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Personification

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Definition: A sentence or figure of speech in which an animal, inanimate object or abstract concept is given human qualities or said to perform humanlike actions or possess humanlike emotions.

In both Spanish and English, personification is common in poetry, literature and everyday speech. A common example of personification in everyday speech is a sentence such as "The car wants to turn to the left" (El coche quiere girar a la izquierda), in which an inanimate object, the car, is attributed with a will of its own.

In Spanish, a noun that is personified can be treated as a person grammatically. It is usual in Spanish to use the preposition a (known as the personal a) before names of people when they are direct objects, and the same is often done with personified nouns. For example: Insulta a la computadora como si fuera una persona. ("He insults his computer as if it were a person.")

Also Known As: "Prosopopeia" in English, personificación or prosopopeya in Spanish.
Examples:
The sun smiled. (El sol sonrió.) Let the rivers clap their hands, and let the mountains sing together for joy! (¡Batan palmas los ríos, y canten jubilosos todos los montes!)
Grammar Glossary
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