Figurative Language: Idioms, Analogies, Similes

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FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE:
IDIOMS, ANALOGIES, SIMILES,
AND METAPHORS
An Introduction
Figurative vs. Literal
Language
 Teachers commonly say, “Come in quietly,
take a seat, and get started immediately on
your work.” That is exactly what is required of
you and that is literal.
 Teachers may say, “Come in as quietly as a
mouse.” They don’t want you to really act like
a mouse; it is meant to emphasize the
request for quiet or add flavor to the
sentence. That is a figure of speech—
figurative language.
Figurative vs. Literal
Language
 Your parents surely ask you to clean your
room on occasion.
 “Please clean your room today.”
 “I want your room as clean as a whistle by the
time I get home.”
 Which one is figurative? The second one!
(And seriously, how clean is a whistle???)
Figurative vs. Literal
Language
 Let’s pretend that you and your friends are at
Me n’ Ed’s. Suddenly your best friend says,
“You are such a hog! I wanted another piece
of pizza, but it is all gone!”
 This is another example of figurative
language. Your friend does not see you as a
swine, yet someone who ate a lot of food—
just as a hog may do.
 Literally would be, “You sure ate a lot!”
Figurative vs. Literal
Language
 Wikipedia states: “Literal language refers to
words that do not deviate from their defined
meaning. Figurative language refers to
words, and groups of words, that exaggerate
or alter the usual meanings of the component
words.”
 Simply stated: Literal means you say what
you mean. Figurative means you use words to
exaggerate, emphasize, or add flavor; you do
not mean exactly what you say.
Figurative vs. Literal
Language
 Now turn to your neighbor and explain to
him/her the difference between figurative
and literal.
 Reminder:
 Literal means you say what you mean.
 Figurative means you use words to exaggerate,
emphasize, or add flavor; you do not mean exactly
what you say.
Using comparisons, each of these add spice
to our speaking, reading, and writing.
IDIOMS, ANALOGIES, SIMILES,
AND METAPHORS
A speech form or an expression of a given language
that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be
understood from the individual meanings of its
elements, as in keep tabs on. Wikipedia
IDIOMS
Idiom Examples
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Rome was not built in a day; be patient.
She is all ears; she never misses anything said!
Joy sure has a nose for news.
Mr. Smith has eyes in the back of his head.
It’s raining cats and dogs.
Let’s kill two birds with one stone and get both
of these jobs done at the same time.
 Keep your eyes peeled for a Starbuck’s.
 That experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
 When I heard the bad news, I tried to keep a stiff
upper lip rather than crying.
Idioms
 If you visit a foreign country, beware of
idioms! They can confuse the non-native!
 If you know someone new to America, be
helpful and explain idiom meanings. They can
leave a person bewildered!
 Here is an excellent source for more
examples. http://www.idiomsite.com/
Try these on for size! (Not literally!)
Idioms
 Remember: Idioms have an entirely different
meaning than the sentence states.
 While visiting France, I was taken to the most
beautiful, exquisite restaurant several stories
high, led by narrow, winding staircases. The
rooms were decorated like the time near the
height of the Roman Empire. I said to my French
friend, “A meal here must cost a pretty penny!”
He looked at me like I’d lost my marbles. What
did I really mean? (And did I really have any
marbles to lose?)
Idiom Practice! Your turn!
Find the two idioms in this passage.
 Don't react when the bully is taunting you.
Otherwise you will just be playing into his
hands. He is trying to push your buttons to
get a reaction out of you.
Check your answers!
Did you find them?
 Don't react when the bully is taunting you.
Otherwise you will just be playing into his
hands. He is trying to push your buttons to
get a reaction out of you.
More Idiom Practice!
Find the two idioms in this passage.
 Tim decided that he would start his own lawn
mowing business. Currently he was working
for a man who paid him 35% of what the
homeowner paid. Tim was tired of playing
second fiddle to a man who was taking
advantage of him. Unfortunately, he had to
start his own business from scratch, finding
new customers.
Check your answers!
Did you find them?
 Tim decided that he would start his own lawn
mowing business. Currently he was working
for a man who paid him 35% of what the
homeowner paid. Tim was tired of playing
second fiddle to a man who was taking
advantage of him. Unfortunately, he had to
start his own business from scratch, finding
new customers.
Last Idiom Practice!
Find the two idioms in this passage.
 Giving in to peer pressure and trying
cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol is dangerous. If
you do, you are playing with fire. It is a good
rule of thumb to avoid anything that is bad
for your body or is mind-altering.
Check your answers!
Did you find them?
 Giving in to peer pressure and trying
cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol is dangerous. If
you do, you are playing with fire. It is a good
rule of thumb to avoid anything that is bad
for your body or is mind-altering.
A comparison of the similarities between two
otherwise dissimilar things. Wikipedia
ANALOGIES
Analogy Examples
Pairs of words with relationships:
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Dog is to bark as cat is to meow.
Stop is to go as above is to below.
Son is to boy as daughter is to girl.
Nose is to smell as ear is to hear.
Up is to down as in is to out.
Water is to pool as air is to ball
Sun is to hot as snow is to cold.
Analogies
 Analogies are used to compare things.
