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Verb metaphors

 

Techniques > Use of language > Metaphor > Verb metaphors

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

A verb metaphor uses an alternative description of an action to add new meaning to the replaced subject verb.

This may be a leap to an aligned subject that adds intended meaning. It can also be to a deliberate contrast.

Example

She watched in horror as the dead bird floated down from the sky.

Broken in flight, the bird scythed down to the waiting moor.

He cut me off, yet still I carried his name.

Discussion

Verb metaphors add depth to descriptions of action, and may be further enhanced with adverb metaphors.

Verb metaphors may be created by first discovering the vehicle and then identifying illustrative actions. Thus an person may be converted to a car, and then verbs such as 'racy' or 'rickety' from the metaphor domain are used.

Where the metaphor contrasts with the meaning, this may be a deliberate cynical contrast intended to highlight by opposites the intended meaning.

Many verbs used in everyday speech are metaphors. Thus 'cutting someone off', although commonly used, does not mean actual cutting.

See also

Using Verbs, Adverb metaphors, Dead metaphor

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