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Use Figures of Speech: Simile, Metaphor and Personification

In this worksheet, students explore the use of simile, metaphor and personification and, learn how to identify them whilst reading for meaning.

'Use Figures of Speech: Simile, Metaphor and Personification' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Poetic Convention Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Simile, Metaphor and Personification
 

Simile

A simile is a comparison between two things using as or like.

For example:

'She was as cool as a cucumber.' The relaxed attitude of the woman is compared to the low temperature of a cucumber.

'He ate like a horse.'


Metaphor

A metaphor makes a comparison between two dissimilar things but doesn't use the words 'as' or 'like'. The greater the difference between the two things being compared, the greater the effectiveness of the metaphor.

The comparison demonstrates that the different things actually have characteristics in common, in the writer's view. A metaphor that is used throughout a piece of text is called an extended metaphor.

For example:

'School is a prison.' In reality, school is not a prison, but in the writer's view, there are similarities.

'My cat is a teddy bear.'


Personification

Personification is used to describe when the writer assigns the characteristics of a person to something that isn't human.

For example:

'The Flu was walking down the corridor and sneezing in our faces.' Flu is an illness. It doesn't have emotions and cannot walk or talk. By using personification as if it were a real being, we have a sense of it spreading freely and mocking its victims.

'The fire roared.'

 

Now it's over to you.

Identify the figure of speech used in the sentence below.

 

'I'm free as a bird.'

Simile

Metaphor

Personification

Identify the figure of speech used in the following sentence:

 

'I didn't hand in my homework because the printer decided to play dead last night.'

Simile

Metaphor

Personification

Identify the figure of speech used in the sentence below.

 

'She has a heart of stone.'

Simile

Metaphor

Personification

Read this poem by Robert Burns.


"O, my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like  the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
 

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.


Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run."

 

Which of these figures of speech can you find in the poem? Choose as many answers as you think are correct.

Simile

Metaphor

Personification

Read the following extract from 'Ode to Autumn' by John Keats.


"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells."

 

Which figures of speech can you find? 

Simile

Metaphor

Personification

The excerpt here is from 'The Old Oak of Andover' by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

 

"Today I see him standing, dimly revealed through the mist of falling snows; tomorrow's sun will show the outline of his gnarled limbs, all rose color with their soft snow burden; and again a few months, and spring will breathe on him, and he will draw a long breath, and break out once more, for the three hundredth time, perhaps, into a vernal crown of leaves."

 

Which figure of speech does the author use to describe the oak tree? 

Below is an excerpt from a speech from Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Which figures of speech that we have been examining does it use?

 

"But wait, what's that light in the window over there? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Rise up, beautiful sun, and kill the jealous moon. The moon is already sick and pale with grief because you, Juliet, her maid, are more beautiful than she."

 

Choose as many answers as you think are correct.

Simile

Metaphor

Personification

Identify the similes used in the poem 'Symphony in Yellow' by Oscar Wilde. How many similes are used?


"An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly
And, here and there, a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge.


Big barges full of yellow hay
Are moored against the shadowy wharf,
And, like a yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.


The yellow leaves begin to fade
And flutter from the Temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of rippled jade."

 

Write the number of similes in the box below.

Match the figures of speech with their correct definitions. 

Column A

Column B

Simile
A comparison between two things using 'as' or 'lik...
Metaphor
Used to describe when the writer assigns the chara...
Personification
A comparison between two unlike things not using '...

Identify the figure of speech used in each phrase below.

 SimileMetaphorPersonification
'His expression was dark as death'
'The car crawled like a caterpillar in first lane'
'Life is a rollercoaster'
'The cash machine ate my card'
'She was conquered by love'
  • Question 1

Identify the figure of speech used in the sentence below.

 

'I'm free as a bird.'

CORRECT ANSWER
Simile
EDDIE SAYS
The person's freedom is likened to a bird using 'as', therefore the figure of speech used is simile.
  • Question 2

Identify the figure of speech used in the following sentence:

 

'I didn't hand in my homework because the printer decided to play dead last night.'

CORRECT ANSWER
Personification
EDDIE SAYS
The printer is inanimate and can't 'play dead'. The author has used personification here to convey how the printer failed to work.
  • Question 3

Identify the figure of speech used in the sentence below.

