Collocations Advanced | Metaphor


What is this episode about?

Learn collocations we use as metaphors in everyday speaking and writing in this new Collocation Advanced Series episode from English Plus Podcast.

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I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.


Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today’s episode is from our series called locations advanced, and we will talk today about metaphor. But before we do that, let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode in a link. I will leave in the description and you will also find a link that will take you to Patreon, where you can poor English plus podcast by becoming a patron of the show.

[00:00:30] And by doing that, you will get premium PDF practice worksheets. With every single episode we create. And you will also find a link that will take you to our mailing list. You can subscribe to our mailing list and get updates every two weeks with selected premium PDF practice worksheets that we share with our mailing list subscribers.

[00:00:50] And now without further ado, let’s start talking about colocations advanced metaphor. Now, first of all, we need to understand what a metaphor is that when we speak metaphorically, we use words in a non-literal sense. Now, what does that mean? For example, when we say a writer casts light on a situation, we mean that the writer helps us understand it more clearly.

[00:01:16] So this is a metaphor because the light is usually used in dark places. And when it is used in dark places, it helps you see things more clearly. So here, when we say a rider casts slide on a situation to say that this helps us understand it more clearly, just like the light that lights up the dark room.

[00:01:37] So that is a metaphor that is here. What we say that we speak metaphorically, not literally. So since we understand what a metaphor is, let’s start talking about metaphors and we will start talking about metaphors based on the body. Now let’s start with our first one, face the facts, or we can say face up to the facts.

[00:01:58] For example, we can say. You’re never going to run in the Olympics. It’s time you face the facts or you faced up to the facts, but what does that mean? You face the facts. That means you accept reality. You need to accept reality. You need to face the facts or face up to the facts. So that was our first metaphor based on the body.

[00:02:23] We can use shoulder as well. Like when we say shoulder, the blame, that’s the co-location here we have. And let’s see it in an example, although others were also responsible for the problem. Alice decided to shoulder the problem. Now we use here shoulder the problem. Well, what does that mean? This is a co-location and we use it in a metaphorical way, but what does it mean?

[00:02:46] That means you take responsibility for something bad and that’s what Alice did. She decided to shoulder the blame. She decided to take responsibility for this bad thing that happened. So that was about the face to shoulder. Now let’s move to the foot. We can say foot the bill, that’s the co-location. And that is used in a metaphorical way.

[00:03:08] Let’s see it in an example, choose what you like from the menu. The company is footing the bill. So to foot the bill, what does that mean? If the company is footing the bill, don’t worry about paying because they are paying to foot. The bill means to pay. And as you can see, we’re using footing the bill here in a metaphorical way.

[00:03:28] And now let’s move on to the head. Like when we say you had a team, that’s our co-location, let’s see how we can use it. Metaphorically, Joe heads, a team working on crime prevention. So if you had a team, what does that mean? If you had a team, it means you’re leading a project group. So Joe heads, a team that means leads a project group working on crime prevention.

[00:03:53] And now let’s move on to toes. And our co-location is to keep someone on their toes. For example, we can say having three sons under the age of five keeps Jenna on her toes. So what does it mean to keep someone on their toes? In our example, here? It means it makes her stay active and concentrated all the time because she has three sons under the age of five.

[00:04:20] This keeps her on her toes. This makes her stay active and concentrated. And now let’s move to, I like when we say have an eye for that’s our co-location, how do we use it in a metaphorical way? Let’s see, in this example, Gina has an eye for detail. So ask her to check the report. So if she has an eye for something now here for detail, in this example, that means she’s good at noticing.

[00:04:46] So Gina is good at noticing details. So if you want somebody to check the report, Gina is the best person because she has an eye for detail. So we talked about all these parts of the body. Now let’s move to the hand. Now, here, we can say, go hand in hand with. Let’s take a look at this example, unemployment goes hand in hand with social unrest.

[00:05:09] Now, if something goes hand in hand with something that means happens at the same time, or as a result of there is a kind of correlation between them. So here unemployment goes hand-in-hand with social unrest. That means unemployment happens at the same time or happens as a result of social unrest. So these were our metaphors that are based on the body.

[00:05:31] And now let’s talk about another kind of metaphors and these metaphors are based on weight. Now, heavy can be used to mean serious or difficult. Like when we say heavy responsibility, a heavy burden can be either something heavy to carry or a difficult responsibility to deal with while a heavy book. Can be either one that weighs a lot or one with difficult content.

