Posts Tagged ‘language’

Figures of Speech

Fig­ures of speech is a means of express­ing ones thoughts and feel­ings by mak­ing use of words in their lit­eral mean­ing or even out of their usual usage, in order to add emo­tional inten­sity or beauty or for trans­fer­ring the poet’s impres­sions either by iden­ti­fy­ing or com­par­ing a thing with another which has a mean­ing that is famil­iar to its reader.
A few impor­tant fig­ures of speech include metaphor, sim­ile, per­son­i­fi­ca­tion, sym­bol and hyperbole.

Sim­ile: Sim­ile is a fig­ure of speech which is essen­tially used for com­par­ing explic­itly two unlike things. Usu­ally words like ‘as’, ‘then’ and ‘like’ are used.

Exam­ples: Her cheeks are like red roses.
It is as thick as the cloth

There are few sim­i­les in which a par­al­lel com­par­i­son is extended and devel­oped beyond the pri­mary com­par­i­son and are also usu­ally sus­tained through numer­ous lines. Such sim­i­les are known as Home­ric sim­i­les or epic similes.

figures of speech

fig­ures of speech

Metaphor: In these fig­ures of speech, a phrase or a word is used for denot­ing an idea or an object to another, fur­ther sug­gest­ing an anal­ogy or like­ness between them.

Exam­ples: Life is a jour­ney, death is sleep
Dif­fi­cul­ties are the obsta­cles and achieve­ments are the landmarks.

Usu­ally most of the metaphors are nouns; how­ever, verbs can be metaphor too.

Per­son­i­fi­ca­tion: It is a kind of metaphor in which the unique and pecu­liar human char­ac­ter­is­tics such as hon­esty, voli­tion and emo­tion and more, are imputed to an object, an ani­mal or an idea.

Exam­ples: My cell phone hates me
Flow­ers were danc­ing with the rain

Per­son­i­fi­ca­tion is com­monly used in apologues.

Hyper­bole (hi-PER-buh-lee):
Hyper­bole is a delib­er­ate and bold over­state­ment which is used basi­cally as a mode of accent­ing the truth of the bold state­ment. Usu­ally these sen­tences are not meant to be taken precisely

Exam­ples: His mobile phone is mil­lion years old.
She told him the same thing thou­sands of times.

Ady­na­ton is a kind of hyper­bole, in which the over­state­ment is so greatly mag­ni­fied that it starts refer­ring to impossibility.

Allit­er­a­tion is also known as ini­tial rhyme or head rhyme. It is the rep­e­ti­tion of prime sounds, gen­er­ally the con­so­nants, of a stressed word that is either at a short inter­val or is in neigh­bor­ing word.

Exam­ples: Mary’s micro­phones made much music.
Peter poked his pen into him.

Allit­er­a­tion pro­vides strength and sup­port to stresses, grat­i­fies effect on sound and also serves as an elu­sive con­nec­tion or stress of key words in a line, how­ever, a word that is allit­er­ated should not call any atten­tion, by their strained usage, towards themselves.

Differences between Spoken English and Written English

There are some very notable dif­fer­ences between writ­ten and spo­ken Eng­lish. Spo­ken Eng­lish, as a lan­guage is quite relaxed. This means that in many occa­sions peo­ple speak and their Eng­lish gram­mar is not quite cor­rect. Often peo­ple will say things like, ‘If I was a boy’ which does not sound too gram­mat­i­cally incor­rect, but in writ­ten form it looks slightly odd. The rea­son is that ‘if’ is already a ‘wish­ing word’ and, as such, needs the sub­junc­tive tense to be used. So the proper writ­ten form of this sen­tence is, ‘If I were a boy’. It is also notable that when one is writ­ing, he/she tends to use words that would not nor­mally be used when speak­ing about the same subject.

Differences between Spoken English and Written English

Dif­fer­ences between Spo­ken Eng­lish and Writ­ten English

It is thus easy when speak­ing Eng­lish to get away with not hav­ing very good gram­mar, but this will show up when the same words are writ­ten down. If one is learn­ing Eng­lish, it is impor­tant to try to make sure that gram­mar is checked. You should make sure that when you are speak­ing Eng­lish you pay atten­tion to gram­mar and gram­mat­i­cal issues. When writ­ing in Eng­lish, ensure that you always check your gram­mar, either using an online gram­mar check­ing pack­age, or just by going through it. But the gram­mar checker is much more reliable.

Try­ing to speak Eng­lish as it is writ­ten helps you make sure that you don’t allow your stan­dard of gram­mar to slip. In spo­ken lan­guage, every­thing we talk will give some mean­ing and the lis­tener is not par­tic­u­lar about the gram­mat­i­cal cor­rect­ness of the lan­guage. He/she is inter­ested only to get the sub­ject but when it comes to writ­ten Eng­lish, every­body will keenly observe all these things and a small mis­take, becomes a big issue. In my opin­ion, peo­ple who write good Eng­lish will def­i­nitely increase their spo­ken Eng­lish skills.

