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
anonymous/ December 7, 2020
for anyone confused, personification means, when something that cannot do what a human can, you give the chosen object a human action (which is only for saying, it doesn’t actually happen.)
Adnan yousef/ March 31, 2019
How can I get to solve all 50 examples .. I beg you to reply quickly.
Mr. Morton/ April 1, 2019
What do you mean by “solve”?
Panda Kan/ March 17, 2019
Is ‘water RUNS to the mouth of the water’ an example of personification please ??
How about ‘the clock HANDS have stopped moving’ ?? Is this another example of personification ?? Many thanks
Mr. Morton/ March 28, 2019
Yes, those are examples of personification.
DG/ February 7, 2019
how would I personify the bad use of energy drinks on our bodies…it is for my persuasive speech?
Laya Bajpai/ December 12, 2018
Is, “the body whispers to the heart pump blood into me.” an example of personification. Please help I am confused.
Mr. Morton/ December 13, 2018
Yes. A heart can’t whisper. People can. Since the language gives the heart the ability to whisper, the speaker is personifying the heart, or giving it human abilities.
anonymous/ October 5, 2018
this did not help at all
Richauna Archer/ October 4, 2018
Yeah, it’s kindy good but I want it to be perfect
Rein rovher o.cervantes/ June 25, 2018
Thank you for the ereading worksheets by this a can do my homework in english thank you
Huma/ May 12, 2018
mubeena tlook.com/ November 30, 2017
Asma/ April 16, 2017
I need to personified this word in sentences
Richauna Archer/ October 4, 2018
I need to personified these words
Rick Antonich/ January 22, 2017
God the Father personified His word and called it His Son
chris/ December 10, 2016
The rebuttal disappears without a trace never to be seen by Kinect300 again. Mr. Morton, How was my first personification? I am a beginner writer and I enjoy reading your list. It’s kinda strange because It was like learning a beautiful foreign language, only in English.
wc fields/ October 26, 2016
Sorry, but not all of these are personification.
Mr. Morton/ October 26, 2016
Ok, which ones do you believe aren’t personification? Let’s talk about it.
Kinect3000/ December 4, 2016
#18: Our society needs strong leaders.
It doesn’t give ‘society’ “a personal nature or human characteristics”
Mr. Morton/ December 6, 2016
Society does not have needs. Society is an abstraction. Human beings have needs. By giving society “needs,” through the use of my figurative language, I am personifying the idea of society.
Paul/ January 27, 2017
Surely, ‘the world will not listen’ is a synecdoche’ and not personification?
astro man/ November 1, 2018
THANKS MAN IT WAS A GREAT HELP
Ashy/ September 10, 2016
Thank You so much…It’s a great help to me
danica/ August 30, 2016