 Sometimes they are useful in keeping your
mind sharp—kind of like puzzles.
 Here is a game worth trying! See if you can
spot the right words! http://www.sadlieroxford.com/phonics/analogies/analogiesx.htm
 If that one is too fast for you, try this one:
http://www.quia.com/cb/7146.html
 Note: This type of analogy is often seen on
state tests
Analogies
 Other times analogies are used to help
another person to understand a situation
better. Let’s say that you are having a hard
time understanding why your friend is so
upset about losing her purse. Finally she says,
“It is like losing myself. Everything that is
about me was in that purse!” This helps you
understand the significance of the loss.
Analogies
 Think about a time when you lost something
important, you were especially excited, or
you felt extreme sadness.
 Describe it to your partner, using an analogy
to help him/her understand your feelings.
 Want more examples?
 When my beloved dog passed away, I had the
same feelings as if my heart had been ripped out.
 The Huns attacked and spread fear. Today we see
terrorists attack and people feel that same fear.
Analogy Practice!
Read the poem.
Day's Journey
by Vivian Gilbert Zabel
The day dawns as a journey.
One leaves the station on a train,
Rushing past other places
Without a pause or stop,
Watching faces blur as they pass,
No time to say goodbye.
On and on the train does speed
Until the line's end one sees,
Another sunset down
Without any lasting memories.
Analogy Practice! Your turn!
 What is the analogy in the poem? What is
being compared to the passing of a day?
 If you said, “A train speeding by,” you are
right! If so, you deserve a pat on the back, or a
word of congratulations. Both serve the same
purpose, right? Just as analogies do. They use
comparisons to help you to understand
situations or relationships.
school work: school; homework: home
no homework; day full of sunshine
A figure of speech in which two essentially
unlike things are compared, often in a phrase
introduced by like or as. Wikipedia
SIMILES
More Simile Examples
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His mind is as sharp as a tack.
When he is in his workshop, he is as busy as a bee.
That old table is as sturdy as an ox.
Her stare was as cold as ice.
Last night I slept like a log.
Her pink hair stood out like a sore thumb.
The movie line was as slow as molasses in January.
She sings like a bird.
Yesterday the two boys fought like cats and dogs.
That explanation sure is as clear as mud.
Simile in Poetry Practice:
Find the Similes
A Red, Red Rose
O My Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June;
O My Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve,
And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my luve
Tho' it ware ten thousand mile!
Robert Burns
Simile in Poetry Practice
 Did you find the following? If so, well done!
1. O My Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June;
2. O My Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
Simile in Poetry Practice
Find the Similes
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 a fire.
Christina Rossetti
Simile in Poetry Practice
 Did you find the following? If so, you are as
smart as a whip!
 1. An emerald is as green as grass
2. A ruby red as blood
3. A sapphire shines as blue as heaven
Comparisons that show how two things that
are not alike in most ways are similar in one
important way. Unlike similes that use the
words "as" or "like" to make a comparison,
metaphors state that something is
something else. Wikipedia
METAPHORS
Metaphor Examples
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His mind is a sharp tack.
When he is in his workshop, he is a busy bee.
That old table is a sturdy ox.
Her stare was as cold ice.
The movie line was slow molasses in January.
That explanation is clear mud.
Do these sentences look familiar? Indeed, they
do. They were used for simile examples. But
what was left out? as and like! Ta-da! Simile to
metaphor in one easy step
More Metaphor Examples
 "A man may break a word with you, sir,
and words are but wind."
(William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors)
 "The rain came down in long knitting
needles."
(Enid Bagnold, National Velvet)
 "The streets were a furnace, the sun an
executioner.“
(Cynthia Ozick, "Rosa")
 "Life is a journey, travel it well."
(United Airlines)
Metaphor Practice!
Time for some Battleship fun!
 Go to this internet site. Ready? Aim! Fire!
http://www.quia.com/ba/42131.html?AP_ran
d=132026281
Metaphor Poetry Practice
Find the Metaphor
Peace
by StarFields
The wind is now
a roaring, smashing
monster of destruction,
raking all man's work
from the valleys,
from the vales,
and sends them spinning,
broken flying but all of that is
not its core,
its center is in truth
eternal stillness
bright blue skies
and all you hear
are gentle whispers
far away
and unimportant.
Metaphor Poetry Practice
Did you find the metaphor?
Yep! Right there at the beginning of the poem!
The wind is now
a roaring, smashing
monster of destruction
Metaphor Poetry Practice
Discover the Metaphor
Fog
by Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Metaphor Poetry Practice
What is the Metaphor?
Yes! The fog is a cat
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Metaphor Poetry Practice
 Visit this site for two poems about family.
http://www.teachervision.fen.com/poetry/lite
rary-techniques/5453.html
Discuss the metaphors you find.
What metaphors would you
give your family members?
Figurative Language...
IDIOMS, ANALOGIES, SIMILES,
AND METAPHORS
Now, let’s strike while the
iron is hot!
 Time for some independent work!
 Your work pages will include identifying
 Idioms
 Analogies
 Similes
 Metaphors
 Remember:
No monkey business; zip your lips; stick to your
guns; and call it a day when you are done
THE END ???

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