Simile and metaphor are things that we use every single day, whether in writing, speech, or thought. Yet many people are unaware of the differences between them. After all, they both compare one thing to another thing – so let’s take a quick look at them side-by-side.
Simile compare one thing (A) to something else (B) by saying that A is like (or as) B. It gives the reader an idea of what thing A resembles by providing the example of thing B.
Examples of Simile
He howled like a wild dog.
Life is like a box of chocolates.
She was as happy as a clam.
So if you use the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ to compare two things together, you are using a simile.
A metaphor is also compares two things with each other. However, metaphors do not use the words ‘like’ or ‘as’. Instead, metaphors say that thing A is thing B, which can help to paint a more vivid picture than a simile by creating a more direct link between thing A and thing B.
Examples of Metaphor
I’ve told you a million times not to do that.
My heart jumped out of my chest.
It’s raining cats and dogs.
There are countless examples of metaphors available online (all you need to do is search on Google).
Simile and metaphor are great fun and can be very useful in your writing – practice using them to see the comparisons you can come up with!