Free English Lesson, Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Analogies, Similes, & Metaphors
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8 PM Beijing Time AND 8 PM GMT
Wednesday, May 27, 2009


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Text for this Lesson


An analogy is about the way words (and things) relate to one another. You often get analogy word problems on tests. That kind of analogy is made up of two pairs of words, like this:

PUPPY: DOG :: kitten: _____

What you are expected to do is to find a word which correctly completes the second pair. To solve the problem, you need to figure out what the relationship is. First, read out the analogy: 

Puppy is to dog as kitten is to _____  ?

Now it's easy to figure out. A puppy is a young dog, so what's a kitten? A young cat. The answer is "cat."

There are many different ways that words can relate, for example:

They can mean the same thing (be synonyms): 
             WORK: LABOR :: tidy: neat

They can sound alike or be spelled the same way (be homonyms): 
             SEE: SEA :: write: right
They can mean opposite things (be antonyms):
             BEAUTIFUL: UGLY :: graceful: clumsy
They can be parts of a whole: 
             LEG:MAN :: wheel: bike
They can be ingredients:
           PINEAPPLE: JELLY :: tomato: jam
They can be descriptions (size, shape, color, texture, etc.):
           MINK: SOFT :: mold: fuzzy
           BLUE: SKY :: green: tree
Or they can describe a cause and action:
            OWL: HOOTS :: fan: whirs

How would you complete this analogy? 
            BLUE: BLEW :: red: ______

How are these words related? 
Is there more than one way?

Similes and Metaphors 

Metaphors and similes are both ways to compare things. We use metaphors and similes every day, but it can be hard to remember just which is which. 

A metaphor is when you say something is something. A simile is when you say something is like something. For example, let's say you have a mean stepfather. If you say, "my stepfather is a bear," that's a metaphor. But if you say, "my stepfather is like a bear," that's a simile.

It's easy if you remember this: if two things are compared with the use of the words "like" or "as," that's a simile. A simile is what's called an open comparison. One memory aid is that you find the letter "i" in both "like" and "simile." But if there's no "like" or "as," that's a hidden comparison -- a metaphor.



her hair was like silk

her hair was silk

mean as Oscar the Grouch

meaner than Oscar the Grouch

the ship went down like lead

dead fish are polished marble

light as a feather

those figures are fishy

busy as a bee

car salesmen are sharks

her gaze was like ice

her gaze was icy

Practice using similes and metaphors to describe people , places, and things in your life.


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idnegaro said…
Hi, would you please to add me in your free lesson? skype id: idnegaro
Ravinder Singh said…
Learning english lesson over skype from a tutor having experience..

Taking lessons from past few weeks and quite impressed with the approach of teaching...

Improving my english very much here and happy to continue this...

Must try to learn english...

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