A figure of speech is a process of expression that deviates from ordinary use of language. Originally, figures of speech are linked to rhetoric (the art of speech) and were widely used in order to convince or seduce the interlocutor.
Following are different types of figure of speech:
PERSONIFICATION: Lending feelings, thoughts or actions to an animal or an object.
The night in his park amassed a great flock of stars.
COMPARISON: Put two different things opposite. There are three elements:
THE COMPARATIVE – THE COMPARISON TOOL – THE COMPARATIVE
EXAMPLE OF COMPARISONS TOOLS: like, such, identical to, similar, similar to, seem, appear, a kind of, resemble …
His hands seemed to be made of some sort of cotton wool.
METAPHOR: Comparison without comparison tools.
A man’s eye is a window.
REPEAT: Resumption of a word or a group.
I am hungry, I am hungry, I am hungry.
ENUMERATION: List of at least three elements.
In my garden there are strawberries, cherries, peaches and bananas.
GRADATION: Enumeration of which the elements are classified.
- ASCENDING GRADATION
- DESCENDING GRADATION.
Goodbye calf, cow pig, brood. (DESCENDING GRADATION). She stinks of the service, the office, the hospice. (UPGRADING).
HYPERBOLE: Exaggeration of language.
I have already told you fifty million times.
ANAPHORE: Repetition of a word or a group at the beginning of sentences.
In my street, there are dogs.
In my street, there are cats.
In my street, there are cars.
In my street, there are birds .
CHIASM: Terms that oppose or are related and arranged in reverse in two sentence segments.
Someone who laughs on Friday will cry on Sunday.
We must eat to live and not live to eat.
ANTITHESIS: Bringing together two opposing things, in a sentence or a text.
He was a dignified and serious figure. The director of the workshops was a short and tyrannical man.
OXYMORE: Antithesis in the same syntactic group. NOMINAL GROUP = noun + adjective or NOMINAL GROUP = verb + adverb.
Such a black flame.
EUPHEMISM (or POLITICALLY CORRECT LANGUAGE): To hide the unpleasant aspect of what one says.
The elderly -> The old
People without resources -> The poor
The visually impaired -> The blind
LITOTE: Suggest the maximum by saying the minimum.
It’s not bad -> It’s good
Go, I don’t hate you -> Go, I love you
PERIPHRASE: Give the definition of a word instead of saying this word.
The king of the animals -> The lion
The star of the day -> The Sun
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