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Reading Comprehension 10 - Figures of Speech 2
"As nervous as a mouse in a room full of cats." This sentence is a simile.

Reading Comprehension 10 - Figures of Speech 2

In the previous Upper Primary English quiz we learnt about similes, euphemisms and paradoxes. We now look at other examples of figures of speech - hyperboles, metaphors and proverbs.

Hyperboles are statements that are grossly exaggerated to create an immediate effect and grab the attention of the listener or reader. Some examples of hyperboles are:

‘I'm so hungry I could eat a horse!’
‘His brain is the size of a pea!’
‘She is as big as an elephant!’ and
‘I will die if she asks me to dance.’

In each of these you will notice the gross exaggeration.

Metaphors are another figure of speech in which you describe something with a totally different set of words than required. Often, a metaphor helps the writer to use less words to express something. Here are some examples of metaphors:

‘The detective dug up enough evidence to present to the court.’ This sentence means the same as:
'The detective used his skills to collect as much evidence as possible to make his case stronger.' ‘Dug up’ is used in the context of a dog who buries a bone to dig it up later. Also, a metaphor makes the reader or listener look for the similarities and thereby create more interest in what is being said or written.

Proverbs are yet another example of a figure of speech. A proverb is a statement that may be a truism or contain a message that forces the reader or listener to consider it carefully. For instance:

‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ This is a proverb that is useful to people who want to take revenge. It forces them to think of the action they want to take. Hopefully, the proverb will help them to forgive. Proverbs are powerful tools to drive home moral lessons and direct a person towards effective action.

Hyperboles, metaphors and proverbs grace the English language and are examples of innovative ways of using words to drive home a particular point of view. Take the quiz that follows and learn more about them.
1.
Choose the statement that is NOT a proverb from the following options.
He laughs best who laughs last.
One man's meat is another man's poison.
Never judge the book by its cover.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
This is Newton's third law of motion and a fact. The other options are all proverbs. 'One man's meat is another man's poison' means that every person is different from one another and no two persons are alike. 'Never judge the book by its cover' means don't determine the worth of something by its appearance. Can you work out the meaning of 'He laughs best who laughs last'?
2.
Identify the hyperbole in the following sentence:
'She keeps ordering everyone around like she is some queen and we are her servants.'
She is some queen
She keeps ordering
Everyone around
Ordering everyone
A hyperbole is a statement that is grossly exaggerated to create an immediate effect and grab the attention of the listener or reader. This hyperbole refers to someone who is equal in a group of persons but behaves as though she is the queen, ordering others around
3.
Choose the statement that is NOT a proverb from the following options.
Diamonds are basically carbon.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
A new broom sweeps clean.
Two's company, three's a crowd.
This is a factual statement as diamond is an allotrope of carbon. The other options are proverbs. 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket' means not to risk everything one has in a single venture. 'A new broom sweeps clean' means that a newly appointed person will be energetic and enthusiastic to do his job diligently. 'Two's company, three's a crowd' means that when there are lesser people you can enjoy more rather than when you have more people when it becomes a crowd
4.
'The manager's words were crystal clear,' is a metaphor which means what?
The manager was not articulate enough.
The manager wanted someone to buy clear crystal for him. .
The manager was absolutely clear in what he was saying.
The manager did not know what he was saying.
A metaphor is another figure of speech where you describe something with a totally different set of words than required. Here, the metaphor means to be perfectly clear in what one is saying. For instance, when someone gives directions to reach one's residence and the person understands it perfectly and reaches the residence without any problems then the directions were crystal clear
5.
Choose the statement that is NOT a proverb from the following options.
First come, first served.
The sun is 93 million miles away from the earth.
Great talkers are little doers.
Call a spade a spade.
This is a scientific fact. The other options are proverbs. 'First come, first served' means service will be provided to those that come first. 'Great talkers are little doers' means that people who talk more achieve less. 'Call a spade a spade' means to tell things as they are without any cover up
6.
'The giant's steps were thunder as he trudged towards him,' is what?
It is an idiom.
It is a proverb.
It is a simile.
It is a metaphor.
The giant's steps are compared to the sound of thunder in this metaphor. If we had used 'like' or 'as' we could call it a simile. A proverb is a statement that may be a truism or contain a message that forces the reader or listener to consider it carefully. An idiom is an expression whose literal meaning is not what the expression wants to convey
7.
Identify the hyperbole in the following sentence:
'He walked down the road to nowhere.'
Down the road
He walked
Walked down
Road to nowhere
This hyperbole refers to someone who does something that is getting him absolutely no results
8.
Identify the hyperbole in the following sentence:
'This is the easiest task in the world.'
Is the
This is
Easiest task
Task in
This hyperbole refers to someone who thinks getting a job done is very easy
9.
'Between the devil and the deep sea,' is a proverb. Choose its meaning from the following options.
To drown in the deep sea is better than the devil.
To be with the devil is better than being drowned by the deep sea.
To choose between two similar unpleasant alternatives when you are confronted with a difficult situation.
Both alternatives are good and you can choose either one of them.
A proverb is a statement that may be a truism or contain a message that forces the reader or listener to consider it carefully. This particular proverb is apt for people who are confronted with a difficult situation and left with only two alternatives, neither of which is good. For instance, when a bowler bowls a sharp rising ball aimed at a batsman's body, the batsman has only two alternatives - play the ball and give a catch or get hit by the ball and hurt himself
10.
Which is NOT a metaphor?
Arpana was as nervous as a mouse in a room full of cats.
No one invites him to parties because he is a wet blanket.
The bar of soap was a slippery eel during the baby's bath.
The fluffy pillow was a cloud when I put my head on it after a long and tiring day.
This is a simile because we use 'as' to compare Arpana's nervousness with that of a mouse. The other options are metaphors where 'wet blanket' refers to a person who spoils a party, a bar of soap is compared to a slippery eel and a pillow is compared to a cloud
Author:  V T Narendra

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