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The figure of Speech: Types with Examples

The figure of Speech: Types with Examples

No matter what language we are speaking, the figure of speech is a must part of our life! Yes, intentionally or unintentionally, we use figures of speech in our day-to-day conversations and oral communication.

However, that is a good thing! The figure of speech is an essential part of grammar, and it is necessary to learn it if you are willing to pursue your career in poetry, translation, or writing.

Moreover, learning figures of speech is also helpful if you want to attempt language proficiency exams or other competitive exams. So, are you willing to learn about figures of speech? If yes, then you have landed at the right place!

In this post, we share the most popular and essential types of figures of speech with their examples. Trust me; you will feel like you are having the easiest and best tutoring lesson of your life. Keep Reading!

What is a Figure of Speech?

A figure of speech is an essential and fundamental part of any language. It is used in them all, from oral and written literature to daily conversations! In figures of speech, you creatively use words and phrases to expand their effectiveness. You can also use these words and phrases to create a rhetorical effect.

In simpler words, a figure of speech refers to a phrase that’s literal meaning is far more different than its actual meaning. Moreover, figures of speech are eye-catching, and they dramatically affect the phrase you are using. You can also refer to it as figurative language, but with fewer words and phrases.

Some common examples of figures of speech are “an eye for an eye,” “broken heart,” “butterflies in the stomach,” and “money talks.”
All these phrases won’t make sense if you focus on their literal meaning. However, they still have a rhetorical meaning behind them. This is why the figure of speech is also called a rhetorical figure.

Importance of Figure of Speech

Here are a few points that will help you understand the importance of the figure of speech in grammar and language:

  1. The figure of speech helps in enhancing and improving your writing and content.
  2. Figures of speech give a deep meaning to your sentences and leave the listeners stunned and wondering.
  3. Figures of speech make your written and spoken words more enjoyable for the listeners and readers.
  4. With these literary devices, writers can create poetic meaning, art, and interest with their words.
  5. Using the exaggerated terms of the figure of speech can also enhance the description of your words or text.

Types of Figures of Speech

Now that you know the main concept of the figure of speech, it is time to go through its types and their uses in detail.

However, keep in mind that figure of speech has tons of types, but we are only filtering out the most popular ones for you!

Type 1: Simile

In this type of figure of speech, we compare two opposite and incomparable things with each other. Also, we use words like so, as, and like in simile.

Here are a few examples:

  • You look as fresh as a daisy.
  • Why are you eating like a donkey?
  • He is as straight as an arrow now.
  • She looked as pretty as a flower.
  • I felt as slippery as a fish in water.

Type 2: Metaphor

Metaphor is like a Simile where we compare two different and unlike things. However, the only difference between a simile and a metaphor is that we avoid using like, so, and as.

Here are a few examples:

  • You have a heart of gold.
  • You are a night owl.
  • You are the diamond in my eye.
  • Time is money.
  • Laughter is the best medicine.

Type 3: Personification

In personification figures of speech, the writer refers to non-living things as alive or human beings.

Here are a few examples:

  • The wind screamed during the night.
  • The opportunity will knock at the door.
  • The wind was whistling.
  • The alarm clock was humming.
  • The snowflakes were dancing.

Type 4: Apostrophe

In the Apostrophe figures of speech, the writer writes about inanimate objects while portraying them as alive. It is also identified when someone is talking or referring to a dead person or object. An apostrophe is slightly similar to personification but still a bit different.

Here are some examples:

  • You stupid computer!
  • Romeo, Romeo, where are you, Romeo?
  • I missed you, my bed!
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, How I wonder what you are?
  • Oh, you dumb car, you never work when it is urgent!

Type 5: Oxymoron

In oxymoron figures of speech, you use two words together, but they are contrasting. In simpler words, this type connects two contrasting ideas in two-word lines.

Here are a few examples for your better understanding:

  • Bittersweet
  • Joyful Sadness
  • Open Secret
  • True Lies
  • Pretty Ugly

Type 6: Hyperbole

In hyperbole, you try to emphasize the seriousness of a condition or a situation by using exaggerating words or phrases. In simple words, you portray the thing as more essential than it is.

Here are examples of hyperbole:

  • I have not eaten for ages.
  • He ran faster than the wind.
  • I can sleep forever.
  • The whole world knows you.
  • You have a pea-sized brain.

Type 7: Pun

As the name implies, a pun is used to add humor to a phrase or a sentence. This humor is added by using the same word that has different meanings. If not the same word, you can use two words with the same sound. In short, you just need to add puns and humor, but it should make sense.

Here are a few examples of puns:

  • A bicycle can not run because it is two-tired.
  • What do you call a bull who is sleeping? A bull-dozer.
  • What egg is hard to beat? A boiled one.

Type 8: Alliteration

Alliteration is a kind of tongue twister formed with a series of words starting with the same letter or constant words with the same sound. These words with the same letter can repeat 4 to 5 times in a phrase or a sentence.

Here are a few examples:

  • Fair is foul, and foul is fair,
  • She sells seashells by the seashore.

Type 9: Euphemism

When we use soft, mild, sophisticated words or tones instead of harsh, unpleasant, and rude ones, that figure of speech is called euphemism.

Here are a few examples for your understanding:

  • Saying ‘He passed away’ instead of ‘He died.’
  • Saying ‘We have to let you go’ instead of ‘ We are firing you.’
  • Saying ‘I need to reapply my lipstick’ instead of ‘I need to go to the bathroom.’

Type 10: Understatement

Understatement figures of speech are when you show or give less importance to something severe or big.

Here are a few examples of understatement:

  • When you have a huge wound, but you say, ‘It’s just a scratch.”
  • When there is huge destruction, but you say, ‘It’s just an accident.’

Categories of Figures of Speech

The figure of speech has five main categories, and all its types fall under these categories.

Figures of Resemblance

This category revolves around using metaphors, similes, or kenning.

Figures of Sound

This category is made up of alliteration.

Figures of Emphasis

This category contains hyperbole and is also known as the figure of an understatement.


This category is made up of Malapropism.

Verbal Games

As the name implies, verbal games include puns and are also known as gymnastics.

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With over 3 years of experience in teaching, Chloe is very deeply connected with the topics that talk about the educational and general aspects of a student's life. Her writing has been very helpful for students to gain a better understanding of their academics and personal well-being. I’m also open to any suggestions that you might have! Please reach out to me at chloedaniel402 [at]