How do I know what the author is really
trying to accomplish with his/her words?
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
Comparison of two things using “like” or “as.”
The metal twisted like a ribbon.
She is as 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.
Two things are compared without using
“like” or “as.”
All the world is a stage.
Men are dogs.
Her heart is stone.
Giving human traits to objects or ideas.
The sunlight danced.
Water on the lake shivers.
The streets are calling me.
Exaggerating to
show strong feeling or effect.
I will love you forever.
My house is a million miles away.
She’d kill me.
A word that “makes” a sound
A saying that isn’t meant to be taken literally.
Doesn’t “mean” what it says
Don’t be a stick in the mud!
You’re the apple of my eye.
I have an ace up my sleeve.
When two words are put together that
contradict each other. “Opposites”
Jumbo Shrimp
Pretty Ugly
Freezer Burn
when a series of
words repeat the
same consonants
or sounds in a line
or verse
•He is a rock: This signifies that he is
strong and dependable. Symbolism in
the form of a metaphor.
Symbolism - using a word or phrase to represent
an idea. When an author wants to suggest a
certain mood or emotion, he/she can just use
symbolism to hint at it, rather than just blatantly
saying it. Symbolism can be found almost
anywhere, not only in literature.
William Blake refers to life cycle and
uses sunflowers to represent humankind
and that they desire everlasting life.
“Ah Sunflower, weary of time, Who
countest the steps of the sun; Seeking
after that sweet golden clime Where the
traveler’s journey is done;”
 Tone = the attitude that
an author takes toward the
audience, the subject, or
the character. Tone is
conveyed through the
author's words and details.
(Examples: witty, sarcastic,
angry, serious, haunting,
playful, sympathetic, etc.)
Mood = emotions
that you feel while you
are reading.
(Examples: cheerful,
gloomy, content,
relaxed, depressed,
bittersweet, scared,
On your bell ringer paper or a separate sheet of
I will put an example of figurative language
on the board.
You will write whether it is an simile,
metaphor, personification, hyperbole,
idiom, onomatopoeia, or oxymoron.
You can use your notes.
He drew a line as straight as an arrow.
The sun was beating down on me.
A flag wags like a fishhook there in the sky.
Ravenous and savage
from its long
polar journey,
the North Wind
is searching
for food—
Dinner is on the house.
The clouds smiled down at me.
She is as sweet as candy
I could sleep forever!
The wheat field was a sea of gold.
She was dressed to the nines.
Old news
She was as white as a ghost.

Figurative Language - Lake County Schools / Overview