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Language tip of the week: money

ILearn English with Macmillan Dictionaryn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of  language tips we look at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about money:

Money is like food, which gets eaten or is shared out. The same idea is used to talk about other types of resource.



They didn’t get a fair share/slice of the cake/pie.
The rent takes a large bite out of their income.
The fees have swallowed most of my grant.
This ate into our savings.
The richest nations gobble up/devour the world’s resources.
The company was starved of investment capital.
The government said that the cupboard was bare.
We have to make do with scraps from their table.

We think of money as if it is a liquid.

The government has poured money into education.
He spends money like water.
This is a highly liquid form of investment.
I liquidated my entire portfolio of shares.
The museum needs at least £1 million to stay afloat.
We need to improve our cash flow.
They’ve just splashed out on a new kitchen.
What will happen when the money dries up?
This government is throwing money down the drain.
The company has announced a wage freeze.
This war is draining the country’s resources.

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Liz Potter

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