When you hear a tongue twister, you are hearing repetition of a particular sound. This use of repetition typically occurs within the beginning of each word and is commonly known as alliteration. “Sally sells seashells by the seashore” is an example of this literary device used in a tongue twister.
Figurative Language Worksheets
As a painter uses brushes and paint to create an image, a writer also has tools to create an effect. One of these tools is the use of figurative language, where the writer changes or enhances the normal meaning of words. This enhancement falls into a number of categories, called collectively “figures of speech.” These categories include metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, and onomatopoeia. Browse the collection of free, printable worksheets below!
A hyperbole is a type of figurative language defined as a dramatic exaggeration. Many writers use hyperboles to emphasize a particular detail of a character, setting, or situation. A great example of this is the phrase “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse!”
idioms have an actual meanings different from their literal meanings. Idioms are a type of figurative language, adding color and interest to writing. A few common idiom examples are, "high as a kite" and "sick as a dog".
Irony is a literary device that is all about opposites: opposite meanings, opposite results and opposite expectations. In literature, authors often use an ironic twist or comment to make a point or to entertain. However, an author’s use of irony can be subtle and may require analysis to discover the deeper meaning that is the author’s ultimate intent.
“She is the apple of my eye” is a phrase that we have all heard once or twice. But is there really an apple in a person’s eye? No, this is just a metaphor to demonstrate how dear a person is to the one speaking. This type of comparison is known as a metaphor. Metaphors can be seen in all different types of literature and are important in demonstrating and understanding relationships and situations.
An onomatopoeia is any word that indicates a sound is being made. Snap! Boom! Crackle! These are all examples of onomatopoeia, along with words, such as “meow” and “ding dong” This figure of speech is commonly used to create a convivial tone in writing, and adds high energy to the text.
An oxymoron is a set of words that when put side by side, seem to be contradictory to one another. This figure of speech is common in our everyday language, and we might not even notice it! Some great examples of an oxymoron are: “civil war,” “bittersweet” and “dull roar.”
“You can save money by spending it,” is a phrase that seems self-contradictory, however, it might actually hold some truth. This type of phrase is known as a paradox. Paradoxes are a more complicated literary device, but can add interest and wit to writing. Hamlet holds a great example of paradox used by Shakespeare, “I must be cruel to be kind.”
Personification is when a human characteristic is given to an inanimate object, an animal, or any other item that is not human. For example, an author may write about a dog that can speak. Can dogs really speak? No, the author has personified the dog by giving it the ability to talk. Personification is a common literary technique and is used to bring situations and characters to life.
Puns are a type of figurative language that use either a homonym or a variation of the word to create a different meaning. Often used in a light-hearted way, some authors, including Shakespeare, also use puns in a more serious way.
A simile is a figure of speech that compares two unlike things. Many writers use the words “like” or “as” to compare the two items. A great example of simile can be found in J. M. Barrie’s "Peter Pan", “her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that came from the puzzling East . . .”