Help with Metaphors Homework

Metaphors can be challenging to understand when you first start working with them. However, becoming familiar with metaphors will help you become a stronger reader and a better writer. Therefore, teachers will often assign homework dealing with metaphors, so read on to learn about the different types of metaphors.

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Homework Help: Identifying Metaphor Types

The Basics

Metaphors are literary tools used by writers to show comparison between subjects and ideas. They are considered an element of figurative language, which means that the meanings of metaphors are not to be taken literally. You have to figure out the symbolic meaning based on the specific words chosen by the writer. Some of the metaphor types you'll encounter in your homework assignments are described below with examples. You'll often need to identify the various types and even write your own metaphors.


The simple metaphor is the most basic form. There is only one connection made between the subject and its comparison. This is generally the first type of metaphor you learn about in elementary school.

My neighbor's dog is a monster.
This room is a freezer.
My life is a circus.


A non-absolute is a metaphor that generally makes sense because the subject of the sentence and the comparison used closely resemble one another in some way. For this reason, non-absolute metaphors are usually easier to understand.

The house was an empty box.
The dog's teeth are sharp knives.
Donuts are rings of sweetness.


An implied metaphor makes a direct comparison of a subject to something without actually stating what the 'something' is in the sentence. In other words, the reader can make an implication about the metaphor based on the clues in the sentence. Many times, this type of metaphor is used in imperative sentences, but not always.

Don't blow a fuse.
Stop barking at me!
I think he ruffled his feathers.


In an extended metaphor, one comparison is made between a single subject and a comparison, but the comparison is continued to additional subjects. This can take place within the same sentence or in the following sentences. In fact, an extended metaphor can be continued throughout a whole poem or story.

The world is a chess game, and we are its insignificant pawns.
My life is a circus, and my sister is the ringleader.
This school is a prison, and the teachers are cruel security guards.
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