35 Examples Of Analogies In Language

There are many examples of analogies that vary depending on the type and the linguistic or philosophical field in which we find ourselves. An analogy is a comparison in which one idea or thing is compared to something else that is different from it.

The goal is to explain that idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar. To make an analogy, metaphors and similes can be used. Therefore, an analogy is more complex, elaborate and complex than a metaphor or simile.

examples of analogies

An example of an analogy is: “The structure of an atom is like that of the solar system . The nucleus is the sun and the electrons are the planets revolving around their sun. As you can see, one of the functions of analogies is to better explain a concept. A concept that is already understood is used to explain another.

In literature, writers use analogies to link an unknown or new idea to common and familiar objects. That way it is easier for readers to understand a new idea.

Also, by employing this literary tool, writers capture the attention of their readers. Analogies help increase readers’ interest, as analogies help them relate what they read to their lives.

Almost everyone uses analogies in everyday life. Some examples are:

-You are as annoying as grating your nails on a blackboard.

-The University is like a marathon. Whoever keeps running wins the race and whoever stops to take a break loses.

-Just like the sword is the weapon of the warrior, a pen is the weapon of a writer.

Analogies in language

In these analogies, the message has only one interpretation, but it is used in such a way that a figurative sense is added. There are several types of analogies in language.

– Homology

The signifier remains, but the meaning varies. They are different things, with different functions, but they have a structural part that is similar.

Examples of homologous verbal analogies

  1. Wings are to birds, like legs to human.
  2. Driver is to car as pilot is to plane.
  3. Pilot is to plane as machinist is to train.
  4. Crying is sadness as laughter is joy.
  5. Green is grass, like yellow is banana.
  6. Driving is by car as riding is on horseback.
  7. Sheep is a flock as a bee is a hive.
  8. Hot is cold as light is dark.
  9. Blue is sky as white is snow.
  10. Water is to thirst as food is to hunger.
  11. Love is to pleasure as lack of love to suffering.
  12. Sand is to desert like snow to tundra.
  13. Hamlet is to Shakespeare as Don Quixote is to Cervantes.
  14. Pizza is to Italy like sushi is to Japan.
  15. Ship is to sea as plane is to sky. 

– Comparison

Through these analogies similes are produced where he compares objects with similar characteristics.

Examples of comparison analogies (simile)

  1. This structure is hard like iron.
  2. Its mane is as big as a lion’s.
  3. It’s so hot it feels like hell.
  4. It is black as night.
  5. It runs so fast it looks like the wind.
  6. His eyes shine like two emeralds.
  7. The street is pitch dark.
  8. The singer raised her voice like a siren.
  9. They were intricate streets like a maze.
  10. You are as tall as the sky.
  11. It has so much energy that it looks like a greyhound.
  12. My grandfather has so many wrinkles that he looks like a worm slowing down.
  13. It is as soft as a baby.
  14. The streets of Marrakesh are like a maze.
  15. Eat if you were to die tomorrow.
  16. It moves like a fish in water.
  17. It’s as cold in this house as it is at the North Pole.
  18. Your soul is like an iceberg.
  19. His teeth are like ivory.
  20. It is as slow as a sloth.

– Allegory

In this form of language, comparisons take place throughout the narrative. The most significant examples of allegories are stories from the Bible or fables.

Example

The story of Pinocchio states that the child will be punished if he does not tell the truth. If you lie, your nose will grow. In this case, it can be extrapolated that the child who does not tell the truth will receive a punishment.

– Metaphor

In this type of analogy, the comparison of an object is established, but the object we are comparing is omitted.

Example

  • It is fuming . A person cannot spark, since he has no electrical current, in the figurative sense of this analogy, it is understood that he is a person who is angry.
  • I feel butterflies in my stomach . Finding love does not mean that these insects grow in your belly, but it is a way of talking about the feelings that being in love produces.
  • It broke my soul . It refers to when something causes you a lot of pity, however, it is physically impossible for the soul to break. It’s just a way to make it relevant despite yourself.

Analogy in argumentation

These types of analogy are used in science to move from known things to unknown things. They are a posteriori approaches that create logical-formal models.

– Interpolation

We consider all the situations of a phenomenon and we interpolate it to the new situation by analogy or induction, through the variables that we can determine from the first model.

Example

The simplest example of understanding interpolation is given in pedagogy for learning. For example, to learn to read, you need to know the letters that can only be understood in their context, the words, which in turn are understood in their context, the phrases, and so on.

This learning method can be interpolated, for example, to learning karate, where we begin by teaching the simplest kata, to gradually increase its complexity.

– Extrapolation

Given repeated events in time, if the variables remain constant, it is assumed that these phenomena can be repeated again, thus creating a new conclusion. Extrapolation can also mean extension of a method, assuming that similar methods can be applied.

Example

Continuing with the previous example, in the learning method, to learn to read you need knowledge of letters, then we need to associate letters with sounds, and then with words.

If we extrapolate this method to medicine, cells and tissues are studied, which in turn form organs, with their structures, etc., and the student can learn how the human body works.

– Reduction to the absurd

Instead of establishing relationships, as in the previous analogies, they establish contradictions to show that it has a contrary behavior.

Example

Pedro did not steal Pablo’s briefcase, because that day Pedro was in Zaragoza. Through this analogy, it is shown that it is impossible for Peter to have taken Paul’s briefcase because he does not have the gift of being in two places at the same time.

Analogies in philosophy

In order to demonstrate the functioning of the universe, philosophy uses two types of analogies

– Analogy of proportionality

The best example for this analogy is Plato’s allegory of the cave. In it, he compares the shadows that the inhabitants of the caves see with the things that we do not know because we do not look well and carefully.

The main idea is that the soul, once freed from material things, can see the true form of ideas.

– Attribution analogy

To understand this analogy we will use the example of Aristotle. Healthy body, healthy urine, healthy food and healthy medicine. It is clear that if we have a healthy body, urine is also healthy.

Food is healthy because it helps the body to be healthy. And medicine is healthy because it also keeps the body healthy. An application reference is applicable to all other references.

References

  1. ITKONEN, Esa. Analogy as structure and process: Approaches in linguistics, cognitive psychology and philosophy of science . John Benjamins Publishing, 2005.
  2. ESPER, Erwin A. Analogy and association in linguistics and psychology . Georgia Press, 1973.
  3. ANTTILA, Raimo; BREWER, Warren A. Analogy: A basic bibliography . John Benjamins Publishing, 1977.
  4. OPPENHEIMER, Robert. Analogy in science. American Psychologist , 1956, vol. 11, no 3, p. 127.
  5. HESSE, Mary B. Models and analogies in science.
  6. LEATHERDALE, William Hilton. The role of analogy, model, and metaphor in science.
  7. ECO, Umberto; PONS, Maria. The search for the perfect language . Grijalbo mondadori, 1996.

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