This textbook explores the language of metaphor. Combining insights from relevance theory and functional linguistics, it provides a model for understanding how metaphors work in real communicative situations, how we use them to communicate meaning as well as how we process them. It also examines the distinction between literal and metaphorical language, surveys the means by which metaphors are realized in texts, locates the interpretation of metaphor in its social context, and contains tasks and suggestions for further work. The text is enlivened by real examples, taken from a wide variety of genres - conversation, popular science, advertising, news reports, novels and poetry. It should provide students of language, psychology and literature with a useful guide to understanding precisely how metaphors function.