Hyperbole
She lost so much weight she must be as light as a feather.

Hyperbole

This English Language quiz is called 'Hyperbole' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at middle school. Playing educational quizzes is a fabulous way to learn if you are in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade - aged 11 to 14.

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A hyperbole is a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used to show emphasis or to invoke a feeling or to create a visual image. For example, let’s look at the following sentence.

She is as big as a whale.

Unlike a metaphor that compares one thing with another, a hyperbole does not compare two things. Rather, it exaggerates a condition, emotion or size by trying to create a feeling and/or visual image for the hearer or reader to be able to understand what the speaker or writer is trying to relay. So in the sentence above, “She” is not being compared to a “whale” but rather the statement is an exaggeration of her overall size.

For each of the sentences listed below, determine which answer is the meaning of the underlined hyperbole and which shows the image the writer is trying to relay.
1.
She lost so much weight she must be as light as a feather.
hardly weigh anything
be as light as air
be the weight of a bird
eat like a bird
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “be as light as a feather” is used to exaggerate that the subject lost so much weight that she must now hardly weigh anything. Answer (a) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
2.
His head was bursting with new ideas!
was exploding with new ideas
was filling up with many new ideas
was getting bigger with new ideas
was splitting apart with new ideas
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “bursting with new ideas” is used to exaggerate that the subject’s head was filling up with many ideas. Answer (b) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
3.
When Jeffrey turns sideways he completely disappears.
he becomes invisible
he evaporates into thin air
it's magical
he is so skinny it's almost hard to see him
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “he completely disappears” is used to exaggerate that the subject is so skinny (or thin) that it’s almost hard to see him. Answer (d) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
4.
After eating that meal Mario will weigh a ton.
will be the weight of an elephant
will weigh a lot more
will weigh less
will weigh a little bit more
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “weigh a ton” is used to exaggerate that the subject would “weigh quite a bit more” after eating the meal. Answer (b) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
5.
He learned to drive when dinosaurs were roaming the planet.
before cars were invented
a very, very long time ago
before man was on the planet
before ancient creatures were extinct
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “when dinosaurs were roaming the planet” is used to exaggerate that he learned to drive a very, very long time ago. Answer (b) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
6.
His cell phone is an ancient relic.
from a different time period
from a museum
very old
unusable
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “an ancient relic” is used to exaggerate that the cell phone is very old. Answer (c) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
7.
I have a million things to do that I don’t know where to start.
literally a million things to do
overwhelming tasks
a large number of tasks to take care of
very little to do
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “a million things to do” is used to exaggerate that the subject has a large number of tasks to take care of. Answer (c) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
8.
I am so hungry I could eat a horse.
go horseback riding
eat very little
eat a really big meal
eat an animal
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “eat a horse” is used to exaggerate that the subject could eat a lot of food or a really big meal. Answer (c) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
9.
The fish he caught was so huge it could have swallowed the boat he was in.
it could have completely consumed the boat
it could have taken a good chunk out of the boat
it could have capsized the boat
it could have sunk the boat
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “swallowed the boat” is used to exaggerate that the fish’s size was extremely large. It is very unlikely, however, that it could actually swallow the boat. The hyperbole, however, is used to make you visualize the fish being able to completely consume the boat. Answer (a) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
10.
Betsy was so angry with him she could have thrown him all the way to kingdom come!
hurled him through time
sent him on his way
done a lot of damage to him
had the strength to really send him sailing through the air
The hyperbole used here, i.e., “thrown him all the way to kingdom come” is used to exaggerate that Betsy was so angry that she had enough strength from her anger to send him sailing through the air. Answer (d) shows the correct meaning and image of this hyperbole.
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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