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Similes
Life is like a box of chocolates.

Similes

Similes are comparing words. 'As nutty as a fruitcake' and 'Life is like a box of chocolates' are similes: an expression used to describe the quality of someone or something by comparing it with something else: often, the meaning of the simile has to be worked out. Similes are easily recognized because they use 'like' or 'as ... as ...'.

So, if 'Life is like a box of chocolates', what is life like? If you've seen the film 'Forrest Gump', you'll probably know the answer. Incidentally, this simile first appeared in the 1994 film 'Forrest Gump'.

Similes can brighten up any piece of writing ~ even more so if the simile is humorous ~ add some to your writing and see if you get extra marks from your English teacher!

Do this 11-plus quiz and see if you can work out what some similes really mean.

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1.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
The soldier lay on the ground as dead as a door nail.
The soldier was dead
The soldier was like a rusty door nail
The soldier looked like a dead door with nails in it
The soldier had lots of nails
Has anyone ever seen a living door nail?
2.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
The old man was as drunk as a lord.
The old man was a drunk lord
The old man was absolutely drunk
The old man was a lord
The old man was an alcoholic
It's not only lords who get as drunk as lords
3.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
Mike eats like a pig.
Mike eats a lot, or he eats noisily and unpleasantly
Mike lives on a farm
Mike eats out of a pig trough
Mike eats nicely
Poor pigs!
4.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
The teacher's explanation was as clear as mud.
The teacher's explanation was very clear
The teacher's explanation was not at all clear
The teacher's explanation was quite clear
The teacher's explanation was covered in mud
This simile is often used ironically or sarcastically: Oh, yes! I understood everything; his explanation was as clear as mud
5.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
Water and vodka are as different as chalk from cheese.
Water and vodka are the same
Water is almost the same as vodka
Water is like chalk and vodka is like cheese
Water and vodka are very different
They may look alike, but once you've taken a few sips - you'll soon realize the difference!
6.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
Sheila is as snug as a bug in a rug in her new house.
Sheila feels cramped in her new house
Sheila is warm and comfortable in her new house
Sheila lives in a rug
Sheila has a lot of bugs in her rugs
Has anyone asked the bugs how they feel?
7.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
His shoes fit like a glove.
He wears gloves on his feet
His gloves fit very well
His shoes fit very well
He wears shoes on his hands
If it fits like a glove, you can wear it
8.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
Dave is as mad as a hornet.
Dave is a little mad in the head
Dave is very mad in the head
Dave is not very angry
Dave is very angry
If you were to disturb a hornets' nest, you'd soon find out the meaning of this simile: don't do it!
9.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
Peter is as quiet as a church mouse.
Peter makes a scratching noise
Peter lives a quiet life in a church
Peter goes to church quietly
Peter is very quiet
Is a church mouse quieter than a town mouse?
10.
Choose the best explanation for the simile.
She's as blind as a bat.
She can't see very well
She thinks she's a bat
She uses echolocation to see
She has perfect vision
This could also mean that she doesn't want to accept things that she should, for example: She's as blind as a bat when it comes to her son's misbehaviour
Author:  Frank Evans

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