Difference between simile and metaphor in detail


It is used as a resource for the description of the similar characteristics that an object, person or situation may have with another in particular. It is the oldest rhetorical element because it is the simplest, and it does not require elaborate descriptions. Difference between simile and metaphor

The simile can be established between terms of the same or of a different category. That is, comparisons can be made between a situation and an object, or between a place and a person. For example, a person is as warm as the summer sun or as cold as snow.

The simile or comparison is a literary figure that compares two similar terms with each other, does not replace them, but only compares them. An example of a simile would be: “your eyes are as bright as the sky and the stars.” As you can see, two similar elements are usually compared (it is so, it is like, it is the same as …), in this case, the brightness of a person’s eyes is compared with the brightness of celestial bodies such as the stars, the sky, the stars … Since they both shine. Another example of simile we would have “your lips are as red as burning fire.” Here we compare the burning and the color of the fire with the color of the lipstick.


The metaphor expresses the differences that certain terms may contain. His description has a certain level of complexity since in order to be valid the metaphor, the differences must be sustainable and of a greater degree of importance than the existing similarities.

The use of metaphor integrates ironies, both logical and illogical comparisons allowing a degree of creativity that allows the concise description of the differences between realities.

An example of a metaphor would be: “And in combat, I faced the mountain.” In this case, we would substitute a big man for a mountain, since a mountain is big, powerful, tall, just like a big man. Another example would be “the fire of your eyes”, a phrase in which we say fire making a metaphor for passion, intensity, brightness, something that fire does.

Key Differences

  1. The simile establishes the similarities or relationships between objects.
  2. The metaphor expresses the greatest number of differences between the realities.
  3. The simile does not require elaborate descriptions, so it can be a single idea or several common characteristics.
  4. The metaphor must be supported by a number of differences that have a significant value between the references.
  5. The simile is guided by the similarities that are found with the naked eye, although it can also delve into particularities. Difference between simile and metaphor
  6. The metaphor uses irony and looks for exaggerated differences to sustain itself, as well as to defend its story.

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