Similes, Metaphors, & Personification

These make writing more interesting, as they show the creativity of the writer, and help us see the world a little differently.

Simile: Says that something is similar to another thing. Use “like” or “as”. Example, “Suina is as cute as a kitten”, “Tamami is as gentle as a lamb”.

Metaphor: Say that something is equal something else. Use “is” or language of certainty. “As Andrew talked, Haruka faded off to sleep”, “He drowned in a sea of grief”.

Personification: Gives non-human things human-like characteristics. Example, “The stars danced in the moonlit sky”, “The popcorn leapt out of the bowl”, “Andrew’s classes are so great that time flies”.

Write S for simile, M for metaphor, or P for personification for the examples of your own, and then make three more examples of your own (see a book or the internet for ideas).

  1. _P_ The wind sang through the meadow. (this sounds nice/terrible)
  2. ___ Daiki feels a little blue today. (she is happy/sad)
  3. ___ Kyoka is as hungry as a horse. (he wants a lot/little food)
  4. ___ Mayu had her heart broken yesterday. (this is good/sad)
  5. ___ Saki was as sick as a dog last night. (this is good/bad)
  6. ___ The sun glared down on us at the beach. (this is bright/dark)
  7. ___ Time crept by. (this is fast/slow)
  8. ___ Miku was as proud as a peacock with her A plus. (this is great/bad)
  9. ___ My brothers fight like cats and dogs. (this is often/rarely)
  10. ___ My girlfriend is the light of my life. (this is good/bad)
  11. ___ My alarm clock sprang to life at 6am. (this is surprising/dreary)

Practice

Look up Katy Perry’s Firework, and read through the lyrics, how many similes, metaphors, and personifications can you find?

Also see 10 Great Metaphors from Popular Music, and 11 Meaningful Songs With Hauntingly Beautiful Metaphors in Them.

More metaphors, http://www.metaphors.com/.

Make your own

There are many ways to make your own. These are some easy ways to make your own examples.

  1. A person’s mood: Describe their eyes. Eg: “His eyes were as cold as ice”
  2. A person’s mood: Use a colour. Eg: “His face burned red with anger”
  3. The weather: A human hobby. Eg: “The wind danced with her hair”
  4. The weather: A human place or object. Eg: “Today is going to be like a sauna outside”.
  5. (anything)

References

Ideas from John Howrey

Teaching & researching EFL listening in Japan