TNPSC General English Study Materials Figures of Speech

TNPSC General English Study Materials Figures of Speech

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Figures of Speech
  1. Alliteration

Alliteration is the reputation of the same consonant letters or similar sounds at the beginning words in a set or series of words.

For example: “For simple sheep; and such are daffodils.” In this line simple and sheep both the words start with same consonant.

wild, wind

curious, clock

splendid, scholar

memorable, moments

creepy, crawlies

  1. Simile:

A ‘Simile’ is a figure of speech, in which two unlike things are compared, using the words, ‘like’ or ‘as’.

It is used to bring a dramatic effect in Prose.


  • as blind as a bat (means that someone is not willing to notice)
  • like peas in a pod (means that two people are quite similar)
  • as wise as an owl (refers to someone who is very smart/knowledgeable)
  • quiet like a mouse (refers to someone who is silent / quiet)
  • as brave as a lion (refers to someone who is too brave/courageous)
  1. Metaphor:

A ‘Metaphor’ is quite similar to a ‘Simile’, as a ‘Metaphor’ also compares two unlike things. But a Metaphor has an implied or a hidden meaning between unrelated things.

Here, for a Metaphor we do not use words such as ‘like’ or ‘as’. Unlike Similes which compare two things

Metaphors directly state a comparison to things that are in no way similar.


  • My father was boiling mad (implies that he was too angry)
  • She is the apple of my eye. (implies that she is too dear to me)
  • Your brain is a computer. (implies that your brain is smart and quick)
  • Her voice is music to his ears. (implies that her voice makes him feel happy)
  • The given task was a breeze (implies that the task was not difficult)
  1. Personification

Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given a human attribute.

Human qualities are given to non-human things or ideas, for a better understanding the writer’s message.

The use of personification also helps to show a character’s attitude towards inanimate objects.


  • The Sun smiled down upon them.
  • Justice is blind.
  • The wind howled in the night.
  • The moon played hide and seek with the clouds.
  • The city never sleeps at night.
  • The boat danced in the puddle.
  1. Onomatopoeia

A figure of speech wherein the word imitates the sound associated with the object it refers to

e.g. Pitter patter, pitter patter Raindrops on my pane

TNPSC General English Study Materials Figures of Speech
TNPSC General English Study Materials Figures of Speech
  1. Consonance:

Repetition of similar consonant sounds in the neighbouring words.

(e.g.) T’is the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;

  1. Assonance:

Repetition of similar vowel sounds in the neighbouring words

(e.g.) ‘T is the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;

  1. Anaphora

is the repetition of a certain word or phrase at the beginning of successive lines of writing or speech.

(e.g.) Sea that line hath never sounded, Sea that sail hath never rounded

  1. Rhyme scheme

Rhyme Scheme is a poet’s deliberate pattern of lines that rhyme with other lines in a poem or a stanza. The rhyme scheme, or pattern, can be identified by giving end words that rhyme.

But remember, please, the Law by which we live , ………… a

We are not built to comprehend a lie , ………… b

We can neither love nor pity nor forgive , ………… a

If you make a slip in handling us you die ! ………… b

Hence Rhyme Scheme is abab for the above poetic lines

It has a clear rhyming words with a,b,a,b so the rhyming scheme is a,b,a,b.

The rhyme is also clear with the same sound. E.g. pit-fit, ask-task, play-day

  1. Repetition

Poets often repeat single words or phrases, lines, and sometimes, even whole stanzas at intervals to create a musical effect; to emphasize a point; to draw the readers’ attention or to lend unity to a piece

  1. Epithet

is an adjective or phrase expressing a quality or attribute regarded as characteristic of the person or the thing mentioned.

(e.g.) Little river.

  1. Imagery

is the name given to the elements in a poem that sparks the senses. It need not be only visual, it can relate any of the five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell)

(e.g.) yellow pebbles.

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