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English is the 21st international language for many reasons. It is also the language of many professional and business communications around the world. This is one of the reasons why many people strive to do well in spoken English. If you wish to improve your English speaking skills, you can try adding proverbs in your speech.
Here is a list of proverbs you can incorporate into your speech. If you have ever wondered what a proverb is, keep reading. You will know everything.
What is a Proverb?
A proverb is a short, quick, and wise sentence or a deep sentence. These phrases usually go unnoticed and do not matter how popular they are. Each country usually has its own set of good proverbs that local people use in their own language.
However, since English is the official language, it is best to read some of these sentences that are popular with English speakers. In addition, using proverbs may also help you to practice English skills tests.
So, read this list of proverbs if you want to learn some of the best and apply them in your speech.
Most Common Using English Speech Topics on Proverbs.
1. The forbidden fruit is always the sweetest.
This proverb is based on the Bible, referring to the forbidden fruit of Eden, which Adam and Eve ate despite divine instructions. However, this expression reflects the psychology of the human mind as well. People are often inclined to do things that they are not allowed to do. This is a well-known psychological phenomenon, and you can use this proverb in situations where you find people breaking the rules.
2. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
How to achieve your goals requires great love and patience. This is one of the best proverbs in English for students as we discuss the difficulties that come with establishing good craftsmanship. You may have to go through something painful to achieve something good, but the effort will be worth it if the end result helps you grow.
3. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
This proverb links the shortcomings of people with glass houses. Throwing stones is associated with identifying the weaknesses of others in this context. Therefore, it points out that people with faults themselves should not express the same to others.
4. Strike while the iron is hot.
This is one of the best proverbs for students. Hitting the metal is a common activity for blacksmiths, and it may seem as absurd as a proverb. But this, like many other well-known proverbs, has its own meaning. The iron in this proverb is associated with opportunity. You have to actively seize the good opportunities as they come your way. Don’t wait too long, or you may miss out on a great opportunity to climb the ladder of success. So, never be afraid to try something new when you get the chance.
5. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Some may argue that this proverb is contrary to popular opinion. However, it emphasizes the importance of sharing responsibilities effectively. If one person can do a job, it is best not to include too many people in it as this can lead to unnecessary confusion.
6. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
This is one of those proverbs that uses clever play on words to identify selfish actions. It means you can’t have two good things in conflict, so you need to choose one. For example, you can’t eat a cake and still have it. You may use this proverb a few times to correct a greedy person.
7. Many hands make light work.
This proverb emphasizes the importance of cooperation. It emphasizes the fact that many hands can often reduce the work of one person. As a result, you can perform tasks more easily and accurately. Therefore, believe in team efforts wherever necessary to meet the set goals.
8. When in Rome, do as Romans do.
Following local customs (whether religious or cultural) is respectful and may even lead to learning the information. You should be open to learning new cultures while visiting new places and following the same. This shows that you respect the people and the culture in the area. Therefore, this is considered to be one of the many good proverbs that promote broad sense.
9. Cross that bridge when one comes to it.
Because we speak openly, this proverb is easier to understand than others. It means you can’t cross the bridge until you get to it. It refers to situations where someone is very anxious before starting work. As a result, you can use this proverb in your conversation with them to convey that worrying about an issue that you have not yet dealt with does not help.
10. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
A rock that is constantly moving (perhaps rolling down a hill or falling into a flowing river) will not pick up the strings, and the standing stone will have hair everywhere. You may miss learning from those around you as you move from place to place. Of course, you will not be responsible if you travel regularly, but it can affect your growth.
11. Beggars can’t be choosers.
It is a popular proverb that highlights the lack of choice. Since beggars have no choice, they often express appreciation for whatever they receive from others. If you wish to apply this proverb in your speech, you may do so in a situation where you have a lack of options.
12. Don’t make a mountain out of an molehill.
This proverb uses the comparative size of a mountain with a molehill to convey a simple message in a figurative sense. Of all the proverbs in this list, this is the most appropriate one for formal and informal discussions. Making a mountain with a molehill means exaggerating a trivial matter.
13. The cat is out of the bag.
This proverb is from the Middle Ages when butchers in the meat market deceived consumers by putting cat instead of meat in their pockets. Today, a common proverb is to keep a secret from someone who is well-protected. You can use this proverb in informal situations when someone reveals an unintentional secret. However, you should avoid using this proverb in official discussions.
14. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Rome is one of the oldest civilizations with its many architectural works. The monuments took several years to build, and today they are the glory of ancient Roman civilization. Like these reminders, all good things take time. This proverb emphasizes the importance of patience and perseverance on the path to success. It is a popular saying that teachers often use when encouraging their students to do better. Therefore, do not give up if your efforts do not have good results. Keep working hard, and one day all your hard work will be seen.
15. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
If you are looking for an example of wise and instructive proverbs, read this one. Although the proverb speaks of the maintenance of the wheels of a bicycle or a motorcycle, it actually associates ridicule and talk of people with problems. This means that if you do not complain about the problems you are facing, no one will solve them for you. So, talk if you need help solving the problem. Talk about your problems so people can help you get out of them.
16. The early bird catches the worm.
This proverb is very similar to the expression “first come, first served”. It simply means that it is usually best to be early. If you arrive early — whether it is at a clothing store, a restaurant, a conference, etc. — you will have the best options available. If you come later, however, the best clothes can be sold, the restaurant can be full and have a long wait, etc.
17. Better late than never.
Although being the first bird is the best, even those who arrive late can find something to come. It would be very bad if they did not come at all. This proverb is said to end all wars. Better a poor horse than no horse at all.
18. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
If someone insults you or hurts you (“wrong”), doing the same thing to them (“two wrongs”) will not fix everything. It will likely cause endless wars back and forth. If someone does something unkind to you, do not be rude to him or her because it is wrong to do so.
19.Learn to walk before you run.
Do things right, from the simplest to the most complex. For example, do not try to read a difficult English novel when you are just starting to learn English. If you try to jump, you will probably fail — just as a child tries to run before he learns to fall. Everything will come on time, but you have to be patient and go through the right process.
20. Always put your best foot forward.
If you are just starting out on a project or a trip, it is best to start with a positive attitude and a lot of energy. The first impressions (what people think of you when they first meet you) can last a long time. That is why the proverb is also used when meeting new people or discussing work. A positive attitude— “your best foot” —is the best way to develop a positive attitude.
21. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do everything you can to avoid bad things from you. It only takes a moment to fasten your seat belt or make sure you lock the door. But if you are not safe, the side effects can last a lifetime. So you better be careful, otherwise you will regret it.
22. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
This proverb warns against misconduct on the part of those who provide it or do you good. If you were to bite the hand that gave you food, that hand would probably never come back to feed you. What would you eat then? So you have to be kind and grateful to those who care about you.
23. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
If you eat too much food, you will not be able to chew! And you can squeeze all that extra food. It’s the same with taking on too much responsibility or too much stress — you will have a hard time. So it is better not to get involved in many projects, because you will not be able to concentrate and do it all well.
24. You made your bed, now you have to lie in it.
No one likes to sleep in a bed that is not properly adjusted. If you make your bed with all the sheets tangled and the bedding looks the wrong way, you can’t change with someone else. You have to sleep in that bed. This proverb uses bedding to describe any bad situation you may find yourself in. You cannot trade real estate with anyone else. You have to live with the consequences of your actions, so make good decisions.
25. Actions speak louder than words.
The Greek philosopher Plato once called the action a character. People are not defined by what they say because talking too much means nothing. People are judged by what they do. Your actions are more important than what you say.
26. It takes two to tango.
This proverb is often said during a war in which one person blames the other, while both parties are guilty. Just as one person can master tango (Spanish dance with two people) alone, two people are responsible in some cases, so you cannot simply blame one person.
27. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
This proverb warns with great anticipation. Just because you have five eggs does not mean you will have five chickens. It is not a good idea to make plans based on what you expect (you think will happen). Expect all things to be accomplished before building your dreams. Or worse, your promises. Things may not turn out the way you thought they would, and that could put you in a predicament.
28. It’s no use crying over spilled milk.
Milk is easy to get. You may get into trouble by wasting milk, you should not cry because it is not a big deal. Also, crying will not solve anything. This proverb advises you to stay calm during such difficult situations. Do not waste time worrying about small things that cannot be changed. Clean the dirt and go buy some milk.
29. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Be careful! If you put all your belongings in one bag or all your money in one stock, you are putting yourself at great risk. It is much wiser to spread your wealth around. That way if one basket has to be broken, it is not left empty.
30. Still waters run deep.
“The water is still going down,” explained the calm and calm people. These people often have “deep,” interesting personalities. So even if the person does not talk much, he may still think a lot. A proverb uses water to describe people. If the surface of the water is strong and fast, it usually means it is shallow (shallow) and has rocks near and above, such as in a river or stream. But calm and steady water is usually very deep, as in a lake.
English has many proverbs and these are the subject of the iceberg. But you do not want to bite more than you can eat. So start with these useful English proverbs and sayings and you will soon sound like a native speaker!