Main Figures of Speech Used in

Main Figures of Speech Used in Writing

A figure of speech is a form of expression that conveys the meaning and compare or conveys the meaning to the reader. The figurative mode of speech is associated with literature and poetry. We make use of the figure of speech in our everyday communication and writing, knowingly and unknowingly. If we look at the European languages, the figures of speech are classified into five main categories, namely:

Figures of resemblance 

It includes simile, metaphor, parallelism, conceit, personification, metonymy, synecdoche, and euphemism. 

Figures of emphasis

It includes hyperbole, litotes, climax, paradox, oxymoron, paradox

Figures of sound

Alliteration, repetition, anaphora, and onomatopoeia

Verbal games 

Pun and anagram


Malapropism, periphrasis, and spoonerism

The Figures of Speeches with Examples


Repetition of the beginning sounds with the coincident sound

E.g., Fred fried frogs’ legs on Friday.


When a phrase or a verse begins with the same word or the group of words

E.g., I came, I saw, I conquered. – Julius Caesar


Repetition of the vowel sound in the neighboring words

E.g., Therefore, all seasons shall be sweet to thee.


It refers to the contrasting ideas placed together in the same phrase. 

E.g., Folks with no vices have very few virtues. 


Use of a mild or vague term in place of an offensive term

E.g., Use of passed away instead of dying.


Use of exaggeration to emphasize

E.g., These cars must have cost him a million dollars.


The contrast between appearance vs. reality 

E.g., A cop got beaten up for breaking the law.


It is the figure of speech that constitutes an understatement that expresses the negative of an affirmative. 

E.g., A million dollars is no small chunk of change.


Comparison between two contrasting ideas

E.g., Time is Money.


A figure of speech in which a closely associated word substitutes the another. 

E.g., “That stuffed suit with the briefcase is a poor excuse for a salesman, “the manager said angrily.


The term to signify the sound 

E.g., Click, Buzz, Whoosh, etc.


Use of two contradictory terms alongside

E.g., Free Market


A statement that contradicts itself

E.g., This is the end of the new beginning.


Put non-living things to life

E.g., The air came in through the window.


A play on words with the same or different sound

E.g., Every calendar’s days are numbered.


Use of like or as to mark the difference between unlike things

E.g., As hot as the sun.


Use of whole to explain part or vice versa

E.g., The police (one policeman) is ready to shoot.