Simile comes from the Latin word similis which means something similar and that is basically what a simile is. It is a comparison between two things that are different but may seem similar in a way. It is different from metaphor as it does not say that something is exactly like something else (like metaphor), instead it just makes a direct comparison of the similarities.

For example – Those two are like two peas in a pod; sometimes they even say the same things. – Here the comparison is made between two people being very similar in thought and action, the way that peas are nearly identical to one another.

There are no specific rules of simile construction in the English language; it depends entirely on your imagination and creativity. The only thing you must make sure of is to compare two things that may have a similar look or feel, etc..

Generally the prepositions ‘like’ and ‘as’ are used to form similes :

She is as graceful as a ballerina.

His voice is like the lion’s roar.

Apart from these, there are also many similes that don’t use ‘as’ or ‘like’ in their formation, these are called submerged similes :

Happier than a kid in Candy Land.

Wetter than a fish in water.

Here are a few popular similes commonly in use today to give you a better idea of their meanings and usage -

As blind as a bat

An exaggeration used to show someone who is unable to see clearly

Eats like a bird

Comparing eating habits to that of a bird who supposedly eats very little

As pure as snow

Comparing a person’s character to fresh snow (white and pure)

As strong as an ox

Someone having great strength

Similes Exercise 1

Similes Exercise 2

Similes Exercise 3