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Proverbs and Sayings

Proverbs have been regarded as traditional sayings, some expressing truth about people's behaviour. It often reflects life in general apart from offering certain advice to people. Some proverbs contain illustration of colourful imagery, vivid in words while others may appear in a more straightforward form.

We have always come across proverbs in our lives - from our family, relatives, teachers, friends, and society. They contain folk wisdom gathered through time and often capture a common human experience.

In learning the English language, students should be introduced to proverbs at an early stage once they have learnt all the correct sentence structure of the language. The proverbs may differ from one country to another and this gives the students the chance get an insight into other cultures. Some famous proverbs are discussed below, together with their meanings .

The best things in life are free

Things that are really valuable, like love, friendship,nature and good health are priceless. We can't buy them.

A stitch in time saves nine

If you have problems, straightaway deal with it before it gets worse. To repair something as soon as it looks damaging. If no early action is taken, you will have a much bigger problem later.

Do it now and you'll need only one stitch but do it later and you'll need 9 stitches.

Money doesn't grow on trees.

We shouldn't waste money as it doesn't come easy. There is no way to find easy money except to work and make money grow by saving more.

Don't bark if you can't bite.

Do not ridicule other people if you do not know how to solve the problem , or you failed to understand the matter yourself.

You are never too old to learn

It is never too late in acquiring knowledge. There is no limit in learning anything in life.

The best advice is found on the pillow.

Our mind will be able to think clearer and we may find the solution to the problems that we have after a good night's sleep.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

There is always something good behind the bad experience that we have. No matter how unpleasant the situation is, there is always hope to it.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

In order to live a healthy life, we must eat healthy food. It will prevent disease and keep us healthy.

Never judge a book by its cover.

Do not try to judge a person's worth through his or her physical appearence.

No man is an island.

We need to have friends, nobody can live alone.

Blood is thicker than water.

Family ties or family relationships are always stronger than other relationships that we have in life.

Let bygones be bygones.

We should forget past quarrels and try to live a new life. The best is to forgive and forget.

Action speaks louder than words.

What a person does is more important then what he says he is going to do.

Where there is a will there is a way

When a person really wants something, he will find the way to get it. He will face any challenges to make sure he achieves his goal.

Below are some useful exercise to practice your proverbs.

You are given five simple proverbs. Find the proverb that is similar in meaning to the one given. The words in bracket will help you to find the meaning.

1 Action speaks louder than words (example) _______________________________________________ .

2 Money is power (key) _______________________________________________ .

3 Ignorance is bliss (eye) _______________________________________________ .

4 Four eyes see more than two (heads) _____________________________________________ .

5 If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well.(pain) _________________________________ .

So there's your 5 simple exercise on proverbs. The more proverbs you learn, the more interesting person you are going to be. Learning English is fun and indeed, practice makes perfect.

By Uzaimah A Nizam