Interpreting Figurative Language
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Interpreting Figurative Language Wynne Intermediate School
Interpreting Figurative Language • When you understand the meaning of a simile, a metaphor, or an idiom, you are
interpreting figurative language.
Listen as I read this passage. See if you can figure out what the phrase spread himself too thin means. • When school started in the fall, Hector signed up for as many school activities as he could. He was working on the school newspaper, acting in the drama club, and playing in the marching band. Hector soon realized that he couldn’t do all of his schoolwork and keep up with his activities. He had spread himself too thin. Hector would have to give some things up.
Simile • A way of describing something by comparing it with something else using the words “like” or “as”
• a figure of speech that says that one thing is another different thing
Idiom • A phrase whose words have a meaning different from their usual meaning. • Henry realized he had just put his foot in his mouth.
Long ago on the Tennessee frontier, there lived a woman named Sally Ann. She was married to David Crockett, who liked to call her his sweet little wife. Sally Ann, however, wasn’t exactly sweet or little. She had a quick temper and looked daggers at anyone who upset her. Sally Ann stood as tall as a young tree and had arms as big as a woodcutter. She liked to wear a bearskin for a dress and a hornet’s nest for a bonnet. People said that Sally Ann was made of thunder with a dash of whirlwind thrown in for good measure. So, she became known as Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett. Sally Ann walked like an ox and ran like a fox. She could leap over the Grand Canyon with both eyes shut. Furthermore, she could blow out the moonlight, ride a panther bareback, sing a wolf to sleep, and jump over her own shadow. Sally Ann also had a big sense of humor. She could laugh the bark off a pine tree. Sally Ann feared nothing. But she never bragged. And she never fought any person or creature. The phrase looked daggers means: Peeked at quickly
Pointed at silently
Glared at angrily
People said that Sally Ann was made of thunder with a dash of whirlwind thrown in for good measure. So, she became known as Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett. Sally Ann walked like an ox and ran like a fox. She could leap over the Grand Canyon with both eyes shut. Furthermore, she could blow out the moonlight, ride a panther bareback, sing a wolf to sleep, and jump over her own shadow. Sally Ann also had a big sense of humor. She could laugh the bark off a pine tree. The tall tale says that Sally Ann ran like a fox. This means Sally Ann was
Steve had a heart of gold and always did his duty. When a fire alarm sounded, he was the first one to arrive at the firehouse and pull on his striped suspenders, bright-red shirt, giant boots, and fire helmet. He walked through flames as if they were made of candlesticks. All kinds of people thanked him for saving their lives. “Just doing my duty,” he would always reply. The phrase had a heart of gold means that Mose was…
Selfish and unkind
Wealthy in many ways
Generous and friendly
Interviewer: We’d like to welcome the director Dred Fuller to our show. Mr. Fuller is the Steven Spielberg of horror films. Tell us, Dred, how did you become so interested in monsters? Dred Fuller: Everyone is fascinated by monsters, not just me. For some strange reason, we enjoy things that scare the daylights out of us. The phrase scare the daylights out of means…
Make someone afraid of the dark
Turn day into night
Frighten someone a lot
Interviewer: Let’s talk about your latest film, The Werewolf of Los Angeles. Where did you get the idea for this movie? Dred Fuller: When I was a kid, I saw the classic film The Wolf Man. This movie blew my mind. The story is about a young man who got bitten by a werewolf. Afterwards, whenever there was a full moon, the man would turn into a werewolf and terrorize innocent people. The werewolf was a hairy two-legged creature with fangs as sharp as daggers.
What does blew my mind mean? Caused amazement
Test Tip • A test question about interpreting figurative language may ask you about the meaning of a simile, a metaphor, or an idiom • Figurative language usually brings a picture to a reader’s mind. Use that picture to help you understand the meaning of the figurative language.