Understanding Similes and Metaphors

Similes and Metaphors are often confused. Here’s a very easy way to understand the difference:


These use AS or LIKE. This is where you are comparing one thing to another:

I.E. The wind raged through the trees like a crazed demon.

You are saying here that the wind is like a demon which brings the reader to think of the wind as having personality traits or intention.


These are not as easily spotted as in metaphors you are not saying one thing is like another thing but rather it is another thing.

I.e The wind raged, a crazed demon toppling trees in its wake.

So the basic difference is that a simile is when something is described as like something else and a metaphor is something is something else.

  • Quick Tip: To extend a metaphor you basically carry on throughout the description or it can even recur through the story.

I.e. She was a warrior battling for glory, defeating the enemy to the checkout, pushing her shopping cart through to victory in the aisles, tributes falling around her in streams and balloons.

3 thoughts on “Understanding Similes and Metaphors

  1. This is the best explanation I’ve ever seen. I finally understand the different between the two CLEARLY! Once again, thanks for another great post.

  2. Pingback: Note 204 – How metaphors are different to similes « My writing challenge

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