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50 English Proverbs

50 English Proverbs
Activity SmartMemo
Activity SmartMemo
Learn the 50 most common proverbs in the English language and their meaning.
 

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Instructions

1- Look at the words and think of its meaning 2- Move your mouse over the black button to check your answer. 3- If you were right click on the green button, if wrong, click on the red.

Items

Item Match Comments
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If one member of a team doesn't perform well, the whole team will fail.
A penny saved is a penny earned. Save your money and don't waste it.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures convey emotions and messages better than written or spoken explanations.
A watched pot never boils. If something takes time to finish, don't watch it too closely because it will seem like it's taking forever. A good proverb for those watching Windows time line when installing programmes, or Emule's download bars ;)
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes it's good to be away from your partner, because you miss them and it makes you want to see each other again.
Actions speak louder than words. Just saying that you'll do something doesn't mean much. Actually doing it is harder and more meaningful.
All good things must come to an end. You can't keep having good luck or fun forever; eventually it will stop.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Different people have different ideas about what's beautiful. BEHOLDER (old-fashioned) = Looker
Beggars can't be choosers. If you're asking for a favour from someone else, you have to take whatever they give you and not complain.
Better late than never. Getting something later than expected is not nice, but you can look on the bright side of it and be happy because finally you got it.
Better safe than sorry. Being prepared for possible problems may often be a bit of a nuisance, but that little nuisance is better than risking to have big problems afterwards. There's a 25% risk of rain? Take the umbrella, if it finally rains you'll be very happy you took it.
Birds of a feather flock together. People like to spend time with others who are similar to them. In this case "a feather" means "the same feather" (the same plumage")
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don't do mean things to people. This is called "The Golden Rule".
UNTO (old-fashioned) = To
Don't bite the hand that feeds you. If someone's paying you or helping you out, you have to be careful not to make them angry or say bad things about them because they can stop helping you.
Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Your plans might not work out, so don't start thinking about what you'll do after you succeed. Wait until you've already succeeded, and then you can think about what to do next.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Have a backup plan. Don't risk all of your money or time in one plan.
Easy come, easy go. When you get money, etc. quickly, like by winning it, it's easy to spend it or lose it quickly as well because you don't appreciate it as much as if it cost you a big effort to get.
Familiarity breeds contempt. When you're around someone for too long, you get tired of them and annoyed by them.
Fortune favours the bold. People who bravely go after what they want are more successful than people who try to live safely.
God helps those who help themselves. Don't just wait for good things to happen to you. Work hard to achieve your goals.
Good things come to those who wait. Be patient.
Honesty is the best policy. Don't lie, in the long run it always has bad consequences.
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. You must never lose hope, because that gives you strength to keep trying, but you must not be a fool and risk everything, just try to be safe just in case.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try, tray again You can never give up. If you keep trying, you will usually succeed, but those who give up always fail.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. AIN'T (colloquial) = Isn't. Don't try to improve something that already works fairly well. You'll probably end up causing new problems. This is husbands' favourite proverb ;)
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. 'EM (colloquial) = THEM. When you try to change someone's behavior and it doesn't work,you can either feel frustrated forever or change yourself to adapt, so at least you can feel relaxed. Also in business, etc., if you can't defeat your enemy/competence, try to join/befriend them and benefit from the alliance.
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Don't trust other people to do important things for you. You have to do things yourself to control the quality of the results. This how perfectionists feel all the time.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If you have an enemy, pretend to be friends with them instead of openly fighting with them. That way you can watch them carefully and figure out what they're planning.
Necessity is the mother of invention. When you're really in need, you think of creative solutions to your problems.
Never look a gift horse in the mouth. Here A GIFT HORSE means a horse that was given as a present. If someone offers you a gift, just be grateful. You don't have any right to criticize what has been given you for free, and since it is free, just appreciate the good things about it and don't look for the bad things about it.
No man is an island. You can't live completely independently. Everyone needs help from other people. It also means that we are all connected somehow.
One man's meat is another man's poison. Different people have different ideas about what's valuable. A common variation of this is: ONE MAN'S TRASH IS ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Don't criticize other people if you're not perfect yourself.
Practice makes perfect. You have to practice a skill a lot to become good at it.
The early bird catches the worm. You should wake up and start work early if you want to succeed. Also, the pioneers always have the greatest possibilities.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. People tend to want whatever they don't have.
The pen is mightier than the sword. Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. You can get better service if you complain about something. If you wait patiently, no one's going to help you.
There's no place like home. Your own home is the most comfortable place to be.
There's no such thing as a free lunch. Things that are offered for free always have a hidden cost (there's always a catch)
There's no time like the present. If you need to do something, don't wait until later. Do it now. Excellent advice for procastinators.
Too many cooks spoil the broth. When there are too many people trying to lead and give their opinions, it's confusing and leads to bad results. Jobs and projects should have one or two strong leaders.
Two heads are better than one. When two people cooperate with each other, they come up with better ideas.
Two wrongs don't make a right. When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Act the way that the people around you are acting. This phrase might come in handy when you're travelling abroad notice that people do things differently than you're used to.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Strong people don't give up when they come across challenges. They just work harder, so they are more likely to succeed.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. If you try to help someone, but they don't take your advice or offers, give up. You can't force someone to accept your help.
You can't always get what you want. Don't whine and complain if you don't get what you wanted. Life is life and many times things will not be the way you want, but complaining will not change that, so just accept it and move on.
You can't judge a book by its cover. Things sometimes look different than they really are. A restaurant that looks old and small might have amazing food, for example.
You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. When you try to do something great, you'll probably make a few people annoyed or angry, iit's often difficult not to. Don't worry about those people; just focus on the good results.
Total number of items: 50
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