Metaphor (simple)

What is a metaphor?

A metaphor uses the ideas and characteristics of one object to describe another object.


He has a heart of stonestone = cold and no emotion
his heart = cold and no emotion
Love is warwar = filled with pain and death
love = filled with pain and death

Common metaphors

These metaphors are common and have become ‘figures of speech’ in English

he has a heart of stonelove is war
he has the heart of a lionlove is a battlefield
time is moneylife is a rollercoaster
her voice was like music to his earslife is a journey
a blanket of snow covered the streetsyou reek of failure
you light up my lifeshe froze on stage

Action metaphors

You can use metaphors to describe actions. To do this think of an interesting idea of something to compare it with.

Yesterday she killed me at cards.The game was like a murder
When she heard he was single, she pounced on him, trapping him under her paws, refusing to let him go.She acted like a cat jumping on a mouse
Arriving in Shanghai he opened a new chapter in his life. He waited to find out how the story would turn out.His life was like a book


1. Use your imagination to create simple metaphors using the following:

Life is ….
Learning English is….
Death is….
….is a summer’s day
…is a kick in the teeth

2. Try to make metaphors of action to describe:

a) falling in love
b) watching a fight
c) having a dream come true