Figures of speech- These are words which are used when referring to one thing in term of another artistically.

They are expression which uses words to mean something different from their ordinary meaning.

Some examples of the figures of speech are:-

i): Simile

This is a direct comparison between two different things being indicated by words “like” or “as”.

For example:

-Janeritha is beautiful like a red rose.

-Haji is as greedy as hyena.

-Her gown is shining like gold.

ii): Metaphor

This is the direct comparison of two unlike things without using the word “like” or “as”

This is an expression which transfers the semantic meaning by describing a person or object in a literary way.

It is an expression which describes a person or object by referring to something which is considered to possess similar characteristics without asserting a comparison.

For example:

-Judy is snake.

-Halidi is chameleon.

-They are donkey.

iii): Personification

This is a figure of speech which provides animals, objects and other inanimate things with attributes of doing and behaving as human being.

It is a figure of speech in which either an inanimate object or an abstract concept is spoken of as though it were endowed with life or with human attributes or feelings.

For example:

-An elephant called a meeting for the horn animals.

-Antelopes were singing and dancing joyful.

-The forest was threatening all the passer-by.

iv): Euphemism

This is a figure of speech which uses words and phrases that avoids saying some abusive and offensive words.

For example: – The have left for a short call.

-Our judge has passed away or kicked the bucket (Our judge has died)

-Hanna is in a family way (Halima is pregnant)

v): Hyperbole

This is a figure of speech which exaggerates the reality of things.

It is a figure of speech which makes someone or something sound bigger, better and greater than its reality.


For example:

-The forest of diseases has weakened my health.

-The million of hands has elected him a Village Chairman.

-Hyperbole is sometimes called overstatement where by things and concepts are described as important or serious than they real are.

vi): understatement

The reality of things are diminished or reduced and made small or less important than they real are.

For instance:

-She is resting in the ward for a month now.

-They closed their eyes off cholera.

-He has been hurt by a cobra

vii): Litotes

This is a special form of understatement a figure of speech which is the assertion of an affirmative by negating its contrary.

For instance:

-He’s not the brightest man in the world (He is stupid)

-They will not fail this match (They will win)

-The plot is not expensive (It is cheap)


viii): Imagery

This is a figure of speech which uses words in creating mental picture. In most cases images with word can be created in appeal to senses of sound, touch, taste, seeing, smell as well as kinesthetic.

For example:

-Her hands are tender to touch.

-Her eyes can destroy any body.

– Her teeth are white as milk.

ix): Symbolism

This is a figure of speech in which objects are used in representing different ideas.

For example:

-An owl- Evil spirits       -A black cloth- Sadness

-A red cloth- Danger       -Dog- Safety

xi): Irony

This is a figure of speech which uses words that suggests its opposite in meaning.

-It is a figure of speech which uses words that hides its meaning in order to achieve a certain effect.

For example:

-You are good at yourself.

-He is good physician; he scored 05 in a test.

-Irony can be identified being in form of satire and sarcasm whereby some expressions are used when one intends at criticizing people or ides in a humorous way.


xii): Tautology

This is a figure of speech whereby some words is repeated in order to achieve some special effects.

For instance:

-Why? Why? Why are you beating him?

-No! No! No! This book is mine.

-Hey! Hey! Hey! Hurry up!

xiii): Rhetorical question

This is a figure of speech in which a direct question is asked without requesting information or inviting a reply, but to achieve a greater expressive force than a direct assertion.

-It is a question which is asked without demanding an answer.

For example:

-Wow! Halima, are you still her?

-Abdala, It’s you!

-Hey! She has stolen, isn’t it?

xiv): Archaism

This refers to the use of words which are not in use any more.

-It refers to the use of abusive words in literary works.

For example:

-Son of a bitch why are you following me.

-Stupid! Away from me

xv): Barbarism

This refers to the use of other language different from the one employed in a literary work.

For example:

-You are lost dada,

-Since uhuru we have poor social services.

xvi): Pun

This refers to the playful use of words which are either identical or similar in sounds in order to convey different meaning.

For example:


-Building the nation

-Eat more

xvii): Metonymy

This refers to the way something is referred by words especially that describes the quality or feature of that thing.

-This refers to the way one thing is applied to another with which it has become closely associated because of a recurrent relationship in common experience.

For example:

-Ikulu (President)

-Palace (King)



xviii): Synecdoche

This is a figure of speech whereby a part of something is used to signify the whole.

For example:

-Kilimanjaro/Nile (Africa)

-White house (America)

-Nkuruma (Ghana)

xix): Paradox


This is a figure which is made of a statement consisting of two opposing or contradictory ideas or facts.

xx): Oxymoron

This is a figure of speech which is made of two words that have or seem to have opposite meanings.

For example:

-Pleasing pains

-Jealous friend

-Hateful love

xxi): Enjambment

This is a figure of speech which is common in poems whereby some words of the previous line are carried to the next line.

For example:

-To learn is to grow,

-Growing to success,

-Success of our dreams,

-Dreams of our future,

-Wow! Learning makes dreams true.

xxii): Analogy

This is a figure of speech which is used when making comparison between things which have similar features. It is mostly used to help in explaining a principle or idea.

For instance:

-We will speak, now my pumpkin is aching (head)

-She will not attend because of her pump felt (heart)

xxiii): Allusion

This is a figure of speech which makes a direct reference to a person, book, place or event that is very well known.

– This is a figure of speech which passes reference without explicit identification to a literary or historical person, place and event to another literary work or passage.

For example:

– I have a dream today -This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh

-Leo mmepanda basi la makabila.

xxiv): Onomatopoeia

This is a figure of speech which is made by words that suggests the sounds made by objects. For example: -Hiss -Buzz -Rattle -Bang


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