Figurative language in English refers to the implied meaning rather than literal, however, words that are being said make sense but not actually true. It doesn’t imply that they are false but they can be an exaggeration of a feeling. For instance; “that news hit me like a ton of bricks”. Well, it is pretty obvious that that ton of bricks didn’t actually hit the person but it feels as if it did. While using figurative language your listener is aware that the words you utter has a hidden implied meaning like you can easily guess that the “news he heard was deeply moving”.
There are several types of figurative language in English to use while writing or speaking English language such as; simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole etc. Each type has its own feature and each one is used for a specific purpose, the purpose can be artistic, or to sound humorous. It can also be used to make your words more heavy or effective. In fact, writers often use it as a technique to make emotional connection with the reader. For example; if the wind is blowing faster than usual it can be said that the “wind is roaring” while generally roaring is feature associated with lions.
You can also have fun by making your own sentences using such figurative language with the long list of nouns starting with R which would definitely make learning enjoyable.
The Use of Similes in English Language:
The use of similes in English Language is a common tool to compare two unlike things using “like” or “as”. For instance; it can be said that: he runs like a horse” which is humanly impossible but the comparison implies that he runs faster than most of the humans out there. Similarly, it is commonly said that “he swam like a fish” or “you are as brave as a lion”. It is very obvious that these comparisons are based on universal facts that fishes are the best swimmers and lion are the bravest of all animals in the forest.
The Use of Metaphors in English Language:
Metaphors in English language functions just as the similes do but without the use of like or as. You may be thinking how is it possible to compare two different thing without using like or as but it can be easily done. For instance; Ali is a walking dictionary, when you read the sentence you may be puzzled that how can a human be a dictionary but most people already know what the sentence implies. It means that Ali knows most of the words in English language and their possible meanings present in the dictionary.
The Use of Hyperbole in English Language:
Hyperbole in English language is used for extreme exaggeration which involve an impossibility or near impossibility. For instance; “I am so hungry that I can eat a horse” the sentence doesn’t make any literal sense since is it is humanly impossible to at a horse no matter how hungry someone is but the listener knows that the one saying such a thing must be very hungry. On a lighter note, it is as if the benefits of the whitening cream can really make you three tones lighter in just three uses. We all know this isn’t the case at all.
The Use of Personification in English Language:
Personification in English language refers to associating human qualities to non-human objects, in other words to personify them. For instance; “the trees danced in the wind” we are all aware that the trait of dancing isn’t the one to be associated with trees but writers use it to create a certain effect or imagery in the readers’ mind. Similarly, “the stars winked in the night sky” or “the sun smiled happily down to us”.
Writers or speakers of English language use these engaging techniques to grab the attention of the reader of listener due to which the reader feels intimidated to read the next line or page or the audience wouldn’t leave their seats. To be precise, the more examples of figurative language you come across the easily you understand them. All you need to do is to be aware and look for live examples in day to day conversations.