 

'She has a heart of stone.'

CORRECT ANSWER
Metaphor
EDDIE SAYS
The woman's heart is compared to stone so that we have a sense of her coldness and inability to sympathise with others. There is no 'as' or 'like' in the sentence, so the figure of speech used is a metaphor. How did you find this question?
  • Question 4

Read this poem by Robert Burns.


"O, my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like  the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
 

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.


Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run."

 

Which of these figures of speech can you find in the poem? Choose as many answers as you think are correct.

CORRECT ANSWER
Simile
Metaphor
EDDIE SAYS
The author's love is compared to a rose and a melody using 'like', two examples of the use of simile. The long-lasting nature of his love is compared to the time it would take for the seas to become dry and the rocks to melt in the sun. However, these are examples of metaphor. Is this beginning to make sense?
  • Question 5

Read the following extract from 'Ode to Autumn' by John Keats.


"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells."

 

Which figures of speech can you find? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Personification
EDDIE SAYS
Autumn is a season of the year rather than a person. Here it is described as a "close bosom friend" of the sun, conspiring with the sun to make plant and animal life produce the harvest. This is an example of personification.
  • Question 6

The excerpt here is from 'The Old Oak of Andover' by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

 

"Today I see him standing, dimly revealed through the mist of falling snows; tomorrow's sun will show the outline of his gnarled limbs, all rose color with their soft snow burden; and again a few months, and spring will breathe on him, and he will draw a long breath, and break out once more, for the three hundredth time, perhaps, into a vernal crown of leaves."

 

Which figure of speech does the author use to describe the oak tree? 

CORRECT ANSWER
personification
EDDIE SAYS
The tree is compared to a person using the phrases "gnarled limbs" and "draw a long breath", this is an example of personification. "Spring will breathe on him" is another example of personification since spring is a season and can't breathe like a person!
  • Question 7

Below is an excerpt from a speech from Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Which figures of speech that we have been examining does it use?

 

"But wait, what's that light in the window over there? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Rise up, beautiful sun, and kill the jealous moon. The moon is already sick and pale with grief because you, Juliet, her maid, are more beautiful than she."

 

Choose as many answers as you think are correct.

CORRECT ANSWER
Metaphor
Personification
EDDIE SAYS
Juliet is compared to the sun without using 'as' or 'like', an example of metaphor. The moon is said to be jealous of her beauty. This is an example of personification. Is this becoming less daunting?
  • Question 8

Identify the similes used in the poem 'Symphony in Yellow' by Oscar Wilde. How many similes are used?


"An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly
And, here and there, a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge.


Big barges full of yellow hay
Are moored against the shadowy wharf,
And, like a yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.


The yellow leaves begin to fade
And flutter from the Temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of rippled jade."

 

Write the number of similes in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
4
four
EDDIE SAYS
There are four similes that use 'like' in the poem. The bus is "like a yellow butterfly". "A passer-by shows like a little restless midge". The fog is "like a yellow silken scarf". The Thames "lies like a rod of rippled jade". Did you spot every simile? Don't worry if not, there was a lot of information to take in.
  • Question 9

Match the figures of speech with their correct definitions. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Simile
A comparison between two things u...
Metaphor
A comparison between two unlike t...
Personification
Used to describe when the writer ...
EDDIE SAYS
A simile compares two things using 'like' or 'as'. A metaphor compares two different things without using 'like' or 'as' in order to demonstrate they have things in common. Personification portrays an inanimate object or idea as having human characteristics.
  • Question 10

Identify the figure of speech used in each phrase below.

CORRECT ANSWER
 SimileMetaphorPersonification
'His expression was dark as death'
'The car crawled like a caterpillar in first lane'
'Life is a rollercoaster'
'The cash machine ate my card'
'She was conquered by love'
EDDIE SAYS
The first two are comparisons using 'like' or 'as' and therefore are examples of simile. The third phrase compares life to a rollercoaster and doesn't use 'like' or 'as', so it is an example of metaphor. Cash machines don't eat or love and cannot fight, so the last two phrases are examples of personification. Great work, you've completed another activity! How about attempting another one so you feel super confident?
---- OR ----

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