Absract: The article focuses on the general classification of semantic transfers. As our research shows, such transfers can be systematized according to four parameters: 1) the type of underlying associations: similarity, contiguity and contrast (it’s worth noting that associations by similarity and contrast comprise the basis for taxonomic transfers - from genus to species, from species to genus, from species to species, etc.); 2) the functional parameter: whether the transfer is functionally relevant or irrelevant; 3) the sphere of action: the transfer applies both to the content of a linguistic sign (metaphor, metonymy, taxonomic transfer) and to its expression (sound metaphor); both - to lexical and grammatical semantics; 4) the degree of expressiveness: thus, the metonymic associations are more realistic and predictable than the metaphoric ones.