YOUR NAME:_________________________________________________________ DATE_________

Identify the metaphors at work in the following sentences:

Example: That's an idea I can't quite grasp. Here something that is not physical, an idea, is being described in terms of something that is physical: a graspable thing.

Metphor in the above example: an idea = a commodity (something grabbable)

  1. He ran out of ideas. Ideas = ____________________

  2. He is the father of modern biology. Ideas (the set of ideas making up "modern biology") = ____________________

  3. The theory of relativity gave birth to a number of ideas in the middle ages. An idea (the theory of relativity) is _______________ -- an entity capable of "giving birth"

  4. Is that the foundation for your theory? Theory = ______________________

  5. This theory will stand or fall on the strength of that argument. Theory = _______________

  6. It's important how you package your ideas. Ideas = _____________________

  7. That's an incisive idea. Idea = _____________

  8. I see what you are saying. Understanding (not mentioned in the sentence, but understanding is what "I" is claiming now to have) -- Understanding = _______________________

  9. I'm crazy about her. Love = ____________________

  10. She is bewitching. Love = _____________________

  11. I could see the fear in his eyes. Emotion = ___________________

  12. His eyes were filled with emotions. Emotions = _______________________

  13. I'll take my chances. Life (not mentioned in the sentence, but the "I" in the sentence is making some life decisions) Life = __________________

  14. That's my ace in the hole. Life = _______________________

  15. Where is he when the chips are down? Life = _____________________

[Answers appear on pp. 46-51 of Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By]

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