Similes and metaphor and the difference between them

The English language and its grammatical words can get really confusing sometimes. A lot of new learners of the English language go through this phase of confusion. This can be due to the popularity of the language and the way it keeps growing in different parts of the world. There are hundreds of words that get added to the English language dictionary. As it is an international language and is very important in today’s globalizing world it has become important for a person to learn the language to develop, expand and explore.

After reading this article you will be able to tell the meaning of Simile and Metaphor as well as understand the difference between them. There will be meaning with examples for a better understanding of the two terms which do look similar but do have different meanings. Knowing the difference between such terms can help an individual to understand and analyze a literary text in a deeper and closer way. So, without much of a talk let’s get started with the meanings of each term and then the difference between those two terms.

Simile and Metaphor –

According to Google Dictionary Simile is “a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.” And if one looks at the history the word simile itself is derived from the Latin word called similis which means similar or like.

Before moving on to the meaning of Metaphor let us see some the example to get a clearer idea –

  • The moment she saw him, she turned as white as a ghost.
  • My love is like a red, red rose.
  • She looked as lifeless as a desert.
  • The body was as cold as ice.
  • It felt hard like a rock.
  • To me he feels like home.
  • Children are as innocent as an angle.
  • To him each word of hers felt like a punch in the gut.
  • Yesterday, I slept like a log.
  • She looks thin but she is as strong as an ox.

Now if we see the definition of Metaphor provided by Google Dictionary it says that “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.” And again if looked at history the word Metaphor itself is derived from the Greek word metapherein which means to transfer. Also, there are different types of metaphors and those are – Standard, Implied, Visual and Extented.

Let us see some of the examples of metaphor for a better understanding of the term and its use –

  • I am drowing in my the sea of my pain.
  • She could smell the fear on them when she stood in front of them.
  • Their words cut her deeper than a knife.
  • She managed to brake his heart the way he did it.
  • They realized their love when the curtain of night fell upon them.
  • Time is a theif.
  • The world is a stage.
  • Laughter is the best medicine.
  • Sometimes life feels like a rollercoaster ride.

And one can go on and on with the examples of simile and metaphor. And if we look at the examples closely we can clearly spot the difference between these two figures of speech.

Difference Between Simile and Metaphor

Now that the meaning is clear to us let us see the exact difference between these two commonly confused figures of speech with as basic a sentence as can be used. So –

basically, simile and metaphor are used to show the comparison but the difference is that Simile requires words like ‘as’ or ‘like’ for comparing two things whereas Metaphor does not require words like ‘as’ or ‘like’, in fact, it directly considers one thing with another thing which does not even relate to each other but kind of resemble the same emotion. One thing to keep in mind, one can say that Simile is a form of Metaphor but a Metaphor cannot be a simile as we just learned that Metaphors do not use connectives to compare two things. Metaphors and Similes not only add creativity to the writing but also a deeper meaning to it. That helps the readers to understand a writer’s thoughts more clearly and connect to the writing in a better way.

You can also check out this other article – Affect vs Effect

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Carter Martin

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