Frequent Metaphors in Spanish Language

As Spanish as a foreign language students, you will want to learn as much new words in Spanish as possible, in order to widen your vocabulary and have enough means to express yourself properly. Metaphors are present in the everyday language we use and often we are not aware how much we use them. This is the case in almost all languages, as we use them all the time, not just in literary language, but in colloquial as well. When we say broken heart, we are using a metaphor. A heart is not actually broken, it is metaphorically broken, and the sense of this metaphor gives us as speakers a good linguistic solution for the emotional pain that someone is suffering.A metaphor is a word or a phrase that is used to describe another thing, sometimes the two elements that are described and describing do not have any obvious relation, and sometimes they do. Metaphors are mainly used in poetic language to embellish the composition by establishing a relation of comparison between two elements.

The Use of Metaphors in Spanish Colloquial Language

In Spanish language, the use of this figure of speech in the colloquial language is also very frequent, and their meaning is sometimes clear and sometimes it is not. You can learn some new vocabulary in Spanish language that will help us understand better the use of metaphor here.

El tiempo es oro. – Time is gold. We compare the time with gold in order to express the value of the time. Almost all the speakers are familiar with the high value of the gold, therefore this metaphorical expression is easily understood.

Estar en la flor de la vida. – Prime of life. Flowers and their freshness are usually related to youth and beauty. It is very common to find this type of metaphor in poetry.

Me armé de valor. – Gather your courage. The meaning of the verb armarse is to equip with weapons, but when we utter this expression, we do not refer to this literal meaning, but to the figurative one that establishes relation between the courage and the terms related to war.

Esta persona es un pozo de sabiduría. – This person is a fount of wisdom, fountain of knowledge. People are said to be fountains of wisdom when they have endless knowledge about something.

Saltar a la fama. – Rise to fame, become famous. Although in Spanish language the verb saltar means to jump, people do not literally jump to fame.

Saltarse las reglas. – Break the rules.

Remover cielo y tierra. – Move heaven and earth, move earth and sky. We move heaven and earth when we do the impossible in order to reach a goal.

Echar por tierra – Destroy, wreck. This expression is a good example to understand that sometimes we can not translate literally from one language to another. Echar por tierra literally means to spread or scatter something on the ground, but the actual meaning is to destroy or to wreck.

Poner tierra de por medio – Get away as quickly as possible, make a getaway. This expression literally means to put earth between two things, but we do not actually take a piece of earth and put it somewhere else, we leave a place, or move somewhere else, or simply leave a distance between those things we want to separate.

Metaphorical Expressions in Spanish Language Inherited from Latin

Hay que exprmir el día. – the literal meaning of the verb exprimir is to squeeze, to wring, but the figurative meaning of this expression is seize the day, from Latin – Carpe Diem

El tiempo vuela. – Time flies, but it flies metaphorically, we have the feeling that time goes by really fast, that is why we say that it flies. This expression is also inherited from Latin Tempus Fugit.

Metaphors in Spanish Language that are Used to Talk About Love and Feelings

Tener mariposas en el estómago – butterflies in your stomach, the meaning of this expression is figurative, and it refers to the nerves that someone feels, usually when talking about love.

Corazón roto. – Broken heart

A flor de piel. – this expression has several different meanings, and if you try to translate it literally, it may take you to confusion. It it related to emotions, and it means close to the surface, bursting with, barely contained.

El fondo del corazón. – The bottom of the heart. This expression is uttered when we want to emphasize the fact that we really feel what we are saying. We also speak metaphorically in Spanish when we say Desde lo más profundo de mi ser – From the deepest part of my soul, since we establish a relation between deepness and sincere feelings.

Estar cegado por el amor. El amor es ciego – Blinded by love. Love is blind. We utter this expression when we refer to someone who is unable to see the reality due to the fact of being in love.

Now that you know some new expressions in Spanish language, you can also take a look at this article, and learn more about figurative and idiomatic Spanish expressions.

As you can see, we talk metaphorically all the time. If you would like to explore about how can you learn Spanish language, visit this link, where you can discover Wlingua Spanish language on line course.