This paper looks at verbs that convey a similar meaning but govern different cases. The study is based on a sample of verbs and word combinations that have the semantic component 'to teach'. The use of cases with such verbs is explained through the metaphorical conceptualization of teaching in Russian. The cases governed by the verbs with this component depend on the understanding of teaching as either giving, guiding, forming, filling, feeding, or lighting. Different metaphorical concepts cause differences in the syntactic properties of verbs with the 'teach' component.