Figures of Speech

Figures of speech are used to express thoughts or feelings in a remarkable way that intentionally differs from the ordinary mode of speech, in order to add emotional intensity or beauty as perceived by the speaker. In ordinary mode of speech one may say, “You are beautiful.” We can communicate the same idea using figures of speech in a more pleasing manner like, “You are as beautiful as a flower,” or “You are as red as a rose.”

A Figure of Speech often provides emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. It uses language in a non-literal way, structured or unusual way, or employs sounds to achieve a rhetorical effect. Some of the commonly used figures of speech in English include simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, etc.

‘Simile’ means likeness. It is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things. A simile draws resemblance with the help of expressions ‘like’ or ‘as’. Metaphor is a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things or objects that may be very different from each other but have some characteristics common between them. Onomatopoeia is defined as a word that represents the natural sound of an object. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting. For example: a buzzing bee / a roaring train / rusting leaves.

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