Similes & Metaphors (VIDEO)

Similes and metaphors are literary devices used to emphasize traits by comparing to another object that also has that trait. After checking out the video, keep reading to get more information:


Similes compare ideas using “like,” “as,” or “than.” A reason we use similes is to help explain a concept to someone who might not have experience with the ideas associated to that concept. We could also use a simile to express emotions in ways that are difficult to put into words. Here’s a list of a few popular lyrics that contain similes:

“You hear my voice, you hear that sound / Like thunder, gonna shake the ground” – Katy Perry’s Roar

“Like the legend of the phoenix /All ends with beginnings” – Daft Punk’s Get Lucky

“It’s like you’re my mirror” – Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors

“Smells like teen spirit” – Nirvana

You can also have similes that don’t use “like,” “as,” or “than.” For example, “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” is a simile because it’s comparing–even though it doesn’t use the key words previously mentioned.


Metaphors are a little bit more difficult to understand, because instead of saying one thing is comparable to another, metaphors say one thing is another. Examples:

“Baby, you’re a firework” – Katy Perry’s Firework. The person is not literally a firework (probably), so this is used to illustrate our similarity to a firework–perhaps explosive, dangerous at close range, and loud. Terrifying to small children. I’m sure that’s what she meant.

“Treasure, that is what you are / Honey, you’re my golden star” – Bruno Mars’ Treasure. Again, people are not literally treasure, honey, or gold stars. These are metaphors to imply a valuable, sweet, and amazing.

As you can see, if your metaphor or simile isn’t clear, you can leave a lot of people wondering what you meant!

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Featured image: Guy Mayer

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