Important Figures of speech in English

Important Figures of speech in English

Important Figures of speech in English

1) Alliteration

Ex: –

1) “Each day brings new beginnings,”

2) “Decision I must make”

3) “in form and features, face and limb,”

Explanation: –

The same initial sounds ‘b’, ‘m’ and ‘f’ are repeated for musical effect.

2) Repetition

Ex: –

1) “I know that I will see”.

2) “small small moons of light.”

3) “what would you do, if you were me, To prove that you were you?”

Explanation: –

same words/phrases are repeated for a pleasing effect.

3) Apostrophe

Ex: –

1) “Please open up my eyes, dear Lord,”

2) “Help, Lord, to just say “No”

3) “O moon, give me moonlight”

Explanation: –

Direct address is made to the dead, plants, animals, birds,

god, absent person or non-living object.

4) Personification

Ex: –

1) “Each day brings new beginnings,”

2) when temptation comes my way,

3) O moon, give me a basketful of moonlight on loan.

Explanation: –

The non-living (inanimate / lifeless) thing is given the

human quality / described as human being behave.


5) Simile

Ex: –

1) Twinkle Twinkle little star, ….…… like a diamond in the sky.

2) “I grew so like my brother, That folks go talking me for him”.

Explanation: –

The two different objects are directly compared which

have at least one common point.

6) Metaphor


1) “I am the only one to chose, The road that I will take.”

(road is indirectly compared to decision.)

2) “I can choose to take the road of life,” ( road of success)

3) “ If you do not listen to the sounds of life” ( experience of life)

4) Camel is the ship of desert.

5) life is a dream.

Explanation: There is an implied / indirect comparison between two

different object.

7) Inversion


1) “please open up my eyes , dear Lord,

That I might clearly see”.

2) “where on the deck my caption lies,

Explanation: The words are not in correct prose order.

The correct prose orders of these lines are—

1) dear Lord, please open up my eyes, That I might see clearly.

2) Where my Caption lies on the deck.

8) Antithesis

Ex: –

1) “If you do not reached what is safe, the uncertain”

2) “from the city to my village”

3) “I want to light the dark route.”

Explanation: –

In a single line the opposite words / ideas are used side by side.

9) Hyperbole

Ex: –

1) “I want to sow seeds of moon, on the sides of the path”.

2) “The ship has weather`d every rack”.

3) “It reached a fearful pitch”.

4) “we got completely mixed”.

Explanation: –

Here, the words or ideas are over-stated or exaggerated to create emphasis and humour.

10) Tautology

Ex: –

1) “I too want to hear fairy tales, and stories from him”.

2) “fallen cold and dead”.

3) “his lips are pale and still”.

Explanation: –

Here, different words of same meaning are used for the sake of force.

11) Pun

Ex: –

1) “I grew so like my brother.”

2) “the folks got talking me for him”.

(folks= his parents, general people)


Here the same word is used for deferent meaning.

12) Onomatopoeia

Ex: –

1) a little duck say quack quack

2) door closed with a bang.

Explanation: –

in these lines the words show sound.

13) Exclamation

Ex: –

1) “yours is the Earth and everything in it ,

And which is more you’ll be a man, my son ! ”

Explanation: –

In this line poet shows his exclamation.

14) Interrogation


1) How can we live if there are no trees?

2) Is it possible to survive without air?

Explanation: –

A question is asked to make an effective statement

15) Euphemism

Ex: –

1) Soon falls asleep in their earthy bed.

2) Her all smiles stopped together.

Explanation: –

The unpleasant idea of death is told in pleasant way.

16) Climax

Ex: –

1) Birds, animals, men, and angles all worship god.

2) She is my friend, my adviser and my inspiration.

Explanation: – Here, ideas are arranged in ascending order.

17) Anti-climax


1) So he swore by the sun, the moon, the stars and the leaves of


2) Angels, men, and animals scared God.

Explanation: –

Here, ideas are arranged in descending order.

18) Irony

Ex: –

1) Thank you for defeating me.

2) I am the happiest person in the world, As am single, living lonely.

3) He was so intelligent that he could not get any job.

19) Transferred Epithet

Ex: –

1) The old lady looked down the lonely road.

2) I am living in this darken world.

Explanation: –

The adjective is transferred to another nouns.

20) Synecdoche

Ex: –

1) India won the cricket match.

Explanation: –

Here, the whole thing (India) is used for the team of cricket.

21) Paradox

Ex: –

1) Motion thy rest.

2) talking in their sleep.

3) A child is a father of man.

Explanation: –

Here, the two contrasting actions are used in a line.


22) Epigram

Ex: –

1) A child is a father of man.

2) Every dog has its days.

Explanation: –

Here, the message is conveyed in humorous way.

23) Metonymy

Ex: –

1) it is not gold…. Is it a sward? (gold = wealth)

2) A child is a father of man. (Used for All children and men in the world)

Explanation: –

Here, a world is used to represent a class or category of things.

24) Refrain

Ex: –

1) You start dying slowly…. (class 10, poem 2.1)

2) O God forgive me when I whine.

(class 10, poem 4.1, This line is repeated at the end of the stanza.)


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