Guide to Literary Terms

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What are examples of figurative language?

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1.Personification:  giving human traits to nonhuman objects

  Example:  The trees swayed and danced in the wind.

2.Alliteration:  using two or more words that begin with the same sound

  Example:  The jingle, jangle, jingle of the sleigh bells echoed in the night.

3.Metaphor:  A comparison NOT using like or as

  Example:  The sun was a red ball on the horizon.

4. Onomatopoeia—words that resemble sounds

  Example:  ‘Crash’ or ‘hiss’ 

5.Simile– a comparison using like or as

  Example:  The sun set on the horizon like a big red ball.

6.   Idiom—an expression whose meaning is not related to the actual words in the phrase

  Example:  “Kick the bucket” or “dropping the ball”

7.  Hyperbole--an extreme exaggeration

  Example:  That cupcake was so good, I could eat a million of them.

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