Posted in writing

Analogy, Simile, Metaphor

Do you remember the difference between an analogy, a simile and a metaphor from your English classes?

An analogy is a comparison: A is to B as C is to D.

A simile is for similar items: A is like B.

A metaphor just is: A is B.

Below are examples:

  1. “What garlic is to a salad, insanity is to art.” Augustus Saint-Gaudens
  2. “Prisons are to crime what greenhouses are to plants.” Harry Whittington
  3. “A skyscraper is a boast in steel and glass.” Mason Cooley
  4. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine
  5. “Critics are like pigs at a pastry cart.” John Updike
  6. “A dependent clause is like a dependent child; incapable of standing on its own but able to cause a lot of trouble.” William Safire

Can you tell which are which? When you write, do you use style more than another? Do you do it consciously?

Reference: I never metaphor I didn’t like by Dr. Mardy Grothe (2008) Harper Collins Publishing


For a list of Sheila’s books, check out



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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