Simile vs Metaphor vs Analogy – What’s the difference?

Literary devices are a very important part of the English language that help to enhance one’s ideas and writing. But sometimes, identifying different literary devices can become a little complicated. Similarly, with the words “Simile”, “Metaphor”, and “Analogy.”

These three literary devices are used for comparisons in speech and writing. But each is used differently. They can get confusing sometimes as these words have somewhat the same hint to their meanings. But they are not the same.

List of Homophones | Homophones Exa...
List of Homophones | Homophones Examples

It is necessary to know the similarities and differences between them to make better use of figurative language. Let us discuss them and have a clear understanding of them.

Simile vs Metaphor vs Analogy – Difference

Simile

A simile is used when we are comparing one thing with another to make a more intense description. In a simple sense, similes are used to create comparison by using the words like and as. It tries to indicate that something or someone is like someone or something else.

Let us look at some examples;

  • School is like our home.
  • The book was as interesting as a movie.

Here, we can see that, with the use of like and as, one thing is being compared to another to give a better explanation or description of the former object.

Metaphor

A metaphor is a literary device that is popular in poetry verse. Metaphors are put to use to compare one thing with another in a more direct manner.

A metaphor is a phrase that takes on the meaning of some other phrase. It does not stand literally true but shows a comparison of the similarities between them. In short, it makes rhetorical comparisons.

Let us look at some examples;

  • My bed is heaven, and nothing can beat it.
  • India is a melting pot right now.
  • The world is a stage.

Here, direct comparisons are made to state that one thing is another. But it is not to be taken literally. The comparison only states the common factors or similarities.

Analogy

An analogy is similar to a metaphor or simile. It is also used to compare one thing with another. But here, it gives an explanation or a better clarification of the comparison and does not just show one. An analogy tries to identify the similarities between two things and ultimately makes a point of the comparison.

Let us understand with an example;

  • Reading outdated books is as useless as having soup with a fork.

Here, we can see that one thing is compared to another to show some similarities. But it ultimately tries to explain and communicate that the first thing is as useless as the second.

Remember the Difference between Simile and Metaphor and Analogy

  • A metaphor states one thing is another but with rhetorical effect.
  • A simile is a comparison that says something is like something else.
  • A simile is a subcategory of Metaphor. All similes are metaphors, but all metaphors are not similes.
  • An analogy is a comparison made to give an explanation.
  • While creating analogy, one can make use of similes or metaphors.

So we learned that all three words are literary devices that are used to make comparisons. But each of them has its definite purpose and use that is important to keep in mind.

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