Proverbs are the characteristic products of various languages, which can express meanings in a fun and appropriate way. Let ’s take a look at 10 interesting English proverbs. Can you guess the meaning of these proverbs?
1, A watched pot never boils
MEANING If something takes time to do, it doesn’t help to constantly check on it. You just have to give it time.
EXAMPLE “I know you think he’s going to be a great guitar player one day, but stop criticizing him so much. He just started taking lessons two weeks ago! A watched pot never boils.”
2, Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
MEANING If you can do something today, do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow; don’t procrastinate.
EXAMPLE “You have 6 hours of free time now. You should start on that final psychology assignment. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
3, Don’t put too many irons in the fire
MEANING Don’t try to do too many things at the same time; focus on one thing at a time
EXAMPLE “No wonder you’re exhausted. You’re trying to work 4 jobs at the same time! You have too many irons in the fire right now.”
4, Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer
MEANING If someone is your enemy, treat them like a friend so you can be ready if they ever try to betray you
EXAMPLE “We don’t trust each other, but we have to be nice to each other because we work for the same company. I’m worried about him stealing my promotion, so I’m going to keep being nice to him. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer, and all that.”
5, People who live in glass houses should not throw stones
MEANING Don’t criticize someone if you’re not perfect either; don’t be a hyprocrite
EXAMPLE “Why are you always bothering her about being addicted to her phone? You’ve been smoking for 20 years and haven’t been able to give it up. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”
6, The enemy of my enemy is my friend
MEANING If someone whom I don’t like doesn’t like someone else whom I don’t like, we can act like friends and unite against the other person (common in war)
EXAMPLE “I don’t like you, you don’t like me. But I think we can agree that we both HATE Daniel. Let’s work together and get him fired! The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right?”
7, There is no such thing as a free lunch
MEANING Nothing is free. Even the things that are free have a hidden cost
EXAMPLE “His bank gave him $50 for free, but he had to commit to opening a credit card account. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
8, You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
Example: X: The courier service has taken more time to deliver than they had promised. I want to take the issue up with them and get a refund. Y: I would suggest you deal with them politely. You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
9, Watch the doughnut, and not the hole
Focus on what you have and not on what you don’t.
Example: X: I’ve to submit the assignment next Monday, but I don’t have a clue on the topic. Y: Consult your friends. Consult books. Understand the topic. Watch the doughnut, and not the hole.
10, The best-laid plans go astray
Example: X: I had everything covered for this project, but now I’m told that the project can’t go ahead because the Company is planning an organizational restructuring. Y: Well, that’s unfortunate, but sometimes the best-laid plans go astray.