Figurative language is language that uses words or expressions with a meaning that is different from the literal interpretation. When used appropriately, it injects life into your writing. Below are some of the most common forms of figurative writing.
A simile uses the words like or as to compare one idea or object with another.
⬤ As big as a house
⬤ Her smile is like a ray of sunshine
⬤ His eyes were as hard as stones
⬤ Her head was beating like a drum
⬤ Busy as a bee
⬤ Dances like a bomb.
Metaphors make a comparison without using like or as. They are more positive than similes, as they state a fact. They state you are something, rather than just suggesting you are like something.
⬤ You are a star
⬤ "'Hope' is the thing with feathers"
⬤ Her hair is flaming red
⬤ Drowning in a sea of grief
⬤ He broke her heart
⬤ Procrastination is the thief of time.
Giving human qualities to animate or inanimate objects.
⬤ It's raining men
⬤ The dog coughed
⬤ What winds are walking overhead
⬤ The stars were winking in the night sky
⬤ The door groaned as it opened slowly
⬤ The trees shuddered in the biting wind.
Alliteration is the repetition of the same initial letter, sound, or group of sounds in a series of words.
⬤ "Lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore"
⬤ The babbling brook
⬤ Catherine cooked the cookies in the kitchen
⬤ I dreamt of a dreadfully dreary day in Donegal
⬤ Grass grows greener in the back garden
⬤ She helped the homeless with a heavy heart.
The use of words to describe or imitate a natural sound or the sound made by an object or action
⬤ The howling wind and the lashing rain
⬤ The clip clop of the horses' hooves
⬤ The creak of the rickety floorboards
⬤ The frogs croaked in the babbling brook
⬤ The lemonade fizzed over the top of the glass
⬤ The rustling of the leaves in the wind
Complete the following sentences by inserting an onomatopoeic word from the word bank below.
1. The balloon ________
2. The _________ of the snake sent a _______ down her spine
3. The ice cream __________ on to the pavement
4. The ____________ of the pots and pans
5. The chickens ____________ as they laid their eggs
6. Stop ____________ your pen, it's driving me crazy!
7. The bullet ____________ past him
8. Patricia ___________ up her cardigan
9. She listened to the ______________ of his little feet
10. The mouse ___________ in the trap
11. The cat ____________ with contentment
12. Jenny __________ down her drink
13. He ____________ sweet nothings in her ear
14. I love the sound of _____________ bacon on the pan
7. TRANSITIONAL PHRASES
Using transitional words and phrases will improve the flow of your prose and ensure smooth transition from point to point. Using appropriate transitions lifts the quality of your writing and can transform it from reading like a list of unconnected points into an engaging and highly interesting composition.
Commas are a source of confusion and frustration for many writers. When should they be used? Where? Why? Unfortunately this is not the easiest question to answer, but then even the best writers have suffered with this problem. Indeed, Oscar Wilde once quipped:
"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again!"
Here are a few pointers:
Commas are used to indicate a slight pause in a sentence. They are often used at the writer's discretion. Consider the two sentences below and think about the difference the comma makes.
1. After she ate the waiter gave her the bill
2. After she ate, the waiter gave her the bill
Clearly, a comma is needed between the clauses "after she ate" and "the waiter gave her the bill". So, although it can be up to the writer to decide when to use a comma, there are times when it is essential.
1. Commas are used to separate items on a list. They are placed between each item except the last two which are generally separated by 'and'. (Note: there are differing opinions on this, so I have chosen to use the most common form.)
1. He bought meat, bananas, apples, water and beans.
2. She has a rabbit, a tortoise, a piglet and three pet mice.
TRY IT YOURSELF!
Put commas into the following sentences:
1. He plays tennis basketball soccer rugby and darts.
2. He ran down the corridor past the manager's office across the carpark and out into the roadway.
3. The builders unloaded scaffolding timber saws hammers and bricks before they started work.
4. She splashed out on a new house a red Mercedes a designer handbag a lovely puppy and a divorce!
5. He loves the colours red green yellow brown and orange.
6. She was short plump and very pretty.
7. He was dark mysterious handsome and romantic.
8. An ominous creepy sinister feeling came over her.
9. Young people today are rude unruly angry irritating and out of control.
10. He hit the ball dropped the bat and ran to first base.
11. Mary Ryan is an attractive gracious lady.
12. There were all sorts of old clothes shoes and linen in the closet.
13. Jim Ryan Johnny Maloney and Jason Barrett all play in goal.
14. I really like apples cakes oranges and grapes.
15. Mairead invited Miriam Paula Cillian Anne and Ray to dinner
16. The film opens with Prince Albert Duke of York known to his family as Bertie making a speech
17. She travelled to New York Paris Dublin London and Berlin
18. Mary Francis Jimmy James and Gerry went to the dance
19. She couldn't decide if she wanted a Mercedes a Saab a Porsche or a Jaguar
20. We had cottage pie carrots cheese cake coffee and tea
8. COMMONLY MISSPELLED WORDS
Choose the correct spelling of each word:
1. Racquet Raquet
2. Receive Recieve
3. Retreive Retrieve
4. Neighbour Nieghbour
5. Millennium Millenium
6. Grammer Grammar
7. Courteous Curteous
8. Necessary Neccesary
9. Embarressed Embarrassed
10. Jewelry Jewellry
11. Defenite Definite
12. Library Liebrary
13. Maintnance Maintenance
14. Privlage Privilege
15. Febuary February
16. Envionmant Environment
17. Wierd Weird
18. Posession Possession
25. Occurred Ocurred
26. Begining Beginning
9. HACKNEYED WORDS
Writing is an art. Good writers take time to shape their work; they chose the words they use to communicate their message in a clear, vivid and interesting way. Think of writers as you would a sculptor, shaping, moulding and chipping away at their craft until they have a finished work of art. To be a good writer you should avoid using hackneyed words and phrases; these are tired and jaded words that through overuse have lost their meaning. Below is a list of hackneyed words that you should try to avoid using, instead consider some more interesting alternatives.
Avoid using hackneyed words, clichés and phrases - they are a turn-off and can indicate that you have nothing interesting to say!