What is the Difference Between Simile and Metaphor?
When writing your rap lines, you’re going to want to use similes and metaphors.
Listen to any rap song and you’ll hear the artist comparing something they are describing to something else – something unconnected.
They are relatively commonplace terms so you might be embarrassed to ask, “what’s a metaphor?” or “what’s a simile?”
Never fear, you’ve come to the right place. The difference between metaphor and simile is slight but important to understand.
So what is a simile? What is a metaphor?
What is the difference between simile and metaphor?
There are two different words used to describe comparisons in songs and writing: simile and metaphor. This article will teach you how to tell them apart and write them for yourself.
Simile is a comparison that uses the word “like” or the word “as.” This comparison is usually between things that are different from each other.
Metaphor is a description that uses the word “is.” It is a description that implies comparison by describing one thing as something else.
The connections created by similes and metaphors are usually clever or insightful, revealing more information about the situation of describing it more fully for the listener. If you’re confused, don’t worry – it’s confusing!
Let’s start with simile. What does simile mean?
In rap, artists usually use words that have more than one meaning as the first part of the simile. Then, they use the second meaning of the word to link it to another word as a comparison. Similes can be simple or more complex.
Here is an example:
“I’m high like a kite.”
So let’s break it down:
The word high can have two meanings: 1) on drugs or 2) literally up in the air.
In this simile, you are saying you’re high, as in on drugs.
Then, you are using the word like to make a comparison.
Finally, you are using the second meaning of high, as in literally up in the air, with the word kite. Kites are most commonly found up in the air.
Let’s move on to metaphor. What does metaphor mean?
In rap, artists usually use metaphor when they want to make a stronger point. A metaphor usually seems more intense because you are using the word “is” to compare something to something else.
In other words, you’re explaining one thing by saying it’s something completely different. That’s more extreme than just comparing something to something else.
Here is an example:
“my heart is broken.”
Let’s break it down:
A heart is an organ made up of muscles and tissue that powers the body. It can stop, but it can’t break.
However, when something is broken, it doesn’t work.
If your heart is feeling so bad it doesn’t work anymore, this is the metaphor you’d use.
The metaphor is a little bit more direct than a simile. For instance, if you wanted to rewrite this example as a simile, you could say, “my heart is like something broken.”
Doesn’t really have the same weight to it, does it? Metaphor will make your comparisons more intense.
Still not understanding the difference between simile and metaphor? Here’s another way to think about it.
A simile compares two things by relating them to each other.
A simile describes something by comparing it to something else.
A metaphor compares two things by linking them directly to each other.
A metaphor describes one thing as something else.
A simile is a more indirect way of making a comparison, while metaphor directly compares two things by claiming one is the other. Here are lots of other examples of the difference between simile and metaphor.
sea of tears
a wooden face
that phone is a dinosaur
hope is a seed
words are weapons
my dreams are fire
sweet like licorice
bend corners like a curve
deep black like the night
cool as ice
fresh like mowed grass
hot like a summer sidewalk
Thanks for reading our article on the difference between simile and metaphor. We hope we have helped you understand these terms more clearly! If you like what you read here today, check out our other articles and courses. We specialize in taking your rap career to the next level.