Help with English Homework: How to Do Better in English

To do well on your English homework assignments, you'll often need to recognize different elements that authors use in their writing, one of which is figurative language. Keep reading to learn about some of the main types of figurative language.

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Similes are used by writers to compare one idea to another. They are usually formed by using the words like or as. Many authors will use similes to provide deeper meaning to the messages they are conveying. In addition, they are used to make the writing more interesting. Homework assignments will often ask you to explain the connections between the two ideas expressed in the similes. Below are some examples.

She is as skinny as a flag pole.
Her voice was like sweet music to my ears.
Sarah danced like a beautiful butterfly in flight.


Metaphors are similar to similes because they are also used for comparisons. However, they do not use the words 'like' or 'as'. Instead, when using metaphors, authors will simply state that something is something else. When you encounter this figurative language tool in your English homework assignments, you'll often be asked to explain why the author made the specific comparison.

He is a motionless statue, never showing his true emotions.
Leslie was a bolt of lightning as she approached the finish line.
My life is an action film that never seems to end.


Personification is a creative tool used to give human characteristics to animals and objects. Writers typically use it to make their stories more entertaining. In English homework, you'll usually be asked to identify the use of personification in the material you've read or to explain why the author chose to use it. The following examples depict inanimate objects using human actions.

The sun smiled brightly in the sky.
The trees whispered softly to each other.
When the clouds cry, I usually like to be in bed.


Alliteration refers to the repetition of sound found in a series of words. Specifically, it refers to the first consonant in each of the words. Writers may use it to convey an emotion, to emphasize ideas or to create a specific mood. Alliteration is most often used in poetry.

The silent, shadowy silhouette disappeared into the darkness.
The rolling, rambunctious rumble could not be stopped.
Whether we win or not, we will never waiver.
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