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45 sayings and proverbs in English (with translation and explanation)

45 sayings and proverbs in English (with translation and explanation)

May 8, 2024

In this article you can find a series of English sayings and proverbs that will make you think and reflect on life . These are phrases that we often use and that, with just a few words, we can say a lot.

Proverbs are popular phrases that have been repeated, without changing, for years or even centuries. Generally, a moral thought, advice or a vital teaching is expressed through these.

45 proverbs and sayings in English

You can find below a list of proverbs and sayings in English with their translation (not literal) and a brief explanation.

1. Kill two birds with one stone

  • Translation: Kill two birds with one stone.

This saying is used to refer to that two things have been achieved at the same time or to solve two problems at once with doing only one thing.

2. Eat, drink and be merry (for tomorrow we die)

  • Translation: Drink and swallow, the world is going to end.

A beautiful rhyme that speaks of the fact that there is only one present moment and that we should take advantage of it. We only have one life, we have to make it an unbeatable experience.

3. Absence makes the heart grow fonder

  • Translation: Absence feeds the heart.

Human beings value what we do not have close. These words express just that meaning. That is to say, when we miss something, it is when we value it.

4. All that glitters is not gold

  • Translation: Everything that glitters is not gold.

Many times we are left with the superficial part of things, leaving aside the true meaning or what really happens. In addition, it is also used to recommend that we should not trust appearances.

5. Barking dogs never bite

  • Translation: Barking dog, little biter

We all know those people who lie more than they talk , and they tend to brag, but then they do not do anything. The barking dog is the person who always tells his stories, but bites little because he has not really done half of what he says.

5. A stitch in time saves nine

  • Translation: Prevention is better than cure.

It is better to take measures before time than to have to repent in the future for not having done it.

6. A cat in gloves catches no mice

  • Translation: Cat with gloves does not hunt mice.

It is used for criticism to those people who do not fully engage in work . For example, when someone goes to work on the job but they are so fixed that they do not do their job well so they do not get dirty.

7. Actions speak louder than words

  • Translation: Facts are worth more than words.

This phrase can also be expressed in different ways: "the words are carried by the wind or" from the saying to the fact there is a great stretch ".

8. Things often happen when you least expect them to

  • Translation: Where the greyhound least thinks, the hare jumps.

Sometimes opportunities come when you least expect it.

9. A leopard never changes its spots

  • Translation: The one that is born piglet dies pig.

This phrase refers to the fact that nobody changes their nature and can not fight against destiny.

10. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

  • Translation: Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

This saying applies in times when we do something bad and all we want is revenge. It goes against reconciliation.

11. A word is enough to the wise

  • Translation: To a good listener, few words are enough

In other words, you do not have to keep repeating things when once should be enough.

12. All cats are gray in the dark

  • Translation: At night all cats are brown.

In reference to that at night and in the dark, imperfections are not seen.

13. Give the benefit of the doubt

  • Translation: Give the benefit of the doubt.

We must not judge people at the first chance, but we must wait to have evidence to accuse.

16. Appearances are deceptive

  • Translation: appearances deceive.

It is a saying similar to the previous one, in which people should not be judged because it is possible that their body image is not what the person really is.

17. Take what someone says with a pinch of salt

  • Translation: Take something with tweezers.

To take something with tweezers makes reference to go with care, because it is not something that is very safe nor proven.

18. An apple a day keeps the doctor away

  • Translation: Prevention is better than cure.

Another saying in English that refers to better prevention than cure . That is, better to take action at the moment than having to repent later.

19. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

  • Translation: Better a bird in hand than a hundred flying.

It's better to be safe than to speculate and have a thousand things in mind and then be left with nothing.

20. Take no notice of the stupid things people say

  • Translation: To foolish words, deaf ears.

You have to move on from the comments of others.To be bitter about what ignorant people say.

21. Add insult to injury

  • Translation: Throw wood on the fire.

A phrase that goes in the sense of making things worse, of complicating the matter.

22. There's nothing so queer as folk

  • Translation: There is everything in the vineyard of the Lord.

An appointment that is used when someone is strange or does not fit within social standards.

23. Speak of the devil

  • Translation: Speaking of the King of Rome.

Although the literal translation is rather, "speaking of the devil", in Castilian it is "talking about the King of Rome." In other words, to be talking about someone and to justly appear at that moment.

24. Costs an arm and a leg

  • Translation: It costs an eye of the face.

A saying that is used to talk about something that is very expensive.

25. All roads lead to Rome

  • Translation: All roads lead to Rome.

No matter what path you take, in the end you will reach your destination.

26. Feeling a bit under the weather

  • Translation: To be a little pachucho in Spanish.

Basically, being bad or not being fine. When you are tired or sick.

27. Love laughs at locksmiths

  • Translation: Love does not respect the law, nor does it obey the king

Love is a very intense feeling that causes us the desire and the impulse to be together with the person we love.

28. Beggars can not be choosers

  • Translation: When there is hunger, there is no hard bread.

When one is having a bad time, he clings to anything to appease that feeling.

29. Curiosity killed the cat

  • Translation: Curiosity killed the cat.

It means that we should not ask or be curious, that we may regret it.

30. Hear it through the grapevine

  • Translation: A little bird told me.

A little bird said it when you tell someone that you know something but you do not want to say the name of the person who told you.

31. Everyone gets his comeuppance in the end

  • Translation: Each pig gets his San Martín.

Bad people, sooner or later, pay for their duties.

32. Eleven in a blue moon

  • Translation: From figs to figs.

It is said when something happens very rarely and in unexpected moments.

33. All griefs with bread are less

  • Translation: Sorrows with bread are less.

There is no bigger problem than not having to eat, or being able to feed. In other words, all problems have a solution.

34. Caught between two stools

  • Translation: To be swimming between two waters.

Expresses being undecided and not knowing what to do. You have to make a decision but you do not clarify.

35. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

  • Translation: You have to have fun and leave the work aside for a while.

We live only once , so you have to enjoy this life and spend pleasant and fun moments.

36. Familiarity breeds contempt

  • Translation: Familiarity breeds contempt.

In some cases, with the passage of time, spending many moments with a person can make us bored and annoyed by their presence.

37. Good things happen to those who wait

  • Translation: Good things happen in those who know how to wait.

Patience has a prize.

38. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link

  • Translation: the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

A powerful image that highlights that even large organizations can have a point so vulnerable that it incapacitates them.

39. Do not count for chickens before they hatch

  • Translation; Do not count on chickens before they hatch.

It is better to keep your feet on the ground and not take for granted a very optimistic future.

40. The early bird catches the worm

  • Translation: The earliest bird reaches the worm.

Preparing in advance can give a competitive advantage.

41. A picture is worth a thousand words

Translation: A picture is worth a thousand words.

There are sensations that explain more than textual information.

42. No man is an island

  • Translation: no man is an island.

We do not live isolated , but we are part of a social system.

43. The pen is mightier than the sword

  • Translation: The pen is more virtuous than the sword.

The power of ideas is greater than that of concrete violence.

44. If you build they will eat

  • Translation: If you build, they will come.

To be lucky, you must first work to make that happen.

45. T'here's always more fish in the sea

  • Translation: There are more fish in the sea

A proverb used especially with regard to finding a partner .


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