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CBSE Class 10 Grammar Revision Notes for Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech
 

What are Figures of Speech?
 
Figures of speech are literary devices which are used to express ideas that move beyond their literal meaning.

Functions of Figures of Speech
  • They impart beauty to the language by stimulating the visual, aural and sensory appeal of the verses.
  • The reader is made to use his imagination to create rich mental pictures.
  • They provide freshness of expression and clarity of meaning.
  • They can be used in poetic as well as in everyday language.
  • Language of speeches and debates can also be enriched with the use of figures of speech.
  • In short, figures of speech make the language more colourful, descriptive and interesting.
Types of Figures of Speech

There are more than 200 types of figures of speech in English. In this chapter, we will be covering a few of
them.
 
 
 
 
Simile
  • Simile is a figure of speech which directly compares two things which may have similar qualities.
  • It employs the use of words such as 'ike‘ or 'as‘.
    1. The prisoners languished like caged animals. (The prisoners are likened to caged animals.)
    2. Manish is as thin as a reed. (Manish is compared to a reed.)

 

Metaphor

  • Metaphor is a figure of speech which makes a direct equation between two things which share similar qualities.
  • Unlike similes, metaphors do not use words such as 'as‘ or 'like‘.
    1. My old employer was the devil incarnate. (The old employer is equated with the devil.)
    2. The pen is the tongue of the mind. (The pen is equated with the tongue.)

 

 

We also use various metaphors in our day-to-day language.

 

 

Personification

  • Personification is a figure of speech where human qualities or activities are attributed to animals, non-living things or abstract ideas.
  • Through personification, writers and poets offer a fresh perspective to the reader.
  • Readers relate to the inanimate as they would relate to humans.
    1. The skies wept. (The skies are given the human ability to weep.)
    2. Your arrogance betrayed you today. (Arrogance is said to have the ability to betray.)

 

 

Synecdoche

  • Synecdoche is a figure of speech where a part is used to signify the whole.
    1. The family has many mouths to feed. (The word 'mouth‘ represents members of the family.)
    2. Two heads are better than one. (The word 'heads‘ represents people.)

 

Transferred Epithet

  • Transferred epithet is a figure of speech where a quality of one noun is ascribed to another.
  • By doing so, the adjective is transferred to a noun to which it does not belong.
    1. Phillip‘s happy days are here again. (Phillip is the one who is happy, but the noun 'days‘ is ascribed the quality of happiness.)
    2. Priti has committed too many careless mistakes. (Here, Priti is the one who is careless. But the quality is ascribed to the noun 'mistakes‘.)

 

 

Metonymy

  • Metonymy is a figure of speech where the name of one thing is used for another because of their close association or recurrent relationship with each other.
  • It is not to be confused with synecdoche because the term used to describe another is not a part of it.
    1. Europe has opened its doors to the immigrants. ('Europe‘ is the metonymy for European government or the people of Europe.)
    2. The court has issued a summon. ('The court‘ is the metonymy for the judge.)