GCSE English Quiz - Similes (Questions)

Like metaphors, similes are examples of figurative language. A simile explicitly compares one thing to something else, often naming the quality which makes the two separate things alike (i.e. 'She is as fierce as a tiger'). The key words which you will find in similes are 'as' and 'like'.

See how well you can spot the similes which the poets quoted in this quiz have used.

1. Which of the following lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', contains a simile?
[ ] The bride hath paced into the hall
[ ] Red as a rose is she
[ ] Nodding their heads before her goes
[ ] The merry minstrelsy
2. Which of the following lines from D.H. Lawrence's poem, 'Gathering Leaves', contains a simile?
[ ] Spades take up leaves
[ ] No better than spoons
[ ] And bags full of leaves
[ ] Are as light as balloons
3. Which of the following lines from Theodore Roethke's poem, 'The Visitant', includes a simile?
[ ] Slow, slow as a fish she came
[ ] Swaying in a long wave
[ ] Her skirts not touching a leaf
[ ] Her white arms reaching towards me
4. Which of the following lines from John Keats's poem, 'To Autumn', contains a simile?
[ ] Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
[ ] Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers
[ ] And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
[ ] Steady thy laden head across a brook
5. Which of the following lines from Emily Dickinson's poem, 'A Bird came down the Walk', includes a simile?
[ ] He glanced with rapid eyes
[ ] That hurried all abroad
[ ] They looked like frightened beads, I thought
[ ] He stirred his velvet head
6. Which of the following lines from U.A. Fanthorpe's poem, 'Men on Allotments', includes a simile?
[ ] As mute as monks, tidy as bachelors
[ ] They manicure their little plots of earth
[ ] Pop music from their little council house estate
[ ] Counterpoints with the Sunday-morning bells
7. Which of the following lines from Dahlia Ravikovich's poem, 'The Blue West', includes a simile?
[ ] On one of the days to come
[ ] The eye of the sea will darken
[ ] In that hour all the mass of the earth
[ ] Will be stretched out like a sail
8. Which of the following lines from W.E. Henley's poem, 'Invictus', includes a simile?
[ ] Out of the night that covers me
[ ] Black as the pit from pole to pole
[ ] I thank whatever gods may be
[ ] For my unconquerable soul
9. Which of the following lines from Lord Byron's poem, 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', includes a simile?
[ ] And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide
[ ] But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride
[ ] And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf
[ ] And cold as the spray of the rock-beating turf
10. Which of the following lines from Edwin Muir's poem, 'The Horses', includes a simile?
[ ] And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness
[ ] The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
[ ] They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting
[ ] We leave them where they are and let them rust
GCSE English Quiz - Similes (Answers)
1. Which of the following lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', contains a simile?
[ ] The bride hath paced into the hall
[x] Red as a rose is she
[ ] Nodding their heads before her goes
[ ] The merry minstrelsy
The word 'as' is a good clue that you have found a simile.  The line above means 'as red as a rose'
2. Which of the following lines from D.H. Lawrence's poem, 'Gathering Leaves', contains a simile?
[ ] Spades take up leaves
[ ] No better than spoons
[ ] And bags full of leaves
[x] Are as light as balloons
3. Which of the following lines from Theodore Roethke's poem, 'The Visitant', includes a simile?
[x] Slow, slow as a fish she came
[ ] Swaying in a long wave
[ ] Her skirts not touching a leaf
[ ] Her white arms reaching towards me
4. Which of the following lines from John Keats's poem, 'To Autumn', contains a simile?
[ ] Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
[ ] Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers
[x] And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
[ ] Steady thy laden head across a brook
The word 'like' is often used in similes.  Autumn is like a 'gleaner', someone who gathers the last few grains after a field has been harvested
5. Which of the following lines from Emily Dickinson's poem, 'A Bird came down the Walk', includes a simile?
[ ] He glanced with rapid eyes
[ ] That hurried all abroad
[x] They looked like frightened beads, I thought
[ ] He stirred his velvet head
The beads are personified - being inanimate, they cannot literally feel fear, but a bird's bead-like eyes can show fear
6. Which of the following lines from U.A. Fanthorpe's poem, 'Men on Allotments', includes a simile?
[x] As mute as monks, tidy as bachelors
[ ] They manicure their little plots of earth
[ ] Pop music from their little council house estate
[ ] Counterpoints with the Sunday-morning bells
This line has two similes, in fact!
7. Which of the following lines from Dahlia Ravikovich's poem, 'The Blue West', includes a simile?
[ ] On one of the days to come
[ ] The eye of the sea will darken
[ ] In that hour all the mass of the earth
[x] Will be stretched out like a sail
8. Which of the following lines from W.E. Henley's poem, 'Invictus', includes a simile?
[ ] Out of the night that covers me
[x] Black as the pit from pole to pole
[ ] I thank whatever gods may be
[ ] For my unconquerable soul
9. Which of the following lines from Lord Byron's poem, 'The Destruction of Sennacherib', includes a simile?
[ ] And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide
[ ] But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride
[ ] And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf
[x] And cold as the spray of the rock-beating turf
10. Which of the following lines from Edwin Muir's poem, 'The Horses', includes a simile?
[ ] And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness
[ ] The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
[x] They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting
[ ] We leave them where they are and let them rust