[00:05:56] So here we can say heavy to mean difficult or serious, or obviously we can use it for the literal meaning of heavy, which is the opposite of light, obviously, but here we can use it for difficult or serious, and we can use another word that has to do with weight. And that is waiting. Weighty. Like when we say weighty tone, remember when we used heavy with a book, we said that it could be heavy.

[00:06:19] Just the weight of it, or it could be difficult. But when we use weighty, we use it to mean that the book is difficult. This is a book with difficult content, same thing. When we say weighty matters or weighty problems, weighty means difficult and serious. And now the opposite obviously is light. Light is the opposite of heavy, and we can also use it metaphorically to me, carefree or lacking in seriousness.

[00:06:47] So for example, when we say light reading, we mean reading material that is not serious. Or if you do something with a light heart, you feel carefree and happy. Now here, we also have the word slim and fat. If someone has a slim chance of doing something, that means there is a chance. But it is small slim chance, but here you will find that kind of surprising because if you say slim chance, that means there’s a very small chance.

[00:07:15] But when we say fat chance, you might think that this means a big chance. Well, it’s the opposite fat chance, which is by the way, very informal. Means almost no chance at all. So the chance is even smaller than slim in this case. So remember a slim chance of doing something. That means there’s a chance, but it’s not too big.

[00:07:38] It is a small chance, but when we save fat chance, that means there’s almost no chance at all. So these are metaphors we used based on weight. And let’s talk about. The third type of metaphors for this episode and the last type for this episode, metaphors based on movement. Now for this, I’m going to read an excerpt to you, and we’re going to stop and talk about some of the co-locations that are used in a metaphorical sense.

[00:08:05] James did a lot of partying in his final year and ran into difficulties with his course. His father was hopping mad when he only just managed to get his degree. Here. We’re talking about James who ran into difficulties. You can run into difficulties. That is a metaphor based on movement. And his father was hopping mad.

[00:08:29] Now, if you are hopping mad, if you’re jumping, man, we don’t say jumping, man. We say hopping mad. If you’re hopping mad, that means you’re extremely angry. And that was David’s father. Now let’s continue. However, when he left university, he walked straight into a job in an excellent company. Some people jumped to the conclusion that this was because he’d started going out with the managing director’s daughter.

[00:08:53] So here you can see that we used walks straight into a job. That’s also a metaphor that we use based on movement. Obviously this metaphor is based on movement, so to walk straight into a job, that means to get the job very easily. And here. We also use jump. When we talk about jumping to conclusions. Now here, you hear that all the times don’t jump to conclusions.

[00:09:18] First, ask the person, don’t try to guess and figure out what happened. And don’t jump to conclusions before you really know what happened, but people do that all the time. They jump to conclusions. So here, the keyword is jumped and that has to do with movement, but it is not used in its literal sense. It is used in its metaphorical sense.

[00:09:40] Now let’s continue this last part. His mother worried that if their relationship hits the rocks. He would run into trouble at work too. So that tells us that it is true. Actually, people jump to conclusions, but that is exactly what happened because his mother was worried that if their relationship hit the rocks, if something like in this example, a relationship hit the rocks.

[00:10:03] That means it ends. Now this metaphor is based on a boat being destroyed on rocks. If a boat hits the rocks, it’s over, it ends. And the same thing here. If we talk about a relationship. And there’s also run into trouble to run into trouble. That is also a metaphor based on movement. So these were all the metaphors that I wanted to share with you in this episode.

[00:10:25] I hope you learn something new. I hope you can appreciate the power of metaphor that we use in everyday language all the time. People use metaphors all the time, sometimes without even bothering to know that these are metaphors and these are not. But for English learners that might prove to be challenging because if they try to translate these expressions, literally they will not understand what is meant actually.

[00:10:48] So that is why we had to talk about metaphors. Now, before I leave you, let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode in a link. I will leave in the description and you will also find two links. One that will take you to Patreon, where you can support English plus podcasts and become a patron of the show.

[00:11:05] And the other one is to our mailing list. You can subscribe to our mailing list and get updates on our schedule every two weeks with selected premium PDF worksheets for our mailing list. Subscribers, that being said, thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. This is your host, Danny.

[00:11:22] I will see you next time.


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<a href="" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan


Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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