Tips for Spoken English

tips for spoken english 125x125 pixelsWe have writ­ten a lot of arti­cles about the Eng­lish Gram­mar and its usage. We have got a few requests ask­ing to tell more about spo­ken Eng­lish. So, in this arti­cle, I would like to talk about two com­mon mis­takes made by even the native Eng­lish speak­ers. Eng­lish lan­guage is very tricky and it is tough to mas­ter it because most of the Eng­lish words which appear to be cor­rect while speak­ing but are incor­rect when put on the paper. The Eng­lish spo­ken by non-native Eng­lish peo­ple over­laps with their local lan­guage and thus results in the improper usage of Eng­lish. While speak­ing, mak­ing oth­ers o under­stand what you want to con­vey is impor­tant while writ­ing the same should also take care of gram­mar, punc­tu­a­tions, proper usage of terms.

Today and Yesterday:

We com­monly use the terms today evening and today night etc. Though one can under­stand what you are say­ing but it is sug­gested to use cor­rect form of language.

“Today” means “This Day” where the Day stands for Day­time. There­fore “Today Night” is confusing.

The cor­rect usage: “This Evening”, “Tonight”.

This also applies to “Yes­ter­day Night” and “Yes­ter­day Evening”.

The cor­rect usage: “Last Night” and “Last Evening”.

Spoken English Tips

Spo­ken Eng­lish Tips


There is no word called ‘upda­tion’ in Eng­lish lan­guage. The cor­rect usage is shown in below examples.

  • You update some­body on the lat­est news.
  • You wait for an update on the sta­tus of the report.

The shower smiles in a politician.

Vocabulary — Common mistakes in English Language

We have dis­cussed about some con­fus­ing words pre­vi­ously. It had been a long time since then we talked about them Below are some of the com­monly mis­taken words, we tried to pro­vide mean­ing, usage, dif­fer­ence and also some tips which will help you to remem­ber them easily.

Sta­tion­ary vs Stationery

Parts of speech: Adjec­tive
Mean­ing: immov­able; an object that stays in its orig­i­nal place with­out any change in its posi­tion
Usage 1: All sta­tion­ary objects will remain sta­tion­ary unless and until some force is applied. (Newton’s I law).
Usage 2: As eco­nomic devel­op­ment ceased, the rate of infla­tion is stationary

Parts of speech: Noun
Mean­ing: Any item that is used for writ­ing like pen, paper, envelopes etc
Usage 1: To save the time, keep your sta­tionery ready before start­ing any work
Usage 2: One needs patience to main­tain a sta­tionery shop
Note: Sta­tionery can also be used as an adjec­tive.
Tip: Avoid con­fu­sion between the two words with help of this trick. Paper ends with “er” and sta­tionery also ends with “er”.

difference between advice and advise

dif­fer­ence between advice and advise

Advice vs Advise:

Parts of speech: Noun
Mean­ing: Any Information/opinion that helps you to be safe or happy etc
Usage 1: Your advice on plan­ning my finance was very use­ful
Usage 2: His advice is use­less as he him­self don’t under­stand it.

Parts of speech: Verb
Mean­ing: To Give an advice.
Usage 1: His is well known for his timely advises.
Usage 2: In order to avoid acci­dents, peo­ple are con­stantly being advised about traf­fic safety.
Tip: These two terms are very tricky and con­fus­ing because both of them have same mean­ing and spelling (almost). Advice is used more often than ‘advise’. Check the gram­mar and con­text to know the cor­rect usage of the two terms.

Prin­ci­ple vs Principal:

Parts of speech: Noun
Mean­ing: It has a wide range of mean­ings, how­ever, the sim­ple mean­ing is rules or laws, code of con­duct, accepted rule, firm belief
Usage 1: All the suc­cess­ful peo­ple have fol­lowed the tough­est prin­ci­ples in their life.
Usage 2: Argu­ments can be made more appeal­ing by using gen­eral principles.

Parts of speech: Noun or Adjec­tive
Mean­ing: When used as noun, its mean­ings are head and money; when used as adjec­tive, it takes the mean­ing main or chief.
Usage 1: The prin­ci­pal parts of human body are brain and heart (prin­ci­pal = main, adjec­tive)
Usage 2: For any prin­ci­pal amount, try to keep less inter­est rate to attract new clients (prin­ci­pal = money, noun)

Tip 1: Prin­ci­ple is always used to tell the “rules”
Tip 2: Prin­ci­pal can be adjec­tive or noun. “a” for adjec­tive in prin­ci­pal. This removes con­fu­sion in usage.

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