Figurative Language Worksheets

We use figurative language all the time and don't even realize it. We describe things often by making a comparison to something else. That is exactly what figurative language is. It helps make things make sense quicker. Just at the dinner table last night my family used this form of language to describe my son's habit of eating quickly. For example, here are some things that were said: "You really wolfed that done!" "You eat like a horse!"

Simile, Metaphor, Hyperbole, or Personification Worksheet
We have you label the use of language and then explain why or what part lead you to that decision. Classify the form of language that is used in each sentence and then explain how you came to that conclusion.

Figurative Language: Idiom, Simile, Metaphor
This is just straight identification within sentence use. Which of the three forms of language are used in the sentences? Just classify it for us.

Underline Figurative Language
We have you rewrite sentences using a different language format. We have you identify the language usage and then ask you to rewrite those sentences that contain it.

Understanding Figurative Language
We focus on metaphor usage and removing it. Rework the metaphors that are thrown at you. A great exercise.

This worksheet is as fun as day at Disneyland! This is most revolutionary break through in worksheet technology ever revealed to humans. Yeah, we got carried away with this one!

Identifying Figurative Language in Poetry
We ask you to interpret the language that is being used. We have you explain the meaning behind the language that you are presented with.

Why Is Figurative Language Used in Writing?

Have you ever heard someone say, "I love you to the moon and back"? Have you said it yourself? Do you have any idea how far the moon is?

When someone says such a statement, it isn't supposed to be taken in its literal sense. The phrase is the speaker’s way of saying they love someone a lot creatively. The vast distance between the Earth and the moon and the time taken to cover it indicate the depth of devotion. The purpose of exaggerating one's feelings is to express the intensity of those feelings. This statement and many others like it are what we call figurative language.

What Is Figurative Language in Writing?

Figurative language is a way of expressing something effectively but can't be taken in its literal sense. When a writer uses figurative language, the idea is to allow readers to feel the emotion or connect to the scene's imagery. Direct language cannot produce such an impact on a reader.

The use of figurative language for specific moods makes the writing richer and more meaningful. It also sets the tone for different settings or helps figure out the book's spirit, helping the reader figure out what to expect.

Let's look at these figurative language examples sentences:

- She cried a river when she lost the beauty pageant.
- Gregory is as free as a bird now because he graduated today.
- The rustle of the leaves made the hunters hyper-aware.

All these figurative language examples sentences help you understand what the writer's trying to convey without using the exact words. The first sentence shows that the pageant meant a lot to the girl. The second sentence depicts how hard Gregory was studying for graduation. The third sentence takes us to the scene itself.

What Types of Figurative Language Are Commonly Used?

There are various figurative language, each conveying a different emotion. However, we'll discuss five types of figurative language, widely used in writing and speaking.

1. Similes: Two things are compared based on their similarity using connecting words 'like' or 'as' in a simile. Such as Amber felt as proud as a peacock in her midnight-blue dress. Proud is the similarity here between Amber and a peacock. Therefore, as proud as a peacock becomes a simile.

2. Metaphors: In a metaphor, two things are referred to as one another based on similarity. When using a metaphor, connecting words are not used. For example, You are my moon. Here, 'you' is referred to as the moon, likely due to its beauty or glow. Hence, it is an example of a metaphor.

3. Personification: In personification, a human quality is attributed to a non-human thing or character. For instance: "The mountains are calling me," sighed Rita. Mountains are non-human, whereas calling someone is a human quality, making it an example of personification.

4. Hyperbole: This is one of the most common types of figurative language. An exaggerated statement or claim is known as hyperbole. We started this article with exaggeration. Another example is: Max has told me this story a million times now. A story told a million times would take ages. Therefore, it is hyperbole.

5. Onomatopoeia: A word that imitates the sound it describes is known as onomatopoeia. Words such as hiss, buzz, sizzle, etc., are some common examples of onomatopoeia that we use daily.

Can you come up with a few figurative language examples sentences of your own?

Why Is Figurative Language Important in Writing?

Using figurative language invokes imagery or an emotional response to provide clarity and impact. Apart from that, a writer sets the book's tone with the help of figurative language.

Figurative language is also used to add depth and layers to the writing. A book that describes things as it is won't be very appealing to read as all the information is on the surface. However, a book with figurative language will allow the reader to peel the layers and take away a feeling unique to them.

In various literary pieces, you will find different types of figurative language coming together to convey a message. Here are some common uses of the types of figurative language we discussed above.

1. To introduce a scene's setting: You would often find similes, metaphors, and personification to create imagery in the reader's head when describing a scene's setting. Example: Instead of saying 'The stormy winds,' which doesn't impact, a writer might say 'The wind was howling.' The reader can immediately connect with the scene by reading such sentences.

2. To introduce a character: It is often easier to connect with a character that speaks the reader's language. Therefore, in young adult literature, you would find extensive use of hyperbole. Apart from that, a character with exaggerations in the dialogues can be categorized as someone young. A more creative character with sounds might be shown using onomatopoeia in their speech. That's how a writer reveals a character's traits without telling.

3. To describe a sound: Onomatopoeia communicates the sounds in a setting effectively. It gives the reader a way to be part of the setting without being present. Example: The honking and beeping cars made her head hurt. A reader can immediately connect with the situation, feeling the character's feelings due to the description of sounds.

Figurative language is extensively used in writing and speaking. Using figurative language in writing is to express an idea effectively to the reader, which direct language cannot. Remember, you cannot take figurative language in its literal sense.

There are various types of figurative language that we use daily. You can add figurative language to your writing to make it more exciting and relatable for your readers. Start with something easy, and then practice some more challenging ones to make your writing compelling. All the best!