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Figurative
Language
Figuring it Out
(song)
Figurative
Literal
Literally: words function exactly as defined
The car is blue.
He caught the football.
Figuratively: figure out what it means
I’ve got your back.
You’re a doll.
Figures of Speech
Simile
Comparison of two things using “like” or “as.”
Examples: The metal twisted like a ribbon. She
is sweet as candy.
Using “like” or “as” doesn’t make a simile.
A comparison must be made.
Not a Simile: I like pizza.
Simile: The moon is like a pizza
Simile Example
Flint
An emerald is as green as grass,
A ruby red as blood;
A sapphire shines as blue as heaven;
A flint lies in the mud.
A diamond is a brilliant stone,
To catch the world’s desire;
An opal holds a fiery spark;
But a flint holds fire.
By Christina Rosetti
4
Metaphor
Two things are compared without using “like”
or “as.”
Examples
All the world is a stage.
Men are dogs.
She has a stone heart.
Metaphor Example
The Night is a Big Black Cat
The Night is a big black cat
The moon is her topaz eye,
The stars are the mice she hunts at night,
In the field of the sultry sky.
By G. Orr Clark
6
Personification
Giving human traits to
objects or ideas.
Examples
The sunlight danced.
Water on the lake shivers.
The streets are calling me.
Onomatopoeia
Words that represent the
actual sound of something
are words of onomatopoeia.
Examples
Dogs “bark,” cats “purr,”
thunder “booms,” rain
“drips,” and the clock “ticks.”
Appeals to the sense of
sound.
Onomatopoeia Example
Listen
Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch.
Frozen snow and brittle ice
Make a winter sound that’s nice
Underneath my stamping feet
And the cars along the street.
Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch.
by Margaret Hillert
8
Personification Example
From “Mister Sun”
Mister Sun
Wakes up at dawn,
Puts his golden
Slippers on,
Climbs the summer
Sky at noon,
Trading places
With the moon.
by J. Patrick Lewis
9
Hyperbole
Exaggerating to show strong feeling or effect.
Examples:
•
I will love you forever.
•
My house is a million miles from here.
•


She’d kill me.
Yo dog is so ugly that her shadow ran away from her.
Yo dog is so dirty that when she tried to take a bath, the water
jumped out and said “I’ll wait.”
Understatement
Expression with less strength than expected.
The opposite of hyperbole.
I’ll be there in one second.
This won’t hurt a bit.
The repetition
of the first
consonant
sound in
words, as in
the nursery
rhyme “Peter
Piper picked a
peck of
pickled
peppers.”
Alliteration
This Tooth
I jiggled it
jaggled it
jerked it.
I pushed
and pulled
and poked it.
But –
As soon as I stopped,
And left it alone
This tooth came out
On its very own!
by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Expressions that
don’t mean what
exactly what they
say.
.
Its raining cats and
dogs outside.
Quiz
On a separate sheet of paper…
1.
2.
3.
I will put an example of figurative language
on the board.
You will write whether it is an simile,
metaphor, personification, hyperbole, or
understatement.
You can use your notes.
He drew a line as straight as an arrow.
Knowledge is a kingdom and all who learn are
kings and queens.
Can I see you for a second?
The sun was beating down on me.
A flag wags like a fishhook there in the sky.
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.
Ravenous and savage
from its long
polar journey,
the North Wind
is searching
for food—
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time with the blood of patriots and
tyrants.
Can I have one of your chips?
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
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Simile
Metaphor
Understatement
Personification
Simile
Hyperbole
Personification
Metaphor
Understatement
Metaphor
Tom is seven years old. He loves to pretend he is an Indian
in the woods. When Tom is sneaking through the woods he
knows he has to be as quiet as a mouse. Otherwise, the
cowboys might hear him! Tom's sister, Jane can't pretend to be
an Indian sneaking through the woods because she is loud as
a train coming through the woods. Sometimes Tom will as
Jane to be the "cowboy", but not very often because she is like
a regular Annie Oakley with the slingshot! Tom knows this
because the last time Jane got Tom with the slingshot he
jumped like a scalded cat. Now, when Tom and Jane play
cowboys and Indians, their mom watches them like an owl
because she is afraid someone is going to get hurt! Tom
doesn't mind because his mom's heart is soft as butter and
she just doesn't want to see her children get hurt, even if they
are as tough as nails!

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