Figure Of Speech: Kinds & Examples Of Literary Tools In English

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These are the kinds and examples of the figures of speech

Using the figures of speech is a part of the English language that are considered to be literary tools.

This part is defined as a word or group of words that possess a different meaning from the literal definition.

Figures of Speech

Here are the kinds of figures of speech:

Alliteration

It is the repetition of the beginning sounds of neighboring words.

Examples:

  • Blue baby bonnets bobbed through the bayou.
  • Nick needed new notebooks.
  • Fred fried frogs’ legs on Friday.

Anaphora

It is technique where several phrases or verses begin with the same word or words.

Examples:

  • I came, I saw, I conquered. – Julius Caesar
  • It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. – A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickins
  • With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right – Abraham Lincoln

Assonance

It is the repetition of vowel sounds (not just letters) in words that are close together but the sound it may not at the beginning of the word.

Examples:

  • A – For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore. (Poe)
  • E – Therefore, all seasons shall be sweet to thee. (Coleridge)
  • I – From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire. (Frost)
  • O – Oh hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. (Wordsworth)
  • U – Uncertain rustling of each purple curtain (Poe)

Euphemism

It is a mild, indirect, or vague term that is often used as a replacement to a harsh, vulgar or offensive term.

Examples:

  • “Economical with the truth” instead of using the word “liar”
  • “A little thin on top” instead of saying that a person is “going bald”
  • “Letting you go” instead of using the phrase “firing you”

Hyperbole

This simply means exaggeration.

  • I could do this forever.
  • She’s older than dirt.
  • I’ve told you to stop a thousand times.

Irony

It is used to mark contrast between what is said and what is meant, or between appearance and reality.

  • The Titanic was said to be unsinkable but sank on its first voyage. (Situational irony)
  • Naming a tiny Chihuahua Brutus. (Verbal irony)
  • When the audience knows the killer is hiding in a closet in a scary movie, but the actors do not. (Dramatic irony)

Metaphor

It is used to compare two unlike things or ideas.

  • Time is money
  • The world is a stage
  • She’s a night owl

Onomatopoeia

It is a word that sounds like what it is describing.

  • Buzz
  • Click
  • Oink

Oxymoron

It is a technique of using together two contradicting terms.

  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Sweet sorrow
  • Free market

Personification

It is used to associate human qualities to non-living things or ideas.

Examples:

  • The fog crept in.
  • The flowers nodded.
  • The fog crept in.

Simile

It is used to compare two unlike things using “like” and “as”.

Examples:

  • As blind as a bat
  • Eats like a pig
  • As wise as an owl

Synecdoche

It is a technique using a part to represent a whole or the other way around.

Examples:

  • Wheels – a car
  • The police – one policeman
  • Plastic – credit cards

Understatement

It is used to lessen the importance and seriousness of something.

Examples:

  • It stings a bit – referring to a serious wound or injury.
  • It’s just a scratch – referring to a large dent.
  • The weather is cooler today – referring to sub-zero temperatures.

Can you now used these figures of speech in your sentences?

READ ALSO:

English Idiomatic Expressions: Examples & Meanings

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