Figures of speech – English

Figures of speech

Simli ( उपमा अलंकार ) –

In a Simli, comparison is made between two distinctly different things, especially using, like, or/ and as.

Examples 1: – it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.


2: – or from star-like eyes doth seek.

Metaphor ( रूपक अलंकार ) –

It is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things without using the connective words like, as, than or resembles. It is an implied simli.


Examples 1: – life is a dream.

2: – l see a lily on thy brow.


Personification ( मानवीकरण अलंकार ) –

Personification gives life to inanimate objects or makes animals look human.

Examples 1: – ” how far that little candle throws its beams!. So shines a good deed in a naughty world “.


2: – truth sits upon the lips of dying men.

Apostrophe ( सम्बोधक अलंकार ) –

In apostrophe, the speaker directly addresses an absent or dead person, an abstract quality, or something non-human as if it were present and capable of responding.


Examples 1:- frailty, thy name is woman!

2:- little lamb, who made thee?


Does Dost thou know who made thee?

Hyperbole ( अतिश्योक्ति अलंकार ) –

It is used as a great exaggeration.


Examples 1:- river of blood flowed in the battle.

2: – the waves rose mountains high.


Oxymoron( विरोधालंकार ) –

It is used when two terms are combined that in ordinary usage are contradictory.

Examples 1:- he is an open secret.


Onomatopoeia ( ध्वनि अनुकरणात्मक अलंकार ) –

The use of a word, whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning.

Examples 1:- l chatter, chatter as l flow, to join the brimming river.


2:- And beauty born of murmuring sound, Shall pass into her face.

Questions asked in board exams

Point out the figures of speech in the following.

  1. Life is a sweet poison.
  2. Let not ambition mock their useful toil.
  3. The snakes are hissing and the bees are buzzing.
  4. Opportunity knocks at the door but once.
  5. Belinda smiled and all the world was gay.
  6. Frailty! The name is a woman.
  7. Anxiety is sitting on her face.
  8. Kalidas is the Shakespeare of India.
  9. O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts.
  10. Love is the spice of life.
  11. I chatter, chatter as l flow. To the brimming river.
  12. Life is a dream.
  13. Death lays its icy hands on kings.
  14. And having nothing, he hath all.
  15. Hope is the poor man’s bread.
  16. Ten thousand saw I at a glance.
  17. I heard the water lapping on the crag.
  18. The city’s voice itself is soft like solitude, s.
  19. Revenge is a kind of wild justice.
  20. O solitude! Where are thy charms!
  21. Break, break, break, on thy cold grey stone, o sea!
  22. I wandered lonely as a cloud.
  23. O sweet content! Where is thy mild abode?


  1. Oxymoron
  2. Personification
  3. Onomatopoeia
  4. Personification
  5. Hyperbole
  6. Apostrophe
  7. Personification
  8. Metaphor
  9. Apostrophe
  10. Metaphor
  11. Onomatopoeia
  12. Metaphor
  13. Personification
  14. Oxymoron
  15. Metaphor
  16. Hyperbole
  17. Onomatopoeia
  18. Simile
  19. Metaphor
  20. Apostrophe
  21. Personification
  22. Simile
  23. Apostrophe

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