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    #1

    metaphorically and figuratively

    Could you tell me the diffrence between "Metaphorically speaking" and "Figuratively speaking"?
    I sometimes listen the Native speaker of English use both expressions to explain some sentences and am puzzled.
    Any difinition?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: metaphorically and figuratively

    A metaphor is one figure of speech - some others are simile, hyperbole, litotes, analogy etc. Therefore 'metaphorical speaking' is a subset of 'figurative speaking.'
    But many speakers would not see a difference. If a person says "metaphorically speaking", they should be able to point out what the metaphor is.

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    #3

    Re: metaphorically and figuratively

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    A metaphor is one figure of speech - some others are simile, hyperbole, litotes, analogy etc. Therefore 'metaphorical speaking' is a subset of 'figurative speaking.'
    But many speakers would not see a difference. If a person says "metaphorically speaking", they should be able to point out what the metaphor is.
    Thanks for your prompt answer!!
    Now I understand most native speaker do not see much difference between the two.
    Checking OED, I've come to think, as you say it, metaphor is one element of figure of speech.
    With your comment I will think this way," figurative speaking" can be used comprehensively, while "metaphorically speaking" should be used with metaphor in mind.

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