Things to Know About Figurative Language – Types, Pros, Cons and Use


Did you ever use figurative language in your research writing? Yes, you probably have used it in your writings. But, maybe you don’t know much about its use and types. So, if you really don’t know, you don’t need to go to any other website. This complete guide is for you. I will be talking about the types, pros and cons, and the uses of such language in research writing.

Before going straight into the types, let’s take a little knowledge of what is figurative writing? Figurative writing is the sophisticated use of language that goes beyond the literal meaning of the words. Figurative language is a creative method to engage your readers and guide them through your work. For example, if someone says that it’s a million degrees outside. It doesn’t mean that that the temperature is actually a million degrees. He uses his creative skills to tell people that it is quite hot outside.

Why Figurative Writing?

Creative writers use this language to make a point or better communicate an idea. Some concepts are difficult to convey because they are abstract or complex. Figurative language helps readers in creating an image of what the author is trying to communicate.

Types of Figurative Language

Several types of figurative language are in use. The description of the types is as follows;

1.     Metaphor

Metaphor is the most used type of figurative language in writing. It compares two things that are not alike in nature. In metaphors, there is no use of the words “like” or “as”. The metaphor statements make sense to the reader only when he knows the connection between the things being compared.

You can see the comparison of time and money in the statement. But it does not mean that money equals the amount of time you have or vice versa. Instead, the meaning of this is that time is a valuable thing. You should spend it effectively to earn money. And if you waste time, it means you are wasting the chances of earning money.

Some other examples of metaphor are;

  • Love is a war ground.
  • The soldier has a heart of stone.

2.     Simile

According to experts of dissertation writing services, a simile is the second type of figurative language. It is similar to a metaphor like it also compares two, unlike things to present something. People use similes in their daily life communication. Simile aims to spark an interesting connection between things in the reader’s mind.

A typical example of a simile is. The cat is an animal, while the king is a human. But the writer compares the way of sitting of the cat with that of the king who relaxes on his throne. Some other examples of similes are;

  • The manager is as tall as a giraffe.
  • My new neighbour is like a fox; nothing escapes his attention

3.     Hyperbole

The third most commonly used figurative language is hyperbole. In hyperbole, the writer exaggerates the point to bring out some humour or to express the intensity. People use it often in daily life communication without noticing. The exaggeration of this type is so outrageous that no one will believe it. People use it just to emphasize the importance or intensity of the subject under discussion.

A typical example of hyperbole is. But it is for sure mother has not told it a million times. “A million times” is there to emphasize dishwashing. Some other examples of hyperbole are;

  • You are so weak that the wind can carry you away.
  • Today the temperature outside is a million degrees.

4.     Personification

Personification is relating the characteristics of something to non-living objects. The use of personification affects the imagination of the reader and sparks an interest in him. An example of personification is. “The sun greeted me when I woke up in the morning.” The sun is not human, but the writer gave him the characteristic of a human. It is because only humans can say greetings to a human, not the sun. Some other examples of personification are;

  • The car brakes were screaming throughout the whole journey.
  • June is the cruellest month of the year.

Uses of Figurative Language

Several uses of figurative language are as follows;

  • Comparing two unlike things to spark interest in the reader
  • Compare two different ideas to increase understanding of the one.
  • Personify the things to make them easier to understand
  • Showing off a deeper connection between two unlike things
  • Its creative way of expressing two different ideas attract readers

Pros and Cons

Like everything, figurative language comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The pros and cons are as follows;


  • It makes it easier for the reader to visualize the things
  • It brings clarity to abstract ideas
  • The art of comparison in it makes complex ideas easy to understand


  • It can sometimes make a faulty comparison which is difficult to grab for the reader
  • It can create confusion for the reader too
  • Excessive use of figurative language can be boring for your audience


Figurative language is very useful in creating good links between unlike things most of the time. It brings more clarity to the sentences. In the end, I would say the types described above are not the only types of figurative language. You can search for other types on the internet too and use them accordingly in your writing.


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