Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

What Is an Analogy? (with Examples)

What Is an Analogy? (with Examples)

An analogy is a comparison of two things to highlight their similarities. Often the things being compared are very different, but an analogy highlights how they are alike.

An analogy is used to compare two ideas in order to explain one (usually the first one).

Examples of Analogies

Here are some examples of analogies:
  • Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.
  • It would be like throwing the pilot out to make the plane lighter.
  • Selling lucky heather in these hills is like trying to sell sand to the Arabs.

Similes and Metaphors

The most common form for an analogy is a simile or a metaphor.

Simile. A simile is a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another. For example:
  • She is as solid as a rock.
  • She sings like an angel.
  • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
Read more about similes.

Metaphor.A metaphor is a figure of speech which asserts that one thing is something that it literally is not. For example:
  • She is a rock.
  • As a singer, she's a crow.
  • Her vocabulary is worse than mine. Hers is...whatever.
Read more about metaphors.

Top Tip

Analogies Are Useful

Used sparingly in business writing (e.g., once in a document), analogies can:
  • Be used to simplify ideas.
  • Be memorable.
  • Be impactful.
Here is an example of how an analogy might look in a business document:
  • Plan A would be the most profitable in the short term, but it is building house on a flood plain.