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Descriptive Writing: Similes and Metaphors

In this worksheet, students practise identifying similes and metaphors and learn how to use them in their descriptive writing.

'Descriptive Writing: Similes and Metaphors' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Grammar and Vocabulary

Curriculum subtopic:   Extend and Apply Grammatical Knowledge

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A metaphor describes something as if it was something else.

For example:

My feet are blocks of ice.

This is a metaphor because it means 'my feet are very cold', but doesn't literally mean that the speaker's feet are blocks of ice.

 

If the speaker had said, 'My feet are like blocks of ice,' or 'My feet are as cold as blocks of ice,' it would have been a simile rather than a metaphor. Similes compare things by using the words 'like' or 'as....as'.

Three of these sentences contain similes and three contain metaphors. Tick the metaphors.

He's as cool as a cucumber.

He's a pig when he eats chocolate.

My sister is like a monkey on the climbing frame.

My brother is a monkey.

My auntie is an angel.

He runs like the wind.

This time, only two of the sentences contain metaphors. Tick them.

You are a pain when you're tired!

My sister swims like a fish.

Thanks Grandad! You are Superman!

You can do anything, just like Superman.

The monster's eyes were like balls of fire.

That boy is like a frightened rabbit.

Again, two of the sentences contain metaphors. Tick them.

This cake looks like a volcano.

He's as crafty as a fox.

My fingers feel like icicles.

A shark's teeth are daggers.

Be as quiet as a mouse please.

I said I was sorry but she just exploded.

Tick the two sentences containing metaphors.

My knees were like jelly, I was so scared.

Don't come crawling to me if you run out of money.

You're an ogre!

You will get into even more trouble if you behave like that.

She's as quick as lightening.

My little brother is still wobbly on his feet.

Match the metaphors on the left with their literal meanings on the right.

 

If you can't read the whole of the sentences in the boxes, hover your mouse over them.

Column A

Column B

a heart of stone
someone who is pretending to be charming but actua...
a chip off the old block
someone who cannot dance very well/is clumsy
a person with two left feet
someone who is very similar to their parents/famil...
running through treacle
someone who doesn't care for others
a wolf in sheep's clothing
struggling to succeed at something
all mouth and no ears
talking a lot and not listening to others

Choose the best metaphor from the right hand column to complete the sentences.

 

If you can't read the whole of the sentences in the boxes, hover your mouse over them.

Column A

Column B

The lake was
a bull in a china shop.
The old tramp's hair was
snaking its way into the distance.
It was raining
cats and dogs.
The road was
a sheet of glass.
Don't let him in; he is
a messy haystack.
The beach was
a soft, golden blanket.

This time, choose the best simile to complete the sentences.

 

If you can't read the whole of the sentences in the boxes, hover your mouse over them.

Column A

Column B

In winter our lane is
as timid as a mouse.
It was a windy day and the waves were
like a bear with a sore head.
My little brother was so angry he was
like wild horses.
Jacob was so shy that people said he was
like an ice rink.

Similes can also be used in a humorous way by choosing a noun that contrasts with the adjective.

for example:

It's as clear as mud.

Mud is not clear at all, so the speaker is in fact saying that the situation is not clear either.

 

This type of simile is sometimes known as an ironic simile.

 

Choose the best simile to show that the surface of the wall is not smooth but rough.

The wall is as smooth as ice.

The wall is as smooth as sandpaper.

The wall is as smooth as glass.

This time, choose the best simile to show that the children came in noisily.

They were as quiet as mice.

They were as quiet as night.

They were as quiet as a pack of elephants.

Which of the following sentences does not use a simile in an ironic way?

It was as dark as night.

He was as cuddly as a cactus.

It was as much fun as watching paint dry.

  • Question 1

Three of these sentences contain similes and three contain metaphors. Tick the metaphors.

CORRECT ANSWER
He's a pig when he eats chocolate.
My brother is a monkey.
My auntie is an angel.
  • Question 2

This time, only two of the sentences contain metaphors. Tick them.

CORRECT ANSWER
You are a pain when you're tired!
Thanks Grandad! You are Superman!
  • Question 3

Again, two of the sentences contain metaphors. Tick them.

CORRECT ANSWER
A shark's teeth are daggers.
I said I was sorry but she just exploded.
  • Question 4

Tick the two sentences containing metaphors.

CORRECT ANSWER
Don't come crawling to me if you run out of money.
You're an ogre!
  • Question 5

Match the metaphors on the left with their literal meanings on the right.

 

If you can't read the whole of the sentences in the boxes, hover your mouse over them.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

a heart of stone
someone who doesn't care for othe...
a chip off the old block
someone who is very similar to th...
a person with two left feet
someone who cannot dance very wel...
running through treacle
struggling to succeed at somethin...
a wolf in sheep's clothing
someone who is pretending to be c...
all mouth and no ears
talking a lot and not listening t...
  • Question 6

Choose the best metaphor from the right hand column to complete the sentences.

 

If you can't read the whole of the sentences in the boxes, hover your mouse over them.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

The lake was
a sheet of glass.
The old tramp's hair was
a messy haystack.
It was raining
cats and dogs.
The road was
snaking its way into the distance...
Don't let him in; he is
a bull in a china shop.
The beach was
a soft, golden blanket.
  • Question 7

This time, choose the best simile to complete the sentences.

 

If you can't read the whole of the sentences in the boxes, hover your mouse over them.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

In winter our lane is
like an ice rink.
It was a windy day and the waves ...
like wild horses.
My little brother was so angry he...
like a bear with a sore head.
Jacob was so shy that people said...
as timid as a mouse.
  • Question 8

Similes can also be used in a humorous way by choosing a noun that contrasts with the adjective.

for example:

It's as clear as mud.

Mud is not clear at all, so the speaker is in fact saying that the situation is not clear either.

 

This type of simile is sometimes known as an ironic simile.

 

Choose the best simile to show that the surface of the wall is not smooth but rough.

CORRECT ANSWER
The wall is as smooth as sandpaper.
  • Question 9

This time, choose the best simile to show that the children came in noisily.

CORRECT ANSWER
They were as quiet as a pack of elephants.
  • Question 10

Which of the following sentences does not use a simile in an ironic way?

CORRECT ANSWER
It was as dark as night.
---- OR ----

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