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FIGURES OF SPEECH (Figurative language)

A figure of speech is the use of a specific word or group of words that adds style to your text and makes your literary work more enjoyable for your reader. Figures of speech often provide emphasis or clarity to your statement. Try to avoid mixing various figures of speech in one sentence. This confuses the reader because the images suggested do not always blend well. FIGURE OF SPEECH Allegory Alliteration DEFINITION
When a metaphor is extended throughout an entire work of fiction (short story or novel). The repetition of an initial consonant sound (when the sound at the beginning of a word is repeated). The repetition of a middle vowel sound. Animal Farm Avatar "You'll never put a better bit of butter on your knife." Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Talking and walking, hours on end. (Repetition of the ah sound in talking walking) A turtle in the fertile soil. (Repetition of the er sound in turtle fertile) Martin Luther King, Jrs I Have a Dream speech ( I have a dream) Martin Luther King, Jrs I Have a Dream speech ( let freedom reign!) "For no government is better than the men who compose it, and I want the best, and we need the best, and we deserve the best." (Senator JFK) I was surprised his nose was not growing like Pinocchios. When she lost her job, she acted like a Scrooge, and refused to buy anything that wasnt necessary. This place is like a Garden of Eden. It is raining so hard, I hope it doesnt rain for 40 days and 40 nights. "My wife, a nurse by training, John and Bob, both friends of mine, are starting a band. John can play the guitar; Mary can, too. Jessica had five dollars; Monica, three. Fire when ready.



Anaphora Epistrophe

The repetition of one (or a few) words at the beginning of a sentence. Purpose is to add emphasis/meaning or build to a climax. The repetition of one (or a few) words at the end of a sentence. Purpose is to add emphasis/meaning or build to a climax.


Makes a reference to a place, person, or something that happened. There are two main types: - Literary allusions - Biblical allusions

Apposition Ellipsis

When verbs are eliminated (in the middle of a sentence) to produce shorter descriptive phrases. Refers to the omission of one or more words that would otherwise be required.


The substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively explicit.

Hyperbole (overstatement) Idiom Interjection Irony

An exaggerated or extravagant statement. Used to make a strong impression. Not intended to be taken literally. (the opposite of an understatement) A common phrase or figure of speech not to be taken literally. An exclamation or hesitation noise within a sentence. The use of words to suggest the opposite of their literal meaning.


A statement that seems to contradict or oppose itself, yet actually reveals some truth. Resembles a simile, without the use of like or as. When a comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common.


Onomatopoeia Oxymoron

The use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to. When contradictory terms appear side by side.

Passed away instead of died. Youre being let-go instead of youre fired He is vertically challenged instead of hes short. Im starving! Im freezing out here! Andrew says praising his loves eyes could take 100 years. Beating around the bush. Raining cats and dogs. Darn. Another fish got away. Ha! Caught you! Ooh, look at the pretty pink one! "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." Told that the car repair would cost $2000 and take at least two weeks, she said Oh, that would be wonderful! Its hard work doing nothing. Youth is wasted on the young. The more we know, the less we understand. My father is a bear in the mornings. "The rain came down in long knitting needles." "Language is a road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going." The rush-hour traffic bled out of all the citys major arteries. Hissss Beep Vroom Ding Dong Choo Choo "act naturally," "random order," "original copy," "found missing," "alone together," "criminal justice," "old news," "peace force," "even odds," "awful good," "student teacher," "definite possibility," "definite maybe," "terribly pleased," "civil war," "real phony," "ill health," "turn up missing," "jumbo shrimp," "loose tights," "small crowd," and "clearly misunderstood" I asked a buddy (my friend John Smith) to join me. During the dance, that continued until midnight, we really had a fun time! "Oreo: Milks favourite cookie." The wind stood up and gave a shout. "Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered.



a word, phrase, or sentence inserted as an aside in a sentence complete by itself. The parenthesis is either set aside with brackets or with commas. The assignment of a human trait to a nonhuman thing.


A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words. To pun is to treat homonyms as synonyms. The simple repeating of a word, within a sentence or a poetical line, with no particular placement of the words, in order to emphasize. A question posed for its effect without the expectation of a reply. They encourage the listener to think about what the (often obvious) answer to the question must be. While amusing and often humorous, rhetorical questions are rarely meant for pure, comedic effect. Similar to a metaphor. When two unlike things are compared, usually in a phrase introduced by like or as.


Rhetorical Question

"When it pours, it reigns." (slogan of Michelin tires) "Look deep into our ryes." (slogan of Wigler's Bakery) "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." "Words, words, words." "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny compared to what lies within us." "For your gods are not gods but man-made idols." "Can you do anything right?" Smoking causes lung cancer. Who knew? "What the hell?"


"Good coffee is like friendship: rich and warm and strong." "The interior of the Earth is rather like an onion, made up of a series of concentric shells or layers." My father grumbles like a bear in the mornings. His dream dried up like a raisin in the sun.

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