FIGURES OF SPEECH
A figure of speech is
a rhetorical device that achieves a special effect by using words in
distinctive ways. Though there are hundreds of figures of speech, here we'll
focus on just 20 of the most common figures.
will probably remember many of these terms from your English classes.
Figurative language is often
associated with literature--and with poetry in particular. But the fact is,
whether we're conscious of it or not, we use figures of speech every day in our
own writing and conversations.
example, common expressions such as "falling in love," "racking
our brains," "hitting a sales target," and "climbing the
ladder of success" are all metaphors--the
most pervasive figure of all. Likewise, we rely on similes when making explicit
comparisons ("light as a feather") and hyperbole to
emphasize a point ("I'm starving!").
Using original figures
of speech in our writing is a way to convey meanings in fresh, unexpected ways.
Figures can help our readers understand and stay interested in what we have to
20 Figures Of Speech
The repetition of an initial consonant sound.
The repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive
clauses or verses. (Contrast with epiphora and epistrophe.)
The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in
Breaking off discourse to address some absent person or thing, some abstract
quality, an inanimate object, or a nonexistent character.
Identity or similarity in sound between internal vowels in neighboring words.
A verbal pattern in which the second half of an expression is balanced against
the first but with the parts reversed.
The substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively
An extravagant statement; the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of
emphasis or heightened effect.
The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. A statement
or situation where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or
presentation of the idea.
A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is
expressed by negating its opposite.
An implied comparison between two unlike things that actually have something
important in common.
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with
which it's closely associated; also, the rhetorical strategy of describing
something indirectly by referring to things around it.
The use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions
they refer to.
A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by
A statement that appears to contradict itself.
A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with
human qualities or abilities.
A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes
on the similar sense or sound of different words.
A stated comparison (usually formed with "like" or "as")
between two fundamentally dissimilar things that have certain qualities in
A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole (for example, ABCs for alphabet)
or the whole for a part ("England won the World Cup in
A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation
seem less important or serious than it is.
Ms. Sneha Patel
Post a Comment