Sort Similes and Metaphors - Orchids The International School
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Literary Devices

Sort Similes and Metaphors

What is a Simile?

A simile is a figure of speech that is used for the comparison of two or more things. In a simile, two different things are compared using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’.


  • The comparison is drawn between two things that are different in class. Such a type of comparison emphasizes the quality of the one that is being compared with the other.
  • They are used as literary devices in prose and poetry to show vivid imagery .

What is a Metaphor?

Metaphor is also used for comparison but without the use of words ‘like’ or ‘as’. It is a direct comparison.


“Life is a theatre, and we are all players.”
(Written by the famous playwright William Shakespeare).


In the above example, life and theatre or we and players are certainly not the same, but the direct comparison makes them appear similar.

  • The way one thing is being addressed as the other may make somebody feel that literally, both are the same: however, that’s not true.

Difference between Simile and Metaphor

Let us have a look at the differences between the two figures of speech.


Let us have a look at some of the commonly used similes in English.

Common Similes
as busy as a bee as blind as a bat
as black as coal as brave as a lion
as strong as an ox slept like a log
stand out like a sore thumb as cold as ice
as hard as nails as innocent as a lamb
as sweet as sugar as tall as a giraffe
as simple as ABC As cool as a cucumber
As brave as a lion Cunning like a fox

Usage of Simile in a Poem

Similes are used extensively by poets. Let us have a look at a common rhyme in English that used similes.

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky."


How to Use Simile in a Sentence?

Similes can be used in stories, novels, fiction, poetry, and just about in anything. Let us see below examples of the usage of simile in a sentence.


  1. He is as sly as a fox.
  2. On weekends I am as busy as a bee.

Common Examples of Metaphors

Let us have a look at some of the commonly used metaphors in English.

Metaphor Meaning
open book She has nothing to hide.
wears heart on sleeve He openly shows his feelings.
build castles in the air Don’t make impractical plans.
a million miles away Wandering mind.
heart of gold Describe anybody who is generous and kind at heart.
hit the sack time to go to bed
a night owl A person who is awake at night.
The wind was a howling wolf. The wind is as loud as a wolf that is howling.

Usage of Metaphor in a Sentence

Let us have a look at how metaphors are used in a sentence.


  1. She is an open book.
  2. He wears his heart on his sleeve.
  3. Don’t build castles in the air.
  4. He was a million miles away.
  5. She has a heart of gold.
  6. I am going to hit the sack.
  7. She is a night owl.
  8. Last night the wind was a howling wolf.


  1. When things belong to the same class, then it is not a simile.


    Darjeeling is like Switzerland.

    Here both the places Darjeeling and Switzerland belong to the same class i.e. both are names of a places. The sentence is vague as it generally compares the two places without specifying a quality; therefore they can’t be compared with the help of a simile.

  2. Using these literary devices too often can be disruptive and distractive. Use them when required. Avoid making the whole poem or a story into a simile or a metaphor. Instead, they should be used to explain the scene and develop it, not weaken it.
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