Most studies about figurative language learning focus on metaphor rather than metonymy; however, the interactions of metonymy and metaphor are so intricate that the boundary forms not a dichotomy but a continuum. Such a continuum and its influences on figurative language learning have not been studied in depth. The present study investigates EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners’ responses to different metonymic and metaphoric expressions. Twenty-eight Taiwanese EFL learners participated in the study, which asked them to rate 40 sentences based on their certainty of figurative language use. The results show that EFL learners were capable of distinguishing between sentences with and without figurative expressions, and were more certain in judging metaphoric expressions than metonymic ones. Moreover, they found it easier to recognise expressions of the emotion anger than those of other topics. Their performances indicate that EFL learners are able to use their shared experiences to identify figurative language uses. This study suggests that it may be beneficial to integrate ideas of conceptual metonymy and metaphor to raise learners’ awareness of abstract but universal concepts involved in figurative expressions.