Misused Words

Figuratively and Literally

Figuratively, an adverb, means not literally.

Figuratively speaking, the teacher kicked the student out of the classroom.

We all know that the teacher did not literally kick the student out of the classroom but asked him to leave the classroom. Therefore, the sentence is to be taken figuratively.

Literally, adverb, means word for word.

Literally speaking, the teacher kicked the student out of the classroom.

In this case the teacher completely lost it and literally put the boots to the student.

Practice

Choose the correct answer for each of the two practice sentences below by clicking on the correct answer.

(1) To understand the poem, first you need to determine the (figurative, literal) interpretation.

(2) Secondly, you need to determine the (figurative, literal) interpretation.

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