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Questions & Answers

What is the difference between a metaphor and a simile?

Similes and metaphors make writing extremely interesting by showing similarities in the sense of making comparisons. They don’t directly state what the situation is like but instead draw meaningful comparisons between the thing at hand and something else with a similar aspect. This allows the writing to have the depth and tactfulness that simply telling off the facts would never be able to provide. However, metaphor and simile are not exactly the same thing, even though they are both used for comparison.

Metaphors simply demonstrate one thing to be another, for instance:

The calm lake was a mirror

He is a shining star

The world's a stage and the people are mere actors.

In this sense, Thing A is simply thought to be Thing B as an act of comparison.

On the other hand, similes basically compare Thing A with Thing B using explicit vocabulary such as ‘like’ or ‘as’ in order to do the job. For instance:

Her face was as white as snow.

The luggage was as light as a feather

Danish and Sophia fought like cats and dogs

The concept is as clear as mud.

But of course, the metaphors can get a bit confusing at times when one thing is actually said to be another; so the reader’s senses need to be at a high alert to spot for the use of such devices. Whereas, similes are a lot simpler to spot, thanks to their straightforward structure!

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