Figures of Speech

By Nicole Vazquez


Using Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of beginning sounds. Examples are:

  • Sally sells seashells.
  • Blue baby bonnets


Anaphora is a technique where several phrases or verses begin with the same word or words. Examples are:

  • I came, I saw, I conquered - Julius Caesar
  • We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. - Winston Churchill


Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in words that are close together. Examples are:

  • A- For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore (Poe)
  • E - Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee (Coleridge)
  • I - From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire (Frost)
  • O - Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn (Wordsworth)
  • U - Uncertain rustling of each purple curtain (Poe)


Euphemism is a word or phrase that replaces a word or phrase to make it more polite or pleasant. Examples are:

  • A little thin on top instead of bald

  • Letting him go instead of fired him


Hyperbole uses exaggeration for emphasis or effect. Examples are:

  • I’ve told you a hundred times


Metaphor compares two unlike things or ideas. Examples are:

  • Heart of stone
  • Time is money


Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like what it is describing. Examples are:

  • Whoosh
  • Splat


Oxymoron is two contradictory terms used together. Examples are:

  • Free Market
  • Small crowd


Personification is giving human qualities to non-living things or ideas. Examples are:

  • The flowers nodded
  • Snowflakes danced


Simile is a comparison between two unlike things using the words "like" or "as." Examples are:

  • Like peas in a pod
  • As wise as an owl