Figurative Expression


A figure of speech is a statement which cannot be understood without a context in which it is used. Here words are use out for their literal meaning. Figurative Speech uses language in original, imaginative ways to create strong images. Examples:

  1. Simile: It is a direct comparison by the use of ‘like’, ‘as’, ‘as though’, and ‘as if’, e.g. a. Your love is like the fall of rain.
  2. Peter is as dangerous as a snake.
  3. Metaphor: A compress or condensed comparison of simile but does not use words such as ‘like’ and ‘as’. The comparison is drawn from two dissimilar things. It is a direct one and the reader’s attention is not drawn by any sigh post e.g.
  4. All the world is a stage
  5. He is a maradona.
  6. Oxymoron: This is the use of two words or phrases with contradictory significance or places side by side of two opposite words e.g.
  7. Bitter sweet memory
  8. Painful Laughter
  9. Linda is honestly dishonest
  10. He is a wise fool.
  11. Sarcasm: This is a painful remark in contempt but pretending to praise
  12. Tolani, you look so beautiful after a good beating, you should forget to do your homework more often.
  13. Innuendo: A figure of speech with an unpleasant truth is simply hinted out without being bluntly stated e.g.
  14. Mary is considerably very honest especially with matters not unconnected with money.
  15. Ojo has become wise.
  16. Litotes: This is an under statement in which something is affirmed by using the negative of its opposite.
  17. He is a person of no small talent.
  18. She is not lacking in beauty.
  19. Metonymy: This involves the use of an object or idea to stand for something closely associated with it although it is not necessarily a part of it. Examples:
  20. The guests were invited over to the table.
  21. The bullets took over the government of Nigeria in 1966.
  22. Synecdoche: This is a figure of speech in which a whole is used to represent a part or a part is used to represent a whole. Examples:
  23. There are many heads on the field.
  24. Nigeria defeated Ghana last week.
  25. Pun: This is a play on words. It is a device used in literature to amuse the reader through the use of language e.g.
  26. Alao did not allow me to go home
  27. Give me a bun that will not burn my head.
  28. He sees nothing on the chalkboard for he is at sea.
  29. Paradox: This is a statement which at first seems to be foolish or impossible because of its contradictory element but which has some truth in it. E.g.    Nigeria’s unity lies in her adversity                                                                    More haste less speed.                                                                                            Penny wise; pound foolish.                                                                                       Pen is mightier than the sword


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