Best Simile Examples | Writing Review
Do you have hair that flows like a waterfall? Or hair that is as curly as a corkscrew? Are your eyes as blue as the ocean? Or are your eyes brown like chocolate?
These descriptions are all similes. Similes that may describe you! But what are similes, exactly? And how are they used?
Similes are a type of figurative language. Figurative language uses figures of speech to make written and verbal communication more effective, easier to understand, and more striking. Similes are a specific type of figurative language called imagery. There are several different types of imagery, but we’ll stick with similes for this video.
Similes use the words “like” or “as” to compare two unlike things. This comparison helps to bring out different qualities in the words, helping the audience to see the words in new ways.
Some examples of similes used in everyday speech are:
“He is as strong as an ox!”
“She can swim like a fish!”
The first simile uses the word “as” to compare a man to an ox. By comparing a man to an ox, you get the full impact of his strength. It would otherwise be flat and boring if you just said he was very strong.
The second simile uses the word “like” to compare a woman to a fish. By doing this, you can get a picture of how well she swims that a simple, “she’s a good swimmer” would not quite convey.
Similes do not have to compare people to animals. There are many similes that compare a person to an object, or even one object to another:
“The clean tablecloth was as white as snow.”
“The new car drove like a dream.”
As you can see, these items are not people or animals, but instead objects. However, these similes still use the words “like” or “as” to compare two unlike items.
Having the word “as” appear twice in a simile can be confusing. It can be hard to tell what is being compared. Just remember to look for the noun in the sentence. What or who is being described? Comparing the tablecloth’s color to snow helps the audience to “see” how white and clean it really is.
Similes that use the word “like” are a bit easier. Driving the car is a positive experience, like a good dream. That comparison can evoke thoughts of a smooth ride, a fast drive, or even the wind blowing in your hair as you cruise along the beach. Such a simple simile can bring together so many new ideas!
Similes are not just used in speech, however. Songs often use similes as well to make comparisons and draw attention to images and ideas. Like in the song “Flying Trapeze” by Alfred Lee and George Leybourne:
“Once I was happy, but now I’m forlorn; like an old coat that is tattered and torn.”
The writer of the song used the word “like” to compare being forlorn to an old coat. As silly as the song is, the image of the tattered and torn coat really helps to bring the depression of the singer to life. Without similes, many songs would seem lifeless and dull!
Similes are also often used in poetry. In the poem “A Red, Red Rose”, Robert Burns uses a simile to describe his love:
“O my love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
My love is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.”
By comparing his love to both a rose, which is a symbol of love in many cultures, and also to a sweet melody, you get much more out of the poem than just love. The rose gives you color – red – the sweet scent of a rose, the soft velvety-ness of its petals, and maybe even the sting of the rose’s thorns. Like a rose, love can be complex and much more than just pretty. Melodies and music also have connotations of their own. “Played in tune” gives you an indication that things are going smoothly; that there are not out of tune parts to his love.
Novels also use similes to bring characters and settings to life. An example of this occurs in Jane Austen’s book, “Pride and Prejudice”. The main love interest, Darcy, says,
“I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love.”
By comparing poetry to food, you can see the importance he places on it.. It is much more impactful to the reader than the character just stating that he finds poetry important in romance. This also helps to give us insight into his personality- making him a deeper, more well-rounded character.
As you can see, similes help to make language more colorful and easier to understand. Similes help bring new color and life into mundane objects. They are an important part of songs, poetry and even everyday speech. What similes do you use in your day to day speech? Can you spot similes in the things you read or listen to?
I hope that this video has helped you understand more about similes.
Thanks so much for watching. See you next time!