Reading Comprehension 11 - Figures of Speech 3
In the previous two Upper Primary English quizzes on reading comprehension we learnt about different figures of speech. In this quiz we will look at some more, specifically irony, personification and idioms.
Idioms are used to put forth a message more forcefully. An idiom is an expression whose literal meaning is not what the expression wants to convey. Here are some examples:
“Does he have an axe to grind?” This does not mean that he is going to grind an axe! The actual meaning is to have a dispute or disagreement with someone.
“Actions speak louder than words.” This idiom means that a person can be judged better by his actions rather than what he utters.
Personification is defined as attributing an ability or trait of humans to an idea, concept or non-humans. Take a look at these examples:
“The flowers danced in the grass.” This phrase means that the flowers were swaying in the grass and we have used the human ability of dancing to describe what flowers do.
“The sun kissed the ocean.” This means that as the sun was setting it touched the ocean’s horizon and this is described in the form of a kiss.
Irony is yet another figure of speech that stands out here there is a stark contrast to what is said and what it really means. Here are some examples:
“His argument was as clear as mud.” This means that the argument was untenable and is compared to mud, which is definitely not clear!
“Marriage is the leading cause of divorce.” This is also ironic as if there is no marriage there can be no divorce. Irony can be classified as situational irony, verbal irony, dramatic irony or coincidental irony depending upon the context in which it is used.
Figures of speech are great embellishments of the English language and, when used creatively, can convey messages very aptly and with telling effect. Take the quiz that follows and learn more about irony, personification and idioms.