You may be wondering what an analogy is. While the concept is long gone from the SAT test, analogies are still used a great deal in everyday life. We’ll explore what an analogy is and give you some analogy examples in this article.
What Is an Analogy?
An analogy is a comparison of two things in which one idea or concept is compared to something entirely different. While the two things might be totally different, the analogy compels the readers to realize their association. Sometimes, the analogy provides a comparison between two similar things, one of which might be hidden. The analogy gives a reader a way to understand the hidden thing by picturing the more common thing.
According to Merriam-Webster, an analogy is a comparison of two unlike things based on the resemblance of a particular aspect. See the following example:
Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get.
In this case, Forrest Gump is comparing life to a box of chocolates.This exact comparison is considered a simile as we’ll get to in the next section.
In this post, we will learn about different types of analogy and their examples. So, without delay let’s get started.
Where Does the Word “Analogy” Come From?
The word analogy comes from the Greek word analogia. The word is made of the prefix ana and suffix logos. Ana means “again,” “upon,” or “back,” while the word logia means “speech,” “word,” or “ratio.” Together the word means something similar to “proportion.”
What Are the Different Types of Analogy?
The following literary devices qualify as analogies. Let’s learn about them one-by-one.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an implied or hidden comparison between two things that are not related, but share common characteristics. For example, “He is the black sheep of the family,”
Here the black sheep phrase is used to indicate a person who is considered worthless by other people in that family. However, it does not mean the person is actually black or sheep.
A metaphor compares two subjects without using words such as “as,” “like,” etc. Since metaphors declare one thing is another, they are regarded as an intense form of an analogy.
Like a metaphor, this analogy also creates a comparison between two things. However, it uses connecting words such as “as” or “like.” While it’s not as strong as a metaphor, it still lets the reader understand the similarity between two things and make a new cognitive link.
Your voice is as sweet as sugar.
A parable is generally a fictitious short story that illustrates an educational lesson or principle. Some of the popular fables that are parables include:
- The Fox and The Crow – Aesop
- The Lion and the Mouse – Aesop
- The Tortoise and the Hare – Aesop
Like a parable, allegory is also a story in which characters act as symbols. These symbols can be interpreted to explain a moral truth or a historical situation.
Animal Farm by George Orwell is a perfect example of Allegory.
Exemplification uses various examples to add more information to a general idea. It is a relationship between a sample and what that sample refers to.
Example from Wikipedia: “For instance, when a patch of green paint is used as a colour sample. The sample refers to green by possessing it and thus being referred to by the word denoting it. The sample exemplifies green, it stands for it, and in this way exemplification is a mode of reference.”
Analogy Examples in Everyday Use
- Time is money, so spend it wisely.
- His brother is sly like a fox.
- She is as busy as a bee nowadays.
- She is as light as a feather.
- Socks are just the gloves of the feet.
- She found it under a blanket of sand.
- There is a garden on his face.
- The new parents have stars in their eyes.
- He is living in a bubble.
- Finding the right person is like finding a needle in a haystack.
- My father is my rock in hard times.
- Talking to her is like talking to a brick wall.
- Last night I slept the sleep of the dead.
- I would be pleased to meet your better half.
- My brother is as strong as an ox.
- He was as quiet as a church mouse.
- Always see the problem as a speed bump, not a roadblock.
- He was quick like a bunny.
Analogy Examples in Literature
The analogy has a significant role in literature. Authors use it to make a comparison between similar or dissimilar things, to help readers imagine places and characters, and to suggest a more profound significance. Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato also fostered analogy in literature, calling it a shared abstraction. Check out some classic examples of analogies in literature.
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet. So Romeo would were he not Romeo called.”
In the above lines of the play, you can notice Shakespeare used the analogy to equate Romeo to a rose’s sweetness.
The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen
“Memory is to love what the saucer is to the cup.”
Bowen’s novel The House in Paris also uses analogy smartly in various places. For example, in the above phrase, the writer used the analogy to compare a cup and saucer’s relationship with love and memory.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage.”
In Act 5 of his tragic play Macbeth, William Shakespeare used the analogy to compare life to a passing shadow.
