A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses a word or phrase to describe another object or action that is impossible to take literally. Metaphors represent abstract concepts in creative ways.
Using metaphors makes writing and speaking more interesting. The resources on this page show how to use figures of speech to call the audience’s attention to your message in a way that literal representations can’t.
Learn More About Metaphors
Metaphors refer to one thing by mentioning another. They connect the subject of a sentence with an adjective or verb that is not directly related, but that has qualities that explain the subject.
When you want to describe something in a more engaging manner, use a metaphor to draw comparisons in your reader or listener’s mind.
Here are several common metaphors, and their meaning:
- America is a melting pot. = America is a place where many different cultures mix together.
- Time is money. = When you spend time on something, you could have also made money during that same period of time.
- She is a night owl. = She is more active at night, like an owl.
There are a few figures of speech similar to metaphors, but that are slightly different.
- A simile is different from a metaphor in that similes usually use ‘like’ or ‘such as’ to compare two unlike things.
- An analogy assumes that similar qualities between two things indicate they will agree in other ways.
- When you employ hyperbole in speech or text, you are exaggerating, but not necessarily comparing two things.
The proper use of a metaphor spices up an otherwise bland statement. While it may seem difficult for a student to wrap their head around metaphors, the Education.com resources above make learning metaphors as easy as pie.