw in the towel”, doesn’t actually mean that you have to throw in a towel, it just means that you are giving up.


Onomatopoeia is a word that describes sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.

An example of onomatopoeia is: The tick-tock of the clock kept me up all night.

These are some of the common examples of figurative language. The English language can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun.