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A simile is a descriptive phrase that people use to compare one thing with another. It is a figure of speech.
Similes commonly follow the same format so they’re easy to identify in a sentence. The two types of simile you will come across are:
1. Those that make a comparison using the word ‘as’.
E.g. ‘He was as tall as a tree’.
2. Those that make a comparison using the word ‘like’.
E.g. ‘She sings like an angel’.
Examples of Similes Using ‘As’
The following simile examples all follow the ‘as __ as’ format:
· It was as big as an elephant.
· She was as sly as a fox.
· He is as bright as a button.
· It’s as clear as day.
· His hair is as black as night.
· The car is as clean as a whistle.
· It’s as dry as a bone out there.
· She’s as good as gold.
· It’s as tough as an old boot.
· This bag is as heavy as lead.
· That knife is as sharp as a razor.
· He’s as sick as a dog.
· She’s as cold as ice.
· He’s as busy as a bee.
· He’s as sharp as a needle.
· It’s as easy as pie.
Examples of Similes Using ‘Like’
The following simile examples all use the ‘__ like __’ format:
· He looks like a fish out of water.
· Her eyes shone like diamonds.
· She slept like a log.
· The airplane soared like an eagle.
· He eats like a pig.
· We’re like two peas in a pod.
· It moves like a snail.
· He slept like a baby.
· The girl was sweet like sugar.
· The shark had teeth like razors.
· Life is like a box of chocolates.
· It cuts like butter.
· He ran like lightning.
· It leaked like a sieve.
· It was soft like velvet.
Examples of Similes in Literature
Writers frequently use similes in their work because they’re very useful for making the text more descriptive and fun to read. Next time you read a book, see if you can identify the similes that the author uses – there are probably quite a few! Here are a few famous examples:
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
“Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”
This famous quote from the opening chapter of A Christmas Carol uses the simile ‘as dead as a door-nail’ to emphasize the point that Marley had passed away. What’s clever about this book is that the author – Dickens – is very aware that he has used a simile and actually goes on to explain it in the rest of the paragraph!
Daffodils – William Wordsworth
“I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glances
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”
‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth, a famous English poet, uses similes for their descriptive qualities. In this poem, Wordsworth is comparing his loneliness to that of a single cloud in the sky. He also uses a simile to describe how the field of daffodils appears to be never-ending, just like the number of stars in the universe.
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
“When the twins left Scarlett standing on the porch of Tara and the last sound of flying hooves had died away, she went back to her chair like a sleepwalker.”
“…their secrets were her secrets; and even a hint of a mystery was enough to set her upon the trail as relentlessly as a bloodhound.”
“The very mystery of him excited her curiosity like a door that had neither lock nor key. The things about him which she could not understand only made her love him more…”
In her book ‘Gone With the Wind’, Mitchell uses a variety of similes to help make her writing more vivid and descriptive. The three examples above show the variety of similes that can be found in the book. In the first, Mitchell uses a simile to describe how the girl walked slowly and absent-mindedly, as if she was sleepwalking. In the second, the simile is used to describe the girl’s dedication, and in the third example the simile describes how mysterious the man is – so mysterious that his secrets cannot be unlocked!
Examples of Similes in Pop Songs
Because similes are so useful for making text more descriptive, exciting and emphatic, many popular songs use them in abundance. Find the lyrics to one of your favorite pop songs and see how many similes you can identify! Here are a few examples:
“New money, suit and tie, I can read you like a magazine” (Taylor Swift – Blank Space)
“I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away” (Nelly Furtado – I’m Like a Bird)
“Now I’m floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee I earned my stripes” (Katy Perry – Roar)
“You’re as cold as ice, you’re willing to sacrifice our love” (Foreigner – Cold As Ice)
“The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside, couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried” (Idina Menzel – Let It Go)
“You spin me right round, baby Right round like a record, baby” (Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Right Round)
This bundle contains 5 ready-to-use simile worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of what a simile is and how it can be used. You can use these simile worksheets in the classroom with students, or with home schooled children as well.
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Link will appear as Simile Examples and Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 8, 2016
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.