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Metaphors

This KS2 English quiz will test you on metaphors. A metaphor is a figure of speech. In his poem 'Timothy Winters', the poet Charles Causley describes a boy with 'ears like bombs', 'teeth like splinters' and 'eyes as wide as a football pool'. These similes are soon followed by a surprising metaphor: 'his hair is an exclamation mark'. Similes make interesting comparisons, but metaphors can be more effective because a metaphor says that an object or person is actually something else. Can you tell the difference between a simile and a metaphor?

Stories and poems become more interesting and 'alive' when you begin to use metaphors and similes. Next time you write something, try to add one of each.

Challenge yourself with this English quiz.

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  1. Which of these is NOT a metaphor?
    In the first two answers, snow is 'a thick blanket' or 'a fleece'. In the fourth answer, the field is 'a carpet'.
  2. Complete this metaphor: She showed no sympathy or feelings for others, her heart was a ____.
    Poets enjoy using metaphors for the heart - a heart can also be a 'closed book' or a 'traitor'!
  3. Which of these is NOT a metaphor?
    'As still as a statue' is a simile.
  4. Which of the following is a metaphor?
    All the other answers have the words 'like' or 'as a' which should have given you a big clue!
  5. Which of the following is a metaphor?
    These phrases: 'as ... as' and 'like a...', belong to similes. A metaphor explains that a thing or person IS something else, rather than like something else.
  6. Complete this metaphor: With its locked doors and tiny window, the dark, cold room was a ____.
    If you imagine being in that room, which of the four answers best fits?
  7. Complete this metaphor: The stars were glittering ____ in the sky.
    The second and third answers are similes.
  8. Complete this metaphor: The narrow road ____ its way through the mountain pass.
    Each of the answers works in the sentence, but only 'snaked' creates a metaphor - the road 'is' a snake.
  9. Which of the following is a metaphor?
    The other answers are similes.
  10. Complete this metaphor: In the stadium, the cheering crowd was a ____ of blue.
    'A sky of blue' doesn't go with the 'cheering crowd'.

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