10 Kinds of Figures of Speech with Examples – Figure of speech is a persuasive written or oral art that was first developed in the ancient Greek era. If we put this art into our writing, then we can play with words in our writing to make it even thousand times better.
There are several types of figure of speech, and this time, we will be discussing 10 kinds of figure of speech with examples for your next writing. Without further ado, let’s get into it:
The first kind of figure of speech is amplification. It’s basically repeating a word or expression while adding various details in order to emphasize the word.
Amplification is useful for attracting attention, emphasizing, and expanding a word or idea, so that the reader realizes how important the word is.
A massive tree centuries old holds out against the odds here across from my mother’s house, one of the biggest trees in Pittsburgh, anchored in a green tangle of weeds and bushes, trunk thick as a Buick, black as night after rain soaks its striated hide. Huge spread of its branches canopies the foot of the hill where the streets come together.
Repeating one or a group of the same words at the beginning of a phrase, clause, or sentence in a row.
In Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he uses anaphora by repeating “I have a dream” eight times throughout the speech. Dr. MLK Jr.’s use of repetition calls to the audience and persuades them to be the change.
The next kind of figure of speech is allusion. It’s a short and informal references based on something famous or wide-known.
I must have won the “golden ticket.” (from the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Arrangement of a word, clause, or sentence in a row according to the order of importance, weight, or emphasis that is getting higher.
Parallelism usually forms a climax, because the sentence provides a continuous, orderly, and moving nuance in the order of importance.
Out of its vivid disorder comes order; from its rank smell rises the good aroma of courage and daring; out of its preliminary shabbiness comes the final splendor. And buried in the familiar boasts of its advance agents lies the modesty of most of its people.
Next is hyperbole. It’s deliberately exaggerating a condition to give the effect of suppression. In formal writing, a hyperbole must be clearly intended to be excessive, and its use must be limited.
Dang, he’s running faster than the spring wind
Basically, it’s asking about something, then providing the answer afterwards. But Hypophora is different to rhetorical questions.
The usual writers use this figure of speech by asking questions at the beginning of the paragraph, then using the entire paragraph to answer it.
Does learning only occur inside this classroom? I don’t think so.
This kind of figure of speech is different from hypophora because the answer isn’t provided afterwards. Rhetorical Questions are in the form of question sentences, whose answers are clearly known, usually “Yes” or “No“.
Rhetorical questions are used to give effect, emphasis, provocation, or to form statements based on facts.
Must I argue the wrongfulness of racism?
Metaphor is comparing two different things, without using “like” or “as”.
1. His eyes were fireflies
2. He’s drowning in a sea of grief
3. She has lighten up my life
Comparing animals or lifeless objects as if they have human traits – such as having personality, feelings, or behavior. An idea can also be personified.
Thank God, today’s weather is friendly
The last figure of speech is simile. It’s comparing two different things that have similar characteristics.
In formal prose, simile is an art tool as well as an explanation, because it compares things unknown to something else (such as objects, events, processes, etc.) that are more familiar to the reader.
1. She felt imprisoned, as a bird in a cage
2. He was as brave as a lion.
3. This tree is tall as a giraffe
That was 10 kind figures of speech with examples. Hope this is helpful and thanks for reading!
- John Edgar Wideman, “All Stories Are True.” The Stories of John Edgar Wideman. Random House, 1996
- Dlugan, Andrew 2009, “Speech Analysis: I Have a Dream – Martin Luther King Jr”.
- B. White “The Ring of Time”, 1956. http://www.brunswick.k12.me.us/hdwyer/the-ring-of-time-by-e-b-white-3/
- Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” July 5, 1852