hyperbole

The word ‘Hyperbole’ is a Greek word and it stands for ‘excess’. The function of this word is to use extreme exaggeration in order to make a point and to show emphasis. In easy and simple words, you can understand the meaning of this word as the opposite of ‘understatement’. Examples of these words can be found in everyday speech and works of literature too!

For example,

I am so angry, I will turn everyone’s world upside down.

In this statement, we can see that the person who is angry, cannot literally turn anyone’s world upside down, in fact, nobody can. But, the statement is used so as to depict that the person is extremely angry. 

How can you pronounce Hyperbole?

It seems to be easy but is a bit of a difficult task to pronounce this word correctly. But in the simplest way, you can break down the sentence into four parts that will make it easier to pronounce. It goes like HYE-PER-BUH-LEE. The last part of the word (bole)may sound like ‘bowl’ but it is divided into two syllables: \buh-lee\.

Uses of Hyperbole

It is in literature, rhetoric, and everyday speech where these words are used. The majority of times, these kinds of words are not used in nonfiction works like research papers, review papers, and even reports. But still, it can be used in the creative department like creative writing or communication and where color can be added to a story or humor. Remember that the opposite of the word is ‘understatement’ and a synonym for the word is ‘overstatement’.

Difference between Hyperbole, Metaphor, and Simile

Unlike simile and metaphors, the main Hyperbole words are not comparisons but are extreme exaggerations and overstatements that are supposed not to be taken literally. Many times, Hyperboles are used to depict contrast and even catch the attention of the readers.

Adding emphasis

A dramatic or serious effect can be added in writing or speeches with the help of such kinds of words. Adding emphasis depends on the statement as to how it should be used. In order to make the most out of Hyperbole, you will have to see that what is being described in the exaggeration (feeling, quantity, etc.) or it is sounding natural, and is it even making sense?

Let’s understand it through examples:

  • Without hyperbole: She is taking a long time to answer the question.
  • With hyperbole: She is taking forever to answer the question.
  • Without hyperbole: She has a lot of assignments to do today.
  • With hyperbole: She has tons of assignments to do today.

The major difference that we can see between the given sentences is that the sentiments and figures might seem to be real, but they aren’t. The statements wherein Hyperbole is used, are exaggerated. A student cannot take forever to answer a question and similarly, nobody gets tons of assignments to complete in a day. 

Please note that Hyperbole statements and sentences are NOT to be taken literally, but they are just used for poetic effects and a bit of creativity. You can show contrast and instill feelings of humor with the help of such kinds of statements.

Lastly, just the conclude the whole topic, what we saw is that such kinds of words are used as an exaggeration and are majorly used to add poetic effects in literature and poems. In no way, these words are to be taken literally as they are nothing but are merely an exaggeration. They cannot be used in writings like research papers and reports but, they can be used in conversations and creative writings!

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