What is Figurative Language?

Figurative language refers to expressions that people use that are non-literal. For example, “It’s raining cats and dogs,” means it is raining hard outside. It does not mean that cats and dogs are falling from the sky.

Why do People Use Figurative Language?

People use figurative language for a variety of reasons:

  • Add emphasis
  • Describe something complex
  • Compare two things to aid understanding

Types of Figurative Language and Definitions

There are many different types of figurative language. Those include:

  • Metaphors – a direct comparison between two different things without using “like” or “as.”
  • Idioms – a commonly used non-literal expression
  • Simile – a comparison between two different things using “like,” “as,” or “than.”
  • Hyperbole – over-exaggeration to emphasize a description or emotion.
  • Personification – attributing human characteristics to non-human things.

Why is Figurative Language Hard to Understand?

Students with communication disorders struggle to understand non-literal language and figurative language expressions. Many students with communication disorders have a tough time understanding that a verbal or written phrase doesn’t literally mean what is stated. Additionally, multi-lingual students who are learning English simultaneously or sequentially also have difficulty understanding these types of expressions.

Students who are learning expressions of figurative language need practice and repetition to learn the meanings consistently. That’s where Figurative Language Flashcards will be exactly what your students need!

Examples of Figurative Language for Kids

I made the above printable flashcards to help students understand figurative language. Additionally, another way to describe these is figurative language task cards. The picture is an image of the literal meaning of the expression. Looking at the pictures, students realize how silly the expression is!

This pack of flashcards includes idioms, similes, metaphors, hyperbole, and personification. Included are the images, the figurative language expression and the actual meaning of the phrase. They come in a color version (for lamination) and in black and white version (for students to color themselves) and review the real meaning of the figurative language phrases. Consider sending home the black and white version for homework and review!

Figurative Language Worksheets and Flashcards

I haven’t always like worksheets to teach these types of concepts. Instead, I’ve create these printable flashcards for use in tabletop games. However, I decided to create digital versions because we don’t always want to print something out. So below you see links to the digital “No Print” Interactive PDF version (that is huge) as well as a Boom card version. Use a computer, laptop, or iPad to display the “No Print” or the Boom card version. Check out everything below:

You are watching: Figurative Language Flashcards: Metaphors, Idioms, Similes, Hyperbole & Personification. Info created by GBee English Center selection and synthesis along with other related topics.