Metaphor Concept types making examples in detail


metaphor is a figure of speech in which a sentence refers to one thing by mentioning another. In metaphors, there is a comparison between two things that are not related but have common characteristics. Metaphor Concept types making examples

In this literary figure an object, activity or idea is used as a symbol of something else. Examples of metaphors are: “life is a marathon”, “your voice is like music to my ears”, “laughter is the best medicine”, “that summer flew by” or “his words are pearls of wisdom”.

This literary device also applies to terms and concepts and is intended to provide a poetic or deep meaning. The metaphor can be of several types: appositional, pure, visual or impure.

In the metaphor, no links (such as, which, similar to or what) are used to link the meanings, but there is an assumption of relationship. This is key to distinguish them from the ‘simile‘, another rhetorical figure, which does use these links. An example of a simile would be “Your eyes are  like  green olives.”

Metaphor concept

The metaphor is a literary or rhetorical figure that, to explain an object or action, uses the characteristics of another object or action. That is, it makes use of a similarity to better explain the idea that it wants to capture. Metaphor Concept types making examples

Ex: Your hair is the morning sun .

‘His hair’ would be the object he wants to explain and ‘they are the morning sun’ is the similarity used to say that the hair was very blond or golden.

Thus, the following concepts are extracted from the metaphor:

– Help explain an idea using a comparison.

– It should not be taken literally ( hair cannot be the sun ), but it should be taken symbolically.

– They are used a lot in poetry or literature . This means that it is usually intended to beautify the conceptEvery star in the sky is a tear that I cried for you ).

– They can also be used as a form of exaggerated expression, without taking into account the concept of beauty ( The news left me dead ).

In relation to the etymological origin of the word metaphor, it comes from the Latin language metaphôra , which was taken from the Greek word metaphorá and which translates as “displacement” or “beyond”.

Types of metaphor

The metaphor can take several forms. Below are the most common:

Visual metaphor

This type of metaphor is used to express various ideas with the use of images. It is applied above all in the visual arts, either through the use of graphic designs, comics or photography.

The illustration below represents typical expressions such as “He is chained to money ” or “He is a slave to his work “.

Its usefulness is to complement information or concepts without the need to apply spoken language. In the following example we can see the audiovisual metaphor used by a well-known brand of energy drinks.

Pure metaphor

In this case, the concept to be explained is already replaced by a similarity.

– Ex: Their stars stare at me while I pretend to be asleep .

In this case, the true concept (eyes) is replaced by another of an unreal nature (stars) imposing the similarity. Metaphor Concept types making examples

Impure metaphor

In this case, the metaphor compares a real concept with an imaginary one. Using the pure metaphor example, it would look like this:

– His eyes are stars that stare at me while I pretend to be asleep .

Here there is not a substitution, but a comparison. The terms involved are related through the use of the verb “to be” (they are in this case).

Appositional metaphor

This metaphor is characterized by separating through a comma (,) the similarity between real and imaginary concepts.

– Ex: Your words, music to my ears .

Like the impure, the appositional metaphor is one of the most used by writers.

Prepositional complement metaphor

In this case, the metaphor unites the real or imaginary concepts through a preposition (commonly “of”).

– Example: Eyes of emerald and gold .

Negative metaphor

In this metaphor, the real or imaginary term appears in the form of negation.

– Ex: It is not a game, it is war .

In this case, to explain the importance of the game, an attempt is made to emphasize the real concept by making a similarity to war.

Uses of metaphor

– The purpose of the metaphor is to beautify and give language (spoken and written) a figurative sense that gives it greater dynamism, liveliness and interest.

– The use of metaphor allows expressing different meanings through a statement .

– It serves to explain something without expressing it explicitly. It is used to use it in literature, poetry, advertising or in our day to day. Metaphor Concept types making examples

How to make a metaphor?

Now, once the concept, the types and the use of the metaphor are known, it is important to know how it is formed. The composition of a metaphor occurs through three phases:


The tenor is the concept that is expressed literally. In other words, it is the term, phrase, object or idea that is spoken of in the statement.


This component is the one that bears resemblance to the tenor. That is, it is the concept on which the utmost expressiveness of the statement is found, since its meaning is figurative.


The foundation is the relationship of similarity that occurs between the tenor (the concept of which it is spoken) and the vehicle (object or concept to which the meaning or figurative sense is attributed or transported).


His life is the reason for my existence.

His life = tenor.

The reason = vehicle.

While the foundation is that if the first (or first) is not alive, the existence of the other is worth nothing.

Examples of metaphors

  1. – The time is gold.
  2. – My teacher is a well of wisdom.
  3. – Time heals all.
  4. – Slave of your words.
  5. – His heart broke into a thousand pieces.
  6. – Live in the clouds.
  7. – It’s an angel from heaven.
  8. – It’s not competition, it’s the jungle.
  9. – Live in the clouds.
  10. – The football stadium grass is a green carpet.
  11. Laughter is the music of the soul.
  12. – My neighbor is an ogre. Metaphor Concept types making examples
  13. – The math classroom is an oven.

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