Explain the difference between a simile and a metaphor. Then write two original examples of each.

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Simile: While there are several specific variations of similes, in general a simile is a comparison between two unlike objects, people, ideas, etc., which uses comparative words such as "like," "as," or "than."  Example: His girlfriend is like a modern Medusa!

Metaphor: A metaphor takes a little more skill to write and to interpret.  Writers of metaphors have to be confident that their audience/readers will understand that they are using figurative language rather than literal.  A metaphor is an indirect comparison between two seemingly unlike objects, people, ideas, etc. If a metaphor stretches through several lines of poetry or sentences in prose, it is called an extended metaphor.  Example: The champion weightlifter is an ox. (Notice that there are no comparative words in the metaphor example.)

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both similes and metaphors compare one thing to another as a way of describing the first thing.  The only difference is that a simile does it explicitly while a metaphor does not.

Similes generally use the word "as" or "like."  So an example of a simile would be "his answer was like a ray of sun bursting through to enlighten me."

By contrast, a metaphor doesn't use "like" or "as."  So an example of a metaphor would be "the sunshine of his answer dispelled the dark clouds of my uncertainty."