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Reading Comprehension 09 - Figures of Speech 1
"Nobody goes to the supermarket because it's too crowded." This sentence is a paradox.

Reading Comprehension 09 - Figures of Speech 1

This Upper Primary English quiz is all about figures of speech, in particular similes, euphemisms and paradoxes.

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Can you recall this famous quote? It is credited to Muhammad Ali, the well know heavyweight boxer of the 1960-80 period. He was talking about his skills in the ring. He could dance around the opponent to ward of his blows, just like a butterfly. His own punches hit the opponent and hurt him, just as a bee’s sting would. This quote is an example of a simile.

Similes make use of the words ‘as’ and ‘like’ to compare two disparate things with a common feature between them. A simile is an example of a figure of speech. A figure of speech may be defined in many ways and one of them is the use of words in an innovative manner.

Euphemisms are another example of a figure of speech and are the use of alternate words to replace words which may sound rude, offensive or inappropriate in a particular context. Here are some examples:

‘He has kicked the bucket,’ or ‘He has passed away.’ Both of these phrases mean the same thing, which is ‘he has died.’

‘He has lost his marbles,’ is another euphemism which means ‘he is mad.’

Paradoxes are another example of a figure of speech. A paradox presents contradictory ideas in an interesting and engaging manner that immediately attracts the reader or a listener. For example:

‘Don't go near the water until you've learned to swim.’ This is a paradoxical statement. If you don’t get into the water you cannot learn to swim! One of the best examples of a paradox is Oscar Wilde’s use of the phrase - ‘I can resist anything but temptation.’

Similes, euphemisms and paradoxes are literary devices used to present ideas in an interesting and innovative manner. There are various other figures of speech such as hyperbole, metaphor, proverb, irony, personification and idiom and these will be explained in the subsequent quizzes.
1.
Choose from the following the one that is NOT a simile.
When school closes for the holidays, I feel as free as a bird.
The exam was as easy as ABC.
The watermelon was succulent.
The previous night was as black as coal.
'The watermelon was succulent' is just a simple statement of fact. The other options are all similes
2.
Choose the paradox from the following options.
The earth spins around its own axis.
The earth revolves around the sun.
The earth is a planet.
Nobody goes to that supermarket, it's too crowded.
'Nobody goes to that supermarket, it's too crowded' is a paradoxical sentence where 'nobody' and 'crowded' are contradictory. The other three options are all factual statements
3.
In which of the following situations is it considered acceptable to use a euphemism?
When the speaker is trying to be direct.
When the speaker is trying to confuse the listener.
When the speaker is in a social setting and must be polite.
Euphemisms are always inappropriate or unacceptable.
In a social setting when you want to say something unpalatable then you use euphemisms to be polite
4.
Choose from the following the one that is NOT a simile.
Anamika can run as fast as the wind.
The boy can swim like a fish.
My dog Floyd is usually as quiet as a sleeping baby.
The fluorescent light was the sun during the test..
'The fluorescent light was the sun during the test' is a metaphor as the fluorescent light is compared to the sun without the use of either 'as' or 'like.' The other options are similes
5.
Which sentence does NOT include a euphemism?
Trupti said that her grandfather kicked the bucket last week.
Trupti said that her grandfather had passed away last week.
Trupti said that her grandfather went to be with the Lord last week.
Trupti said that her grandfather died last week.
'Trupti said that her grandfather died last week' is a straightforward piece of information. The other options are all euphemisms for describing death
6.
A euphemism is a mild or roundabout word or phrase used for what?
Used to call a spade a spade.
Used to communicate the writer's strong, opinionated thoughts.
Used to present a common idea in clear, unambiguous terms.
Used in place of a word or phrase considered inappropriate, painful or offensive
A euphemism is another example of a figure of speech and it means the use of alternative words to replace words which may sound rude, offensive or inappropriate in a particular context
7.
Choose the paradox from the following options.
If you didn't get this message, call me.
The beginning of the end.
Deep down, you're really shallow.
All of the above.
'If you didn't get this message, call me' is a paradoxical sentence. You are being asked to call someone if you did not get the message asking you to call, which is a paradox. Similarly, beginning and end, and deep and shallow are both contradictory
8.
Choose from the following the one that is NOT a simile.
The highway is as straight as an arrow.
The record for the highest number of centuries in a series is five.
My aging grandfather was as light as a feather.
My mouth was as dry as dust.
'The record for the highest number of centuries in a series is five' is a piece of statistical information pertaining to the game of cricket. The other options are similes
9.
Choose from the following the one that is NOT a simile.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Mustaq is as sly as a fox.
Her mother is as sweet as strawberry jam.
That fence is as solid as a rock.
'Too many cooks spoil the broth' is a proverb which means that when too many people are involved in some activity the activity is likely to get spoilt. The others are similes. Similes make use of the words ‘as’ and ‘like’ to compare two disparate things with a common feature between them
10.
Choose the paradox from the following options.
She has an alligator's skin.
I can resist anything but temptation.
Are you out of your mind?
I must be God.
A paradox presents contradictory ideas in an interesting and engaging manner that immediately attracts the reader or a listener. 'I can resist anything but temptation' is a paradoxical sentence coined by Oscar Wilde. The other options are all hyperboles, another figure of speech. A hyperbole is a statement that is grossly exaggerated to create an immediate effect and grab the attention of the listener or reader
Author:  V T Narendra

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