An analogy is a comparison wherein an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is rather different from it. An analogy is a comparison between two dissimilar things that are very different in nature. An analogy often explains a difficult subject with one that is simpler or more familiar. 

An analogy’s purpose is to simplify complex subjects through comparison. The simplified or more familiar facet of an analogy helps a reader understand the more complex concept.

The key features of Analogy are:

  • a comparison between two contrasting things
  • often related to specific situations
  • a way to explain a complex subject in familiar or simpler terms

An analogy may be a very short sentence or can run into a few paragraphs. Here is a common example of an analogy – 

The grass is always greener on the other side.

This statement compares a difficult situation or time in one’s life to a field of grass. The analogy explains that life always seems better when looking at it through someone else’s lens.

Writers who are communicating a difficult or a sensitive topic might benefit from using an analogy. Analogies are useful as they help explain difficult subjects or topics easily. Metaphors and similes are tools used to draw an analogy. Therefore, the analogy is more extensive and elaborate than either a simile or a metaphor. 

Examples of Analogy

Examples of Analogy in Everyday Life

We use analogy in our everyday conversation. Some common analogy examples are given below:
  1. Just as a sword is the weapon of a warrior, a pen is the weapon of a writer.
  2. You are as annoying as nails on a chalkboard.
  3. How a doctor diagnoses diseases is like how a detective investigates crimes.
  4. Just as a caterpillar comes out of its cocoon, so we must come out of our comfort zone.
  5. Life is like a race. The one who keeps running wins the race, and the one who stops to catch a breath loses.
  6. That movie was a roller coaster ride of emotions.
  7. Life is like a box of chocolates - we never know what you're gonna get.
  8. Life is like an ice cream. We should try to enjoy it before it melts away. 

Examples of Word Analogies

Though there is no limit to the possibilities when it comes to word analogies, here are some examples to familiarize yourself with the concept:
  • hammer : nail :: comb : hair
  • white : black :: up : down
  • mansion : shack :: yacht : dinghy
  • short : light :: long : heavy
  • bees : hive :: bears : den
  • speak : sing :: walk : dance
  • chef : food :: sculptor : stone
  • like : love :: dislike : hate
  • dog : puppy :: cat : kitten
  • tree : leaf :: flower : petal

Writers usually link an unfamiliar or a new idea with common and familiar objects or idea using an analogy. This makes it is easier for readers to comprehend the unfamiliar thought or idea, which may have been difficult for them to understand otherwise. In addition, this literary tool facilitates writers to catch or draw the attention of their readers. Analogies help in increasing readers’ interest and retaining their attention towards the content as analogies help the readers to relate what they read to their life.