Language and Linguistics

Analogy types Characteristics with Examples


The analogy is the correlation that is established between two or more events, subjects, concepts or things through reason. This correspondence is made in order to denote or show the presence of one or more properties of one entity (base subject) in another (compared subject). Analogy Types and Characteristics

Etymologically, the word analogy comes from the Greek word αναλογíα. The prefix ana means “comparison”, “reiteration”, while the root logos means “study”. Then, the word “analogy” can be understood as: relationship or comparison that occurs between two concepts or things in order to establish common aspects.

The analogy allows those who apply it to generate ideas of what is unknown to them in the world that circumscribes them from what they do know about that world. This characteristic is very useful since if you have a new and unknown entity with two known visible properties, you can infer about the rest of its conformation thanks to what is known.

The analogy uses inductive reasoning; therefore, plays with the odds. The analogy supports its argumentative force in the full knowledge of the elements that it perceives, that it possesses, and the incidence of these in those factors that are unknown to it.

The analogy is a linguistic phenomenon; Through words, parallels between realities are established. Thanks to the good use of language, the arguments that give way to individuals to have greater control of reality are formulated. Analogy Types and Characteristics


Taking into account its specific characteristics, the analogies have been divided into two groups:

Symmetric analogies

In this type of analogies, the base elements that are being compared can be exchanged regardless and without making any distinction, because both have so many elements for the purpose that they are considered equivalent. Among the symmetric analogies we have the following:

Of synonymy

It occurs when two elements, despite having different names, share the same attributes.


Serene, calm. Evil, evil. Healthy healthy.


It is established between those things, objects or entities that belong to the same category, that are linked to the same class or concept.


Zebra, horse. Parakeet, macaw. Short story, novel.

By complementarity 

This occurs when, when mentioning an object, thing or entity, it is presumed that another accompanies it because it is part of it. That is to say, the element that is supposed to be present is an implicit and notorious factor for the performance of the first mentioned object.


Cart, wheels. House, door. Plant, photosynthesis .

Asymmetric analogies

As the name implies, this type of analogy refers to antonymy. Although the elements that are compared have characteristics that differentiate them, when analyzing them in a concise way, complementary patterns that relate them are evidenced. Within these analogies we have the following:

Oppositional or antonymic

In this type of analogy, the compared elements are conceptually contradictory; that is, they are poles apart within an appreciative line. Analogy Types and Characteristics


Clear, dark. Good bad. Day Night.


This occurs when one of the base elements is potentially stronger than the other, has more presence than the one with which it is compared.


Flame, fire. Nice, beautiful. River Sea.


This type of analogy is clearly identified because it tends to have as its starting point the comparison of a whole with respect to its parts. This form of analogy is in turn divided into the following types:

From genus-species and vice versa

This type of analogy presents two varieties of elements. One of these is called the inclusive, which represents the whole; and the other is included, which is part of that totality.

Examples of genus-species can be: cetacean, dolphin; chelonius, tortoise and falcon, hawk. On the other hand, examples of species-genus can be: rattlesnake, snake; gannet, web-footed and manta ray, shark.

From whole-part and vice versa

As in the previous analogy, this comparison is appreciated by presenting a universal factor that encompasses a series of elements and, in turn, the series of elements that make up that universality.

Examples of whole-part are: Venezuela, Caracas; house, door and cat, tail. On the other hand, examples of part-totality are: leg, table; handle, cup and wheel, bicycle.

From set-element and vice versa 

In this analogy, one of the elements present is the characteristic name of a group, while the other represents the name given to a subject or object that is part of that group.

Examples of set-element can be: chorus, singer; skeleton, bone and furniture, chair. On the other hand, examples of elements-set can be: parsley, grass; red, color and wasp, swarm.


When manifesting this form of analogy, it shows that one of the elements mentioned is contained by the other in a total or partial way.

Examples of container-content are: world, continents; balloon, air and pond, fish

By location

It alludes to the relationship between one element and another, having a positional-spatial aspect as a common factor. Analogy Types and Characteristics


Person, house. Pencil, pencil case. Desk, classroom.


It is characterized because one of the elements that make it up gives rise to the other.


Deluge, flood. Crime, jail. I dream, sleep.


In this type of analogy, one of the elements indicates or shows characteristics of the other; that is to say: one is an unequivocal part of the other.


Guitar, strings. Night, stars. Moon, craters.

By function

In this type of analogy the relationship between an element and the function it is going to perform is demonstrated.


Pencil, write. Light bulb, illuminate. Thief steal.

For the product 

This refers to the product resulting from the performance of a trade. In the same way, it can refer to the raw materials that were involved in obtaining the final product.


Cobbler, shoe. Ice waterFruit, juice.


This type of analogy refers to the logical-temporal pattern that relates two events, circumstances, people or things.


Childhood, adulthood. Tuesday Wednesday. Bachelor, graduate.

By means or instrument 

This analogy refers to objects, utensils or ideas by means of which an element generates an action or change. In other words: it refers to the relationship between an agent and the elements that it can use to produce changes. Analogy Types and Characteristics


Carpenter, handsaw. Writer, letters. Bricklayer, level.

By reciprocity

This refers to those terms whose mere presence supposes the existence of another element that gives it a reason for being.


Fisherman, fish. Writer, books. Doctor, patients.

Examples of analogies

  1. Painting is to the brush, what music is to instruments.
  2. An angel is to good what the devil is to evil.
  3. A new friend on Facebook is my son, what spending an afternoon with my friends was for me in my childhood.
  4. Madrid is to Spain what Paris is to France.
  5. A rule is to geometry, what a fork is to the kitchen.
  6. Climbing a mountain is, for her, what taking an exam is for me.
  7. An apple is to a tree the same as a son to a father.
  8. Sitting is to a chair what lying is to a bed.
  9. A piece of cheese is to a mouse what grass is to a cow.
  10. Crying is sadness, what laugh is joy.
  11. Monday is in the week what January is in the year.
  12. Maradona is in Argentina what Pele is in Brazil.
  13. Studying is in childhood what working is in adulthood.
  14. Breaking that vase for me was what falling for you in that wedding.
  15. A book is to a writer what a record is to a musician.
  16. A driver is to a car what a pilot is to a plane.
  17. The dove is to peace what the raven is to war.
  18. Germany is to beer as France is to wine.
  19. Hot is cold, as light is dark. Analogy Types and Characteristics
  20. Hunger is to food as thirst is to drink.

Analogy its types with Illustration

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