What is a metaphor and how are they different from similes? This common question will be answered on this page, so read on if you are curious. In addition, if you’re see to see metaphor examples, then there will be plenty of those too.
In a nutshell, this page will (hopefully) teach you the basics of similes and metaphors. You will learn what they are and how they differ. Along the way there will be several examples to help make learning easy.
Now, let’s get started:
Are Similes and Metaphors Different?
Yes they are, but only slightly. A metaphor is when one thing is referred to as if it were something else. It’s also implied that the two things are comparable with each other. In other words, there is a similarity between them. For instance:
“The dog’s bed is a marshmallow, it looks so comfortable.”
In this example, the dog’s bed is referred to as a marshmallow. This is the metaphor. Next, let’s figure out how these two things are comparable. The answer is that they’re both soft; this is the similarity they share.
What is a simile? It’s basically the same thing as a metaphor, the only real difference is that similes make a comparison between two different things by using the words “like” or “as.” Take a look:
“The dog’s bed is like a marshmallow, it looks so comfortable.”
Notice that the metaphor in the sentence is the same, but the word “like” has been added to it, so that makes it a simile. That’s all there is to it, but to get a clearer understanding, let’s go over some more examples.
Metaphor Examples With Sentences
To help you learn, let’s go over some simple metaphor examples with sentences. While we are doing this, try to spot the metaphor for yourself, then try to figure out how the two things are alike.
Example #1. “Mike is a worker bee today.”
In the sentence above, Mike is referred to as a worker bee. That’s the metaphor. Now that we’ve identified it, let’s try to figure out how these two things are similar. I know! Workers bees have a lot to do, and so does Mike. So they’re both busy.
Example #2. “Rachel was a brick wall and wouldn’t listen to a word her mother said.”
With this one, Rachel is referred to as a brick wall. But why, what do they have in common? A brick wall does not listen to what people say. Similarly, Rachel did not listen to a word her mother said.
Example #3. “Mowing the lawn was a walk in the park.”
The task of mowing the lawn is being compared to a walk in the park. This is the metaphor, but in what way are those two things comparable? Well, it’s easy to walk through a beautiful park. So mowing the lawn must have been an easy thing to do.
Example #4: “I brought my friend to the gym for the first time, and as expected, he’s a fish out of water.”
Here, a friend at the gym is compared to a fish out of water. What do they both have in common? A fish is uncomfortable out of the water. Likewise, the friend looked uncomfortable at the gym.
As you can see from these four examples of metaphors, there is a comparison made between two different things and its implied that these things have something in common. However, what they have in common is not always obvious. Sometimes, we might need to think about it to figure it out.
Now let’s look at some similes. Remember, they also compare two different things, but they use the words “as” or “like” to do it. In the 10 examples that follow, I’ll throw in a few non-similes too. See if you can identify which ones are the metaphors and which ones are the similes (both they will appear in blue below).
10 Examples of Similes and Metaphors
1. Do you know where I put my glasses? I’m having trouble reading this text message on my phone because I’m blind as a bat without them.
2. While the sun shined on the city of Las Vegas, the temperatures slowly raised. Nick was not happy with the heat because the air conditioner at his job was busted, so his office felt like the Sahara Desert.
3. My parents live in Miami, so after I heard the news about the hurricane heading towards Florida, my heart sank like a stone.
4. I had to watch my nephew while his parents went gift shopping. Things were nice and quiet at first, but now he’s a little rabbit running around all over the place.
5. I did a job interview three weeks ago. I thought for sure that I wouldn’t get hired, but what? They called me back today and said that I did! I’m happy as a pig in mud right now!
6. My brother is in a bad mood. Since he has such a temper, I try my best to walk on shattered glass when he’s like this.
7. Becky and Sue love gardening together, they are like two peas in a pod.
8. Today was a roller coaster, but I’m glad things have finally calmed down.
9. Your fireplace keeps your house nice and toasty. Earlier, I was outside and let me tell you, it was as cold as a freezer out there.
10. You’re like an alarm clock, Mike, thank you for reminding me about my doctor’s appointment.
And we’re done. Out of those ten examples, seven of them were similes. Did you find them all? By now, you probably understand the differences between metaphors and similes, but if you’re still having trouble, take a break for a few minutes and try going over the material again.
Anyways, hopefully you were able to learn something from this. That was the goal, after all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna make like a tree and split.