Personification is a figurative language technique where an object or idea is given human characteristics or qualities. In other words, using our language, we make an object or idea do something that usually is only done by people. With personification speakers and writers make the object or idea like a person and, hence, they personify it.
Personification is often confused with anthropomorphism, where human abilities and characteristics are given to animals (such as in fable, where animals talk and behave as humans do) but the term “personification” should not be applied to human-like behavior in animals. Here are fifty examples of personification:
50 Examples of Personification
- Justice is blind and, at times, deaf.
- Money is the only friend that I can count on.
- The cactus saluted any visitor brave enough to travel the scorched land.
- Jan ate the hotdog despite the arguments it posed to her digestive system.
- The world does not care to hear your sad stories.
- After freedom’s sweet kiss, she could never return to the doldrums of the factory.
- Peggy heard the last piece of cheesecake in the refrigerator calling her name.
- The sorry engine wheezed its death cough.
- Drugs dragged him into this place and they wouldn’t let him leave alive.
- The buses can be impatient around here.
- These casinos are always hungry enough to eat your dinner.
- He sang a lonely song to the moonlight.
- The candle flame danced in the dark.
- Thunder grumbled and raindrops reported for duty.
- The moon turned over to face the day.
- As fall turned to winter, the trees found themselves wearing white.
- The brown grass was begging for water.
- Our society needs strong leaders.
- One unhappy icicle wasted away in the day.
- The sunflowers nodded in the wind.
- Most pianos have pretty good manners but Stephan can make them sound rude.
- The traffic noises argued long into the night and finally Cal went to sleep.
- The angry storm pounded the tin shelter.
- A school of rainbow trout swam across the mouth of the river.
- The silence crept into the classroom.
- Father Time can always catch up to you, no matter how fast you run.
- This city never sleeps.
- The sun stretched its golden arms across the plains.
- My heart has been skipping around in my chest since I saw her.
- The child of morning, rosy fingered dawn, appeared.
- Any trust I had for him walked right out the door.
- And with those four words her happiness died.
- The cigarettes stole his health and spent it on phlegm.
- Kiss your integrity goodbye.
- The trees dropped their leaves and rested.
- I overheard the streets talking about you.
- Winter’s icy grip squeezed his rib cage.
- The business world would chew you up and spit you out.
- The clouds pushed each other around in the sky.
- He had little to live for now that his dreams were dead.
- The smell of smoke tattled on the delinquent.
- The wind whispered the rumors of the forest.
- The jittery hands of corruption orchestrated the affairs at city hall.
- Still waters shivered in the wind.
- Those greedy weeds have starved the petunias.
- A case of cupcakes can be quite charming to an empty stomach.
- December light is brief and uncharitable.
- This morning had friendly greetings for peaceful sleepers.
- The party died as soon as she left.
- Light had conquered darkness.
Common Core State Standards Related to Personification
View All CCSS Standards Related to Personification
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 – Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.5 – Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
ELA Standards: Literature
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)
ELA Standards: Language
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.5 – Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5a – Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5b – Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5a – Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5b – Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.
Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards
Moshood/ August 27, 2016
This is great. …. Thank you Mr Morton! !!
Ayesha Aamir/ May 11, 2016
it is amazing
but still i wanted a few examples of metaphors too
and i am sure if you give me the examples i am surely going to understand metaphors too like a understood personifications
Mr. Morton/ May 11, 2016
Boy are you in luck:
Me/ March 24, 2016
Thank you for the examples, but what are genres of personification.
Mr. Morton/ March 24, 2016
As far as I know, there is no such thing as genres of personification. There are literary genres, however. Perhaps you are thinking of that.
Robin/ November 27, 2015
I see that PERSONIFICATION is NOT just a mystery to students but to adults as well. How in the world can number 24 above be considered to be an example of personification?
A school of rainbow trout swam across the mouth of the river.
PLEASE tell me WHAT ”object or idea is given human characteristics or qualities” in the above so-called example of personification!
There are at LEAST half a dozen more sure dubious examples above, including:
23. The angry storm pounded the tin shelter.
-animals can be angry and they can pound as well!!
-anger is NOT limited to human beings or has the author of this page NOT noticed!
Mr. Morton/ January 19, 2016
You took issue with a couple examples of personification.
I will explain them to you.
“A school of rainbow trout swam across the mouth of the river.”
People have mouthes.
You may argue that rivers have literal mouthes,
but I would counter by saying the literal definition of the mouth of a river
stems from an earlier figurative usage.
“The angry storm pounded the tin shelter.”
