Figures of speech overview

Here is an overview of the different figures of speech.


In simile we make a comparison between two distinctly different objects which have at least one common trait. The simile is usually introduced by words such as like, so or as.

  • My Love is like a red, red rose.

A comparison made between two objects of the same kind is not a simile.

A large number of similes are used in everyday speech. Common examples are given below:

  • As proud of a peacock
  • As old as the hills
  • As cold as ice
  • As good as gold


A metaphor is different from a simile. Here we suggest a likeness between two objects of distinctly different nature. Note that a metaphor does not state that one thing is like another. It boldly claims that the two objects are one and the same.

Examples are:

  • Life is a dream. (Here the speaker establishes a likeness between life and dream by saying that they are one and the same.)

Note that we can convert a metaphor into a simile by using the words like or as. In the same way, a simile can be converted into a metaphor.

  • She is like a red rose. (Simile)
  • She is a red rose. (Metaphor)


In personification, inanimate objects and abstract ideas are spoken of as if they were endowed with life and intelligence.


  • Necessity is the mother of invention.


An apostrophe is a direct address either to an absent person or to a nonhuman entity.