Let Me Count the Ways by Peter De Vries
“If you want my final opinion on the mystery of life and all that, I can give it to you in a nutshell. The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination.”
In the above example of analogy, Vries compares the universe to a safe which can’t be unlocked.
Analogies play an essential role in writing to explain something important by comparing two different things that have some common traits. However, in verbal and word analogies, they are more like logic puzzles. The word or verbal analogies also compare two different things, but they do so by breaking them into parts to notice how they are related.
See the following examples of word analogies.
Moon :night :: sun :day
When you read the above analogy aloud, it says the moon is to night as the sun is to day.
Let’s have a look at some more word analogies.
- Pencil :write :: scissors :cut
- Apple :fruit :: carrot :vegetable
- Football: field :: tennis :court
- Hot :oven :: cold refrigerator
- Cow :mammal :: snake :reptile
- Turtle :crawl ::frog :hop
- Bow :arrow ::bat :ball
- Raft :river ::ski :snow
- Pretty :ugly :: smile: frown
- Bedroom :sleeping :: Kitchen :cooking
- Football :field :: tennis :court.
Analogies used to be a section in the SAT exam, but they were removed in 2005 since these questions were criticized for being irrelevant to success in a college or work environment.
So these are some analogy examples. We hope they improve your understanding of an analogy.
What is a false analogy?
An analogy compares two premises for what they both have in common. A false analogy implies a link between two premises based on what those two premises have in common. In other words, if two objects have one attribute in common, then they must have other attributes in common.
An easy false analogy example is:
Bob and Mark both drive sedans. Bob is a doctor so therefore Mark must also be a doctor.
Analogies and false analogies can both be used in an argument, but where the analogy would be derived from a fact, a false analogy would be based on a hypothesis. Whereas an analogy would be used as a rhetorical device in favor of a winning argument, a false analogy would be a misleading deduction based on the speaker’s lack of insight.
Classic analogies are known for their powerful imagery and ingenuity. False analogies are often dismissed for their obvious lack of logic and imagination. Classic analogies are often found in literature.
In his play, “Romeo and Juliet”, Shakespeare would of often use analogies to have his characters put into words the feelings they would otherwise not know how to express. In the famous balcony scene in “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet is caught trying to persuade herself not to hide her feelings from her lover, as Romeo hears her saying
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet”.
Juliet is thus establishing a comparison between her lover’s name and that of a rose’s. She does so through an analogy: she compares her lover’s name to that of a rose’s, so she can find them both beautiful, yet completely devoid of meaning.
Had she used a false analogy, she would have had to compare her lover’s features to that of a rose’s, in order to win the argument. She would have had to compare Romeo’s hair to a rose’s petals and his feet to a rose’s stalk and her entire argument would have collapsed.
Just because Romeo’s name sounds as sweet as that of a rose’s, that doesn’t mean that Romeo would need to shares any of his other qualities with a rose. Had she built from a premise of them sharing the same beautiful sounding name, she would have reached a false conclusion, as that sweet loving sound is the only link between them.
The fact that her Romeo and a rose could be called by any other name is the only comparison she needs. The reason she picked a rose is that she needed a subject completely unrelated to her Romeo. She needed an analogy to get her point across. She got one.
100 Examples of Word Analogy
Below are 100 examples of anlaogies.
