Comprehending

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DESCRIPTIVE & FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

It may come as a surprise (for some) to learn that descriptive language and figurative language are two VERY different things.

If an exam question in the Comprehending Section asks you to talk about descriptive language, and you start exploring similes and personification… well then, you’re barking up the wrong tree!   (That’s an idiom BTW 😊)

DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE:  writers use these to create vivid images or imagery and they often appeal to our 5 senses.

  • Verbs
  • Adverbs
  • Adjectives

 FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE:  writers use these to create particular effects or because it helps them convey an idea.

  • Simile
  • Metaphor
  • Personification
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Alliteration
  • Hyperbole (exaggeration)
  • Idioms

You've been studying these language techniques since you started high school, maybe even before that, so we’re not going to bother explaining each here.  But definitely Google any that you don’t know.

AND make sure you know the difference between DESCRIPTIVE v FIGURATIVE.

Our next post will focus on how you can discuss SIMILES AND METAPHORS in the COMPREHENDING SECTION, including how to STRUCTURE YOUR SHORT ANSWER PARAGRAPHS.  Be sure to tune in 🙂

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