What is Figurative Language?

Learn all about figurative language

Our Program

Figurative language is an important concept for young writers to understand and use in their writing! Using figurative language can help children immensely improve the quality of their story writing. Let’s talk about what figurative language is, why it's important, and look at some examples!

What is figurative language?

Figurative language is a literary technique where things are described, or meaning is conveyed, in a non-literal way. There are many different forms of figurative language.

Why is figurative language important?

Figurative language is important because it allows an author to express themselves in different ways. It helps readers understand the meaning of something from a different perspective, and can sometimes even lead to a deeper understanding. Figurative language is also important because it’s extremely versatile, meaning it can be used in many different contexts, so it can be used in many different writing styles.

Examples of figurative language

There are many different types of figurative language. Some examples include simile, metaphor, personification, analogy, and onomatopoeia. We have provided a brief definition with an example for each of these types of figurative language.

1. Simile

Similes use “like” or “as” to describe something.

Example: As brave as a lion.

2. Metaphor

Metaphors describe something as if it were something else. See our page on similes and metaphors to learn more about the first two types of figurative language we’ve reviewed!

Example: The classroom was a zoo.

3. Personification

Personification describes objects or ideas as if they were people. See our page on personification to learn more.

Example: My bed is calling my name.

4. Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeias are words that sound like what they mean. See our page on onomatopoeias to learn more.

Example: The door slowly creaked open.

Activity & Resource

Now that we’ve provided some basic information about figurative language and some examples, your child should feel more familiar with the topic. Download the resource below on figurative language to help consolidate the lesson with your child!

Infographic explaining figurative language

Get this resource as a PDF

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