Literal vs. Figurative Language

Literal vs. Figurative Language

Literal language means exactly what it says, while figurative language uses similes, metaphors, hyperbole, and personification to describe something often through comparison with something different. See the examples below.

Literal Descriptions

Grass looks green.

Sand feels rough.

The flower smells sweet.

Grasshoppers make a high pitched noise.

Figurative Descriptions

The grass looks like spiky green hair. (simile)

Sand is solid water. (metaphor)

The flower has the sweetest smelling petals in the world. (hyperbole)

Grasshoppers are fiddlers who play their legs. (personification)