The storm is being given the quality of anger, which is a human quality.
Storms cannot literally be angry.
They do not have emotions, like humans.
You imply the argument that since animals can be angry,
this is not an example of personification.
I respectfully disagree.
For example, “The pencil must have walked off the desk.”
Well, animals can walk.
“The sun was beating down on me.”
Well, animals can beat.
“The sun smiled.”
Well, animals can smile.
The whole premise is ridiculous and I wonder from where you draw it.
nstar/ October 21, 2015
This is so helpful I am sure that I will pass this session
Pedro Chinchilla/ September 7, 2015
This was an extremely helpful contribution to my homework!! Thank you very much!!
gabriel/ September 7, 2015
this is so good i am learning from this
my assignments are perfect
Grammar Cat/ July 3, 2015
Can you tell me how to notice personidication when I see it??
Mr. Morton/ July 6, 2015
It gets easier with practice. You have to look at each line or example and ask yourself, “Is this something an object or idea can literally do, or is it something that a human does?”
E/ June 23, 2015
THIS IS SO VERY INTERESTING. THE CHILDREN WOULD LOVE IT AND THEY WILL LEARN THERE LESSON.
Catalina/ May 13, 2015
These are the most helpful and interesting examples of personification! Thanks a lot! Your examples helped me study for a poetry test!
MoneyMan/ February 27, 2015
Really Nice Example Mr. Morton
Dominic kwaku Agyemang/ January 27, 2015
light had conquered darkness.
Adrian/ January 26, 2015
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hamna/ January 25, 2015
this is a very helpful material
naya/ November 3, 2014
Nice but would u mind answering to some of my personification questions
Mr. Morton/ November 19, 2014
Sure. What are they?
Sancia/ October 5, 2014
This website really helped me thnks a lot yassses
Soon to be married with my bae/ October 1, 2014
this really helps me on my Narrative poem…….. thank you
I cannot tell my name/ September 20, 2014
Thanks. I had a homework about personification, and your examples and explaining was excellent.
Odili ose tricia/ September 4, 2014
Thank you. It helped me out with my assignment
chintu chikki/ August 28, 2014
it helped me a lot………thank u:-)
nersie/ July 28, 2014
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you/ July 10, 2014
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eunhye/ March 26, 2014
it helped me a lot doing my HW XD
Tabitha Abiola/ January 31, 2014
Thank you very much!!!
osi/ January 10, 2014
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Hannah/ September 1, 2013
Ello this website was really helpful. me and my friend are doing work over the phone and we now understand the word.
rean/ August 19, 2013
thank you for helping me to answer my assignment 🙂
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Thaanie/ June 2, 2013
You have brought out the essence of all these words in such a beautiful and noticeable manner! Great work. 🙂
sione 2013/ May 28, 2013
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lydia/ April 9, 2013
good ones but they didn’t help me with my homework
jacob/ March 17, 2013
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Ruby/ March 4, 2013
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Mr. Morton/ March 13, 2013
William Showerhandel III/ February 4, 2013
Amazing! Helped me with my HW!
Daniel okon/ January 23, 2013
The sun smile at the student on the day time
Daniel okon/ January 23, 2013
O death were is thy sting!
ray/ December 10, 2012
helped me with my homework
Carmen carpio/ November 27, 2012
Um how do I know the answers
Mr. Morton/ December 2, 2012
Moe/ November 14, 2012
It’s really helped me a lot in my H.W. Thank you so much
Yair/ September 19, 2012
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Rudolf/ September 8, 2012
Thank you for this invaluable difference you have made between personification and anthropomorphism. My next literature class will definitely be richer!
Mr. Morton/ September 27, 2012
Thanks for noticing 😀
Marisol/ August 29, 2012
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Ciana Khei Ang Lee/ August 14, 2012
This is perfect for our project!! thanks alot! your examples are really great!! <3
Stacy phiri/ June 25, 2012
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Jasmine/ June 23, 2012
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ISHIKA KUMAR/ June 3, 2012
it just told what i needed . marvellous examples!
Mr. Morton/ June 19, 2012
manmeet singh/ May 19, 2012
helped me in my homework.
isaiah corona/ April 24, 2012
helped me with my homework
Diana/ October 24, 2011
Poems and quotes leave me to my thoughts
Diana/ October 24, 2011
the sun has touched me with its warmth
I smile with its rays
its light guides me through my darkest days
I walk as tho I shine
Dhanaaz/ July 13, 2011
Thank you. Lovely material.