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Figures of the speech in English grammar
Figures of speech are very important in English grammar especially when you want to use figurative language to create impact, you need to use figures of speech.
We will study figures of the speech in English grammar with all its details and the examples and exercise.
Figures of the speech in English grammar
There are 20 important figures of the speech in the English language. Before studying them we will see what is a figure of the speech.
What are the figures of the speech in English
A figure of speech is a departure from the simple form of language to make a greater impact.
You can understand it from the following example.
1)He is a very famous and brave warrior in battle.
In this sentence, there is no figure of the speech.
2)He is a lion in the battle.
In this sentence, we have used metaphor and it is a more effective and impactful sentence because of the use of a figure of the speech.
What are the general characteristics of figures of the speech or poetic devices
Here are the general characteristics of the figures of the speech.
- Resemblance – simile, metaphor, allegory.
- Contrast- paradox, epigram, oxymoron, climax, anticlimax, antithesis.
- Imagination- hyperbole, personification
- Association – metonymy, synecdoche
- Construction arrangement- rhetorical question, transferred epithet.
- Indirect speech- irony, euphemism
- Sound- alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme
How many figures of speech
There are 20 important figures of the speech in English they are as follows.
simile, metaphor, allegory paradox, epigram, oxymoron, climax, anticlimax, antithesis hyperbole, personification, metonymy, synecdoche, rhetorical question, transferred epithet, irony, euphemism, alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme
now we will see what are the figures of the speech in English with examples.
what are the figures of the speech in English with examples
Here is a detailed explanation of the figures of the speech in English language grammar.
a)figures of the speech based on the resemblance.
When two things of different nature are compared for one similar quality, then it is called as simile.In this figure of the speech, similar quality of the two different things is given with as….. as or like.
1)He is as brave as a lion.
2) He is brave like a lion.
In this figure of the speech, two things are considered as one and it is not possible to differentiate them.
1)He is a brave lion in the battle.
2) She is the star of the program.
When one thing is told under the guise of another then it is called an allegory.
Moral ideas are explained with such kind of resemblance in the story.
The narrative poem Siddharth and Swan is a perfect example of the allegory.
b)figures of the speech based on the contrast or surprise
we will see the figures of the speech based on the contrast or surprise.
When the sentence seems impossible because of opposite things still having some truth, then such sentence is in paradox.
- He rewards me with the curse.
- More study, less marks.
When it is a short and smart saying, then it is called an epigram.
- The child is a father of a man.
- Books are the lighthouse of our lives.
When seemingly contradictory ideas point to conjunction then it is an oxymoron.
When ideas are arranged in the order of increasing (ascending) importance then that figure of speech is the climax.
1)the earth, the moon, the sun.
2)she decided, she fought and she won.
When ideas are arranged in decreasing order (descending) of importance, then that figure of speech is called as an anticlimax.
It is exactly the opposite of climax.
- The sun, the moon, the earth.
- She won, she fought, she decided.
When contrasting or opposite ideas are arranged in a balanced grammatical structure, then that figure of speech is called an antithesis.
Now we will see figures of the speech related to imagination.
When something is described in order to make it sound bigger, smaller, better or worse then that figure of the speech is hyperbole.
It is obviously an overstatement when it is hyperbole.
1)He controls the whole world.
2)She reached the moon.
When human qualities are attributed to inanimate things, then that figure of speech is called as personification.
1)The trees were dancing and the flowers were smiling.
2)The road talked with him like a friend.
d) Association or substitution.
Here are the figures of the speech related to the association.
When an object is designated by the name of something associated with it, then that figure of speech is called as metonymy.
1)The sword is not as mighty as the pen.
2)They bowed the crown.
When the part is used to indicate whole or whole is used to indicate part then that figure of speech is called synecdoche.
1)The whole village went to work.
2)The hands shared the work.
3)Brains solve the problems.
e)Construction or arrangement
Now we will see the figures of speech based on the construction or arrangement.
When the question is asked without expecting an answer only to gain importance or effect then that figure of speech is called a rhetorical question.
1)Will they succeed using these outdated tools?
2) How can they win in this race?
When an epithet or adjective is transferred from its right word to another word closely associated with it then that figure of speech is called a transferred epithet.
1)She spent sleepless nights.
2)The eager eyes and ready brains will bring a bright future.
f) Indirect speech
Now we will see the figures of the speech about indirect speech.
When there is a substitution of a mild expression for blunt then that figure of speech is called a euphemism.
1)He disappeared in the sky.
2)They were content, soon fast asleep in their earthly bed.
When real meaning is totally different or opposite from the conveyed meaning then that figure of speech is called as irony.
1)It is so joyful to see you doing a clever job.
2)You are worthy of great appreciation.
Now we will see figures of speech based on the sound.
When the words express the echo of the sound of the activity, then that figure of speech is called as onomatopoeia.
3)Clatter and clang
When a consonant sound is repeated for the musical effect then that figure of speech is called as alliteration.
1)She saw sweet and sour fruits.
2)Tall tiger tattered the tin.
When words are repeated for the effect then that figure of speech is called as repetition.
1)I want to sow small small moons of the light on the way.
2)He watched and watched but did not understand.
When words or lines of the poem end with the same sound then that figure of speech is called as rhyme.
1)I saw a cat,
That played with bat.
2)I like books,
Don’t give strange looks.
In this way, we have figures of the speech with explanations and examples.
From the above explanations, we can conclude that figure of speech is a departure from the simple form of language to make a greater impact.
There are 20 important figures of the speech given above with examples.
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