1. Rose is to flower as blue is to color
2. Father is to mother as uncle is to aunt
3. Puppy is to dog as kitten is to cat
4. In is to out as up is to down
5. Hearing is to ear as seeing is to eye
6. State is to country as country is to continent
7. Rock is to mountain as sand is to beach
8. Cover is to book as pillowcase is to pillow
9. Captain is to ship as pilot is to airplane
10. Snowflake is to snow as raindrop is to rain
11. Mother is to child as cub is to bear
12. Hat is to head as gloves are to hands
13. Penny is to dime as $1 bill is to $10 bill
14. Key is to a lock as combination is to a safe
15. Big is to little as wide is to narrow
16. Canoe is to ship as car is to bus
17. White is to black as day is to night
18. Chair is to sit as bed is to lay down
19. United States is to Washington DC as Albany is to New York
20. Meow is to cat as bark is to dog
21. Beach hat is to summer as earmuffs are to winter
22. Cheering fans are like squawking turkeys
23. Waiting for a special day is like watching grass grow
24. Homeruns are to baseball as touchdowns are to football
25. Colorful leaves are to autumn as buds are to spring
26. Vacation is to fun as workdays are to drudgery
27. Ants are to beetles as sparrows are to crows
28. Recycling is to ecology as dumping is to pollution
29. A full moon is like a glow-in-the-dark frisbee
30. A furnace is to heat as an air-conditioner is to cool
31. A compliment is to an insult as a smile is to a scowl
32. Babe Ruth is to baseball as Michael Jordan is to basketball
33. Flying a kite without wind is like sledding without snow
34. Assembling furniture with no instructions is like driving in the dark with no headlights
35. Uninvited guests are like ants at a picnic
36. Reading a good novel is like going on an adventure
37. Words are to sentences as numbers are to equations
38. A solution to a problem is like a cure to an illness
39. Math is to numbers as English is to letters
40. Paper is to origami as clay is to sculpture
41. Coach is to a team as a conductor is to an orchestra
42. A bullseye is to archery as a hole in one is to golf
43. Dermatologist is to doctor as orthodontist is to dentist
44. Arborist is to tree as veterinarian is to animal
45. Keys are to piano as strings are to guitar
46. Commercials are to television as ads are to magazines
47. Trophy is to achievement as souvenir is to vacation
48. Breakfast is to morning as dinner is to evening
49. Heroes are courageous as cowards are afraid
50. Verses are to greeting cards as lyrics are to songs
51. Robin is to bird as poodle is to dog
52. Run is to jog as walk is to amble
53. Panes are to windows as shingles are to roofs
54. Eraser is to pencil as stain remover is to carpet
55. Gift wrap is to gift as mailing envelope is to package
56. Bland is to spicy as white bread is to jalapeno
57. Pumpkin is to orange as pine tree is to green
58. Tree is to forest as person is to crowd
59. Pitcher is to baseball as quarterback is to football
60. Black cat is to Halloween as reindeer is to Christmas
61. Broccoli is to vegetable as apple is to fruit
62. Monopoly is to board games as Old Maid is to card games
63. Garages are to cars as stables are to horses
64. Pediatricians are to children as veterinarians are to pets
65. Drumsticks are to drummers as paintbrushes are to painters
66. Icing on a cake is like sprinkles on ice cream
67. A kangaroo’s pouch is like a mother’s baby carrier
68. Lose is to find as fail is to succeed
69. Sickness is to health as poverty is to riches
70. Education is to teacher as healthcare is to doctor
71. Tan is to brown as pink is to red
72. Old-fashioned is to modern as Model T Ford is to Tesla
73. Quaint is to village as fast-paced is to city
74. Goalie is to hockey team as catcher is to baseball team
75. Seamstress is to fabric as carpenter is to wood
76. A nail is to a hammer as a screw is to a screwdriver
77. Trout is to fish as finch is to bird
78. Knee is to leg as elbow is to arm
79. Polite is to rude as generous is to stingy
80. Driver is to car as pilot is to airplane
81. East is to west as north is to south
82. Trial is to courtroom as wedding is to banquet hall
83. Flower is to bouquet as a charm is to a charm bracelet
84. Fish is to fin as bird is to wing
85. Crossword is to puzzle as mystery is to novel
86. Mason is to brick as painter is to paint
87. Grazing is to sheep as snacking is to people
88. Wound is to painful as hive is to itchy
89. The Nutcracker is to ballet as Carmen is to opera
90. Earrings are to ears as bracelets are to wrists
91. Article is to newspaper as show is to television
92. Skiing is to winter as surfing is to summer
93. Lanes are to bowling as courts are to tennis
94. Ovens are for baking as toasters are for toasting
95. Bear is to mammal as crocodile is to reptile
96. Spain is to Europe as Venezuela is to South America
97. Clock is to time as thermometer is to temperature
98. Worm is to soil as sandworm is to sand
99. California is to west coast as Florida is to east coast
100 Trowel is to gardening as a glue gun is to crafting