Hyperbole

A hyperbole is an exaggerated statement, not meant to be taken literally, but used to create a dramatic effect.

1. Forever

He was taking forever to get ready.

  • In this phrase, 'forever' is used to suggest that the man was taking a really long time to get ready - he takes so long that he seem to take 'forever'.
  • But it is impossible for him to actually take 'forever' **to get ready - instead, 'forever'** is used for dramatic effect, to exaggerate the length of time he takes and to express the speaker's frustration at how he is taking.

2. Endless

She gulped as she stared at the endless piles of bills on the table.

  • **'Endless' **is used to suggest that there are so many bills on the table that they appear to go on and on.
  • But it is impossible for the pile of bills to truly be 'endless' - instead, 'endless' is used for dramatic effect, to exaggerate the number of bills on the table and to express how upset/worried she was about the number of bills she had to pay.

The hyperbole exaggerates the character’s anxiety.

3. Everything

We tried everything.

  • In this phrase, '**everything' **is used to suggest that they tried every single solution ever invented to try and fix their problem.
  • But it is highly unlikely that they have actually, literally tried every single location - instead, 'everything' is used for dramatic effect, to exaggerate the number of solutions they have tried and express their frustration that nothing has worked.

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