All of us use different figures of speech in our everyday life, no matter which language we speak. Being familiar with different types of figures of speech can not only increase your vocabulary in a particular language, but also help you in your career. This is especially for those who want to pursue a career in translation, poetry or writing. Also, having a solid idea of the different figures of speech can come in handy a wide range of exams, including both language proficiency exams for studying abroad, and different competitive exams for work or study. Want to familiarise yourself with the different figures of speech? Take a look at this blog for detailed information on the popular types of figures of speech.
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What are Figures of Speech?
Figure of speech are an integral part of any language, which are used extensively not only in our day to day speech, but also in written texts and oral literature. These are a word or a phrase used in a distinctive way to produce a rhetorical effect. To say in very simple terms, it is a phrase whose actual meaning is different from its literal meaning. These are developed and expressed through a variety of different rhetorical techniques. All of us use different figures of speech in our daily conversations, both deliberately and subconsciously.
10 Kinds of Figures of Speech with Examples
There is a wide range of different types of figures of speech that are used in our daily communication. Let us take a look at some of the most popular ones that are used extensively:
Personification is a figure of speech that attributes human nature or human qualities to abstract or inanimate objects. For example, we often use the phrases like the howling wind, dancing leaves, time flies etc. Some examples of personification in a sentence are:
- The opportunity knocked at his door
- The plants in her house silently begged to be watered
A metaphor is a figure of speech which is used for implying a comparison between two things that have something in common but are in general different from each other. Some examples of the usage of metaphors in a sentence is as follows:
- It is raining cats and dogs
- He is the star of our class
A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things that are different from each other but have similar qualities. These are generally formed through usage of the words ‘as’ or ‘like’. Some examples of similes in a sentence include:
- He is as brave as a lion
- Her expression was as cold as ice
Alliteration is a type of figure of speech in which a sentence consists of a series of words that have the same consonant sound at the beginning. Some popular examples of alliteration in a sentence include:
- She sells sea shells on the sea shore
- A good cook could cook as much cookies as a good cook who could cook cookies
This a figure of speech which is used to express a sound. To be more precise, it involves the use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the action or object referred to i.e. hiss, clap etc. Some examples of onomatopoeia include:
- The buzzing bee flew over my head
- The stone hit the water with a splash
A hyperbole is a figure of speech that consists of an exaggeration. It is the usage of exaggerated terms in order to emphasise or heighten the effect of something. Some examples of using hyperboles in a sentence include:
- I have told you a million times to not touch my stuff!
- She has got a pea-sized brain
Euphemism is the usage of a mild word in substitution of something that is more explicit or harsh when referring to something unfavorable or unpleasant. Some examples of the usage of this figure of speech include:
- This mall has good facilities for differently-abled people
- He passed away in his sleep
Irony or sarcasm is a figure of speech in which the usage of words conveys the opposite of their literal meaning. These are often used in a humorous manner. Some examples of irony include:
- Your hands are as clean as mud
- The dinner you served was as hot as ice
It is a repetition of a word or phrase at the start of several sentences of clauses. Some of the examples of anaphora figures of speech are as follows:
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “I Have a Dream” Speech
- Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities
It addresses the subject that is not present in the work. In this case, the object is absent or inanimate. Here are some of the examples of apostrophes.
- Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are
- Welcome, O life!
Figures of Speech with Examples
|Figures of Speech||Examples|
|Personification||The opportunity knocked at his door|
|Metaphor||It is raining cats and dogs|
|Simile||He is as brave as a lion|
|Alliteration||She sells sea shells on the sea shore|
|Onomatopoeia||The buzzing bee flew over my head|
|Hyperbole||She has got a pea-sized brain|
|Euphemism||He passed away in his sleep|
|Irony||Your hands are as clean as mud|
|Anaphora||Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “I Have a Dream” Speech|
|Apostrophe||Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are|
How to Ace Figures of Speech?
Wondering what the hard and fast rule to ace the figures of speech section? Then only thing that will help you is practice. We have curated a list of best books that will help you ace it like a pro:
|Figures of Speech: The Art of Ornate Diction||Buy Here|
|Figures of Speech: Sixty Ways to Turn a Phrase||Buy Here|
|A Handbook of Scansion and Figures of Speech||Buy Here|
|Fantastic Figures of Speech (Fun with English)||Buy Here|
|Figures of Speech: Figures of Speech||Buy Here|
Hope you found this blog on some popular figures of speech interesting and informative. Being familiar with these figures of speech can help you tremendously in preparing for various competitive exams. Need help in your preparation for IELTS, TOEFL or GMAT? Leverage Live offers live interactive classes and doubt-clarification sessions by top certified experts who can help you ace your test with flying colours. Reach out to us today!