ESL Writing

Introduction to Analogies (Similes and Metaphors)

This ESL writing exercise introduces students to similes and metaphors. Several sentences are presented, and students must identify whether they are similes or metaphors.

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Topic Sentences: Analogies (Similes and Metaphors)


When you write a topic sentence, you can often use analogies to make it more interesting. An analogy is when you say one thing is something else. For example:

· My father is a bear in the morning. (Your father is not really a bear, so this is an analogy.)

· My sister is like an angel in my life. (Your sister is not really an angel, so this is an analogy.)



There are two kinds of analogies that we often use: Similes and Metaphors.

Similes use the words “like” or “as”:

  • My sister is like an angel in my life.
  • My bedroom is like a box of silence in a noisy world.
  • My father is angry as a bear when he wakes up.

Metaphors do not use “like” or “as”:

  • My father is a bear in the morning.
  • This food is trash.
  • My grandfather is superman.
  • My teacher is the devil!


Read these analogies. Write “S” if it is a simile or “M” if it is a metaphor.

1. _____ My life is a dream.

2. _____ Math is like a puzzle that never ends.

3. _____ My mother is an angel, always watching over me.

4. _____ Love is a flower that grows and becomes more and more beautiful.

5. _____ My mother is beautiful, with hair that is soft as a cloud.

6. _____ This city is a sea of sadness.

7. _____ The ocean waves hit the beach like a thousand hammers.

8. _____ My wife is the light in my life.

9. _____ Watch out for John. He is a sneaky snake.

10. _____ When my brother fell, he howled like a wolf.


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