!0 often used English proverbs

10 Impor­tant Eng­lish Proverbs

Often we hear a short say­ing or Eng­lish proverb that peo­ple use and some­times we vague­ly know the mean­ing, but aren’t quite sure. You can use the fol­low­ing Eng­lish proverbs and their mean­ings a) to under­stand what peo­ple are refer­ring to bet­ter, and b) to prac­tise your pro­nun­ci­a­tion with some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent than usu­al.
You could record your­self as you read the proverbs, mean­ings and exam­ples aloud and active­ly lis­ten back, and check that you’re pro­nounc­ing things cor­rect­ly. If you’re work­ing on mas­ter­ing a par­tic­u­lar pro­nun­ci­a­tion ele­ment, you can use the proverbs below to prac­tise it.

Def­i­n­i­tion of a Proverb

A proverb is a short con­cise say­ing in gen­er­al use, stat­ing a gen­er­al truth or piece of advice.

10 Eng­lish Proverbs

1) When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Strong peo­ple don't give up when they come across chal­lenges. They just work hard­er. For exam­ple- “I thought they wouldn’t cope with the strain of the extra work load. I guess, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

2) Bet­ter late than nev­er.

It's best to do some­thing on time. But if you can't do it on time, do it late.
For exam­ple- They final­ly fin­ished the report 2 months late! Bet­ter late than nev­er. (bet­ter late than nev­er doing it at all)

3) Two wrongs don’t make a right

It is not accept­able to do some­thing bad to some­one just because they did some­thing bad to you first.
For exam­ple- She decid­ed to steal from the com­pa­ny because they hadn’t giv­en her the raise in wages she want­ed, and I told her two wrongs don’t make a right.

4) Birds of a feath­er flock togeth­er.

Peo­ple like to spend time with oth­ers who are sim­i­lar to them and/ or have sim­i­lar out­looks on life. For exam­ple- “I didn’t realise there’d be so many peo­ple at this music event. Birds of a feath­er flock togeth­er!”

5) A pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words.

Pic­tures con­vey emo­tions and mes­sages bet­ter than writ­ten or spo­ken expla­na­tions. For exam­ple- “Even though he told me, I didn’t realise the dam­age was so bad until he showed me a pho­to of it! Yes. Some­times a picture’s worth a thou­sand words.”

6) There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Things that are offered for free always have a hid­den cost- This ‘cost’ can refer to emo­tion­al, phys­i­cal, or men­tal cost not nec­es­sar­i­ly a finan­cial cost. For exam­ple – I thought she was offer­ing me piano lessons just to be nice, but then in return (for the lessons), she asked me to walk her dog once a week. Mm… There’s no such thing as a free lunch!

7) Beg­gars can't be choosers.

If you're ask­ing for a favor from some­one else, you have to take what­ev­er they give you. For exam­ple- ‘He asked us to vol­un­teer and help on the front desk from 10am until 6p.m., but we could only do from mid­day to 6 p.m. Oh well, he’ll just have to under­stand that beg­gars can’t be choosers.’

8) Actions speak loud­er than words.

Just say­ing that you'll do some­thing doesn't mean much. Actu­al­ly doing it is hard­er and more mean­ing­ful to oth­ers. For exam­ple- He said he liked me, and want­ed to see me, but so far in the last 3 weeks we haven’t met up because he always says he’s busy. I don’t think he likes me as much as he says. His actions are speak­ing loud­er than his words!

9) Prac­tice makes per­fect.

You have to prac­tice a skill a lot to become good at it. For exam­ple – I nev­er thought I’d mas­ter that ten­nis shot, but prac­tise makes per­fect!

10) Two heads are bet­ter than one.

When two peo­ple coop­er­ate with each oth­er, they come up with bet­ter ideas. For exam­ple- When the chil­dren worked in pairs on the assign­ment, they found it much eas­i­er to com­plete- two heads are bet­ter than one.

You can find more proverbs here.

Best wish­es, Esther

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