Simile v. Metaphor, Epidemic v. Pandemic.

It’s been a while since I was in grade school. And as time passes by, some of my memories have faded. Things I do every day, like read and write, are no problem. But some stuff I just barely recall, like long division. I can barely recall how to do long division, can you believe it? That is ironic, because from what I understand, children aren’t even taught long division anymore.

Anyways, I do vaguely recall some stuff from that time. One was similes and metaphors. We were taught, I recall, there was a distinct difference between similes and metaphors. But what??? I just recall we were often given a paper with various words and phrases on it, and we were told to pick out the similes and the metaphors on the paper. That is my question. What is the difference between the two? I am not just talking about the Webster’s dictionary definition. There is a distinct difference between the two, and that is what I am looking for.

The other was a pandemic versus an epidemic. Some diseases are pandemics. And some are epidemics. I recall this came a little later in grade school. Still though, there was a distinct difference between the two. Again, I ask, What?

Thank you all in advance for your helpful replies:).


Similes say something is like something. Metaphors say something is something.

Love is Like a Rock - simile
Love is a Battlefield - metaphor

Pandemic is world wide. Epidemic is area wide.

Endemic: a disease that exists permanently in a particular region or population. Malaria is a constant worry in parts of Africa.

Epidemic: An outbreak of disease that attacks many peoples at about the same time and may spread through one or several communities.

Pandemic: When an epidemic spreads throughout the world.

quick and dirty rule:

If the comparison uses the words “like” or “as”, it’s a simile.

If not, it’s a metaphor.

I’m like Will Rogers. In fact I like Will Rogers. I never metaphor I didn’t like.