Current Affairs 8th Class

Analogy and Classification

Category : 8th Class




          An analogy is a comparison in which an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it. It aims at explaining that idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar. Metaphors and similes are tools used to draw an analogy Therefore, analogy is more extensive and elaborate than either a simile or a metaphor.


Consider the following example:

          "Structure of an atom is like a solar system. Nucleus is the sun and electrons are the planets revolving around the sun."                                                                                            

          Here an atomic structure is compared to a solar system by using "like". Therefore, it is a simile. Metaphor is used to relate the nucleus to the sun and the electrons to the planets without using words "like" or "as'. Hence, similes and metaphors are employed to develop an analogy.

          Examples of analogy from everyday life

  1. We use analogy in our everyday conversation. Some common analogy examples are given below:
  • Life is like a race. The one who keeps running wins the race and the one who stops to catch a breath loses.
  • Just as a sword is the weapon of a warrior, a pen is the weapon of a writer.
  • How a doctor diagnoses diseases is like how a detective investigates crimes.
  • Just as a caterpillar comes out of its cocoon, so we must come out of our comfort zone.
  • You are as annoying as nails on a chalkboard.

          Writers use analogies to link an unfamiliar or a new idea with common and familiar objects. It is easier for you to comprehend a new idea, which may have been difficult for them to understand otherwise. Your comprehension of a new idea picks up the pace when you observe its similarity to something that is familiar to them. In addition, by employing this literary tool, writers catch the attention of their readers. Analogies help increase readers interest as analogies help them relate what they read in their life.



          Opposites Analogies

          Opposites are exactly as the word suggests things that are opposite to each other. This is a common analogy type which you will encounter pretty often and since words have only one opposite this is a straightforward type which does not leave much room for discussion.

          Examples: crying & laughing, fire & water, question & answer, etc.


Object and Related Object Analogies

          As shown the words mentioned in the example are all related to each other in some way or another. Be careful not to confuse this type of analogy with the "things that go together" analogy type which is described below. The related object in this "object and related object" analogy is an obvious relation however the object are not inseparably intertwined to one another like for example a knife and a fork. The objects in this analogy type have a relation to one another however; the correct relation should be determined by looking at the concerning question and answers.

          Examples: cat & kitten, plant & seed, dog & puppy


Object and Group Analogies

          These are objects which form a specifically named group when several are put together. Several wolves together form a pack, several trees a forest etc.

          Examples: wolf& pack, tree & forest, seagull & flock


Degrees of a Characteristic Analogies

          The "degrees of a characteristic" relation in analogies can best be explained by looking at an example. Let's use the warm and hot from below. One degree higher than warm can be hot, another degree higher could be burning. We can also go the other way around like from cold to freezing. This analogy type mostly consists of adjectives but this does not always have to be the case like the flat to skyscraper example depicts.

          Examples: flat & skyscraper, tired & exhausted, warm & hot, cold & freezing


Cause and Effect Analogies

          The similarity in these types of analogies derives from the cause on one side and its indisputably connected effect on the other side. From spinning you'll be dizzy, from fire you'll get burned etc.. Be careful not to mix this type with the effort and result analogy which is discussed below, since for the "cause and effect" analogy type you do not have to put in an extra effort to obtain the result. If you spin you'll get dizzy whether you like it or not, this is a side effect of spinning since you will not likely to spin just to become dizzy.

          Examples: spin & dizzy, fire & burn, read & learn, etc.

Effort and Result Analogies

          The difference between this analogy type and "cause and effect" type, which is explained above, is the fact that for the effort and result connection an actual effort has to be made. If you put your hand in fire it will bum without effort. A painting on the contrary has to be painted and painting is an effort somebody has to perform and it has to be performed in a certain way.

          Examples: paint & painting, build & house, write & letter.


Problem and Solution Analogies

          Some problems have very obvious solutions like for example if you have an itch (problem) you can scratch (solution) to solve that problem. These problems and solutions are used in word analogy problems.

          Examples: itch & scratch, unemployment &job application, tired & sleep.


Verb Tenses Analogies

          This is exactly as the word says a type of analogy in which two tenses of a verb are analogous to two of the same tenses of another verb. These are pretty simple and easy recognizable types.

          Examples: walk & walked, eat & ate, send & sent, etcetera.


Performer and Action Analogies

          This is again a very straightforward analogy type which is based on taking two sets of performers and their corresponding actions. The relation between a painter and to paint is the same as the relation between a soldier and to fight.

          Examples: painter and paint, soldier and to fight, scientist & to research.


Object and Part of the Whole Analogies

          Be careful not to confuse this type of analogy with the object and group analogy which is described above. The difference derives from the fact that in the object and part of a whole relation the "object" is not automatically the "whole" when lots of the objects are brought together. For example glass and window match the description of object and part of a whole, but glass could just as easy match light bulb so the glass will only be a light bulb if you process it in certain ways. Examples: brick & wall, glass & window, glass & light bulb, page & book.


Object and Function Analogies

          Some objects have designated functions which are inseparably connected to the concerning object for example you use a keyboard for typing and a telephone for calling. These relations are often used in analogy test problems.

          Examples: keyboard & to type, telephone & to call, paintbrush & to paint.


Object and Location Analogies

          In this relation objects are designated to their most logical location. This is not always strictly defined e.g., a tree can be in the forest but it can just as easily be in the park. You will have to find the correct answer again by carefully analysing the analogy problem and its possible solutions.

          Examples: plane & hangar, dog & doghouse, tree & forest.


Things that Go Together Analogies

          Some objects for example salt and pepper are indisputably connected to each other. These "sets" of objects are used in modern verbal analogies.

          Examples: salt & pepper, statue & socket, fork & knife.


Rhyme Analogies

          Rhyme comes in lots of different shapes and is used sometimes in word analogies. Keep in mind that not only the standard perfect rhymes can be used but also other types like syllabic rhyme or half rhyme can be encountered.

          Examples: deer & steer, red & rod, glasses & mosses.


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