Difference between simile and metaphor - eAge Tutor

Difference between simile and metaphor


English is a language in which the same words have various meanings depending upon the situation. You get the liberty to play with words while framing a sentence. Whether you are writing or sharing a story, you use different words according to the occasion. Sometimes, words lead to confusion with their interchangeable meanings.

We all have the habit of comparing two things in a best possible way to explain a particular condition. At times, the comparison indicate a confusion. Here is where figures of speech, Simile and Metaphor, come into play.

simile and metaphor
They both are similar in many ways but are not same. It is always difficult to understand the difference between a simile and a metaphor as they have their own uses. So, first we will understand what Simile is.


Simile is a figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as. It brings a poetic touch to a sentence. Let’s take an example and try to exemplify what a simile means.

“The boy runs as fast as a bullet train”. In the given sentence, the boy is compared to a contrasting object, comparing his trait to a bullet train. The speaker personifies the two different things as an existing one.


1) “He is as happy as a clam”. A comparison between a joyful person and a clam.
2) “Her smile is as sweet as sugar”. A girl’s smile is serenely linked with a sweet nature of sugar.
3) “The pen is as light as a feather”. A pen is matched by the light weight of a feather.

From the above examples, you can resolve the fact that simile adds depth to the language and hence makes the reader read with joy.


Metaphor also consists of the same trait as a simile. Unlike simile, metaphor does not use words ‘like’ and ‘as’ to describe a situation in a sentence. They transmit the quality of the word to another word, like for example:

“Life is a rollercoaster”. Here the life is not like a roller coaster. It is already understood that the life is compared to rollercoaster by expressing it as an expression and the truthful reality.

Have a look at these examples, the definition of metaphor will be clear to us.

1) “Broken heart”. Where the heart is not broken literally, but the person feels sad.
2) “He is the moon of my life”. The person does not mean that he is the moon of the space. But considered as a special person.

Metaphor completely attracts the mind of a reader. The thoughts portrayed here are more powerful than what is conveyed in simile.

A simile is like an estimated value of a solution. It is not the whole solution like metaphor. Metaphor is an assorted substitution of the word “is”, “are”, “was” and replaces the whole word unlike simile.

From the above explanations, you can understand the difference between simile and metaphor with their functions and usage while framing a sentence. This will help improve your English and improve your communication skills too. Joining an online spoken English course will help you reach heights in the language and be a capable speaker.

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-By Chander Madan

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