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Common Figures of Speech 2: Simile, Metaphor and Personification

In this worksheet, students explores simile, metaphor and personification and how to identify them as they read for meaning.

'Common Figures of Speech 2: Simile, Metaphor and Personification' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Awareness of Vocabulary, Form and Grammatical Features

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Simile, Metaphor and Personification
 

Simile

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

Examples:

  • 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 is a comparison between two unlike things that 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 shows that the unlike 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.

Examples:

  • 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.

Examples:

  • The Flu was walking down the corridor and sneezing in our faces. Flu is a disease. It doesn't have emotions and can't 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.

Identify the figure of speech used in the following sentence:

 

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 following sentence:

 

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? Choose as many answers as you think are correct.

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? Write the correct answer in the box below.

This is part of 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. Hover your mouse over the definitions to see them in full.

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.

 Simile Metaphor Personification
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 following sentence:

 

I'm free as a bird.

CORRECT ANSWER
Simile
EDDIE SAYS
The person's freedom is compared to a bird using 'as', so 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 describe how it failed to work.
  • Question 3

Identify the figure of speech used in the following sentence:

 

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 unkindness and inability to sympathise with others. There is no 'as' or 'like' so the figure of speech used is a metaphor.
  • 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 to 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. These are examples of metaphor.

  • 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? Choose as many answers as you think are correct.

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 their 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? Write the correct answer in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
personification
EDDIE SAYS
The tree is compared to a person using the phrases "gnarled limbs" and "draw a long breath". It is an example of personification.

"Spring will breathe on him" is another example since spring is a season and doesn't actually breathe like a person.

  • Question 7

This is part of 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.

  • 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".

  • Question 9

Match the figures of speech with their correct definitions. Hover your mouse over the definitions to see them in full.

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 unlike things not using 'like' or 'as' to show 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.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Simile Metaphor Personification
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 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 and love cannot fight, so the last two phrases are examples of personification.

---- OR ----

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