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Similes and Metaphors Study Guide

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Similes and Metaphors

In this lesson, you'll discover two more ways authors use specific words to add interest to their writing.

SIMILES AND METAPHORS are two more kinds of figurative language that authors use to add interest to their writing.

A simile compares two things by using the words like or as.

      Example 1

      I was so embarrassed; my face was as red as a beet!

How can the author compare a person's face to a vegetable? They're so different! True, but they are alike in one way: Both are red. Picturing this can help you visualize the character and understand his or her motives in a story.

Here are few more similes. What do they help you visualize?

      You and I are as alike as two peas in a pod!
      She is as quiet as a mouse.
      His sadness was as unending as the waves crashing on shore.
      I know I can trust him; he's as honest as the day is long.
      I can't get her to do anything; she's as stubborn as a mule!

A metaphor compares two things without using like or as. The text states that one thing is, or has the characteristics of, another.

      Example 2

      The dog's eyes were searchlights, looking for any sign of kindness.

Is the author tying to get you to picture a dog with huge searchlights for eyes? No, the author wants you to visualize a poor dog staring intently, looking for kindness from a stranger.

Here are a few more metaphors. What do you visualize with each?

      Night is a curtain that eventually falls.
      The quarterback is a well-maintained machine.
      She is a beacon of light, guiding us home.
      Strength and honor are his uniform.
      Silence is an invited guest, allowing me time to think.

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Similes and Metaphors Practice Exercises

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