Compared with simile, Metaphor is used for different things and one of the feature is that there are no words (like, as) appeared. But they share the same function, which will replace rigid, abstract, profound and complicated things with vivid, specific, superficial and simple things.

All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players. 【William Shakespeare】


This is the sentence from Shakespeare’s As you like it. The metaphor is shown by the word of “is” and he compare the world with the stage and the human beings with the players.

More examples:

Time is money


Young people should try to bridge a speech between them and their parents to avoid gulf cause by time.


Money is a bottomless hole, in which honor, conscience and truth may be drowned.

金钱是个无底洞, 荣誉、良心和真理都可以淹没其中。

For some other figures of speech, we should not follow the literal meaning and adjust the words according to the context.

drink like a fish

牛饮(we should not translate it into “鱼饮” according to the word of “fish”)

As cunning as a dead pig

如狐狸般狡猾(we should not treat it as “像死猪一样狡猾”)

3. Metonymy

Metonymy reflects two related objects or subordinate (one object belongs to the other), such as we will use White House (白宫) refers to the United States government and dove (鸽子) refers to the peace. More Metonymy sentences are as follows:

The kettle is boiling.


(Here the word “Kettle” refers to the water in the kettle, not itself)

Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested (Francis Bacon)


(The author compares reading to eating, iconic and profound)

Every life has its roses and thorns.


(Here roses symbolizes happiness, while thorns are misery in life. It means the life is filled with happiness and misery)

But you have not seen my Corots. They are in the music room. (Oscar Wilde)


[Corots (1796-1875), the renowned artist in France and be famous as landscape printing. In this sentence, we replace his name with his works. Apparently his works belong to him.] Also let us look at another similar sentence.

Young men are suggested to read Shakespeare.


(Here the word “Shakespeare” refers to his works)