Most Common Proverbs in English with Meanings

Proverbs are popularly defined as “short expressions of popular wisdom”. If you are interested in proverbs, these pages are excellent to learn them with clear meanings and examples.

Common Proverbs in English

A picture is worth a thousand words

  • MEANING: An image can tell a story better than words
  • EXAMPLE: “I wasn’t sure that he loved her, but then I saw them hugging at the airport. A picture is worth a thousand words.”

All good things must come to an end

  • MEANING: Everything ends; good times don’t last forever
  • EXAMPLE: “I wish this vacation would go on forever. It’s too bad that all good things must come to an end.”

Actions speak louder than words

  • MEANING: What you do is more important than what you say
  • EXAMPLE: “Don’t just tell me you’re going to change. Do it! Actions speak louder than words.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

  • MEANING: What is “beautiful” is different for each person
  • EXAMPLE: “I think their house is ugly, but they seem to like it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Better late than never

  • MEANING: It’s better to finish something late than to never do it at all
  • EXAMPLE: “Hello, Mr. Jameson. Here is my final essay. Better late than never, right?”

Don’t judge a book by its cover

  • MEANING: Don’t judge someone or something by appearance alone
  • EXAMPLE: “Racism is still a problem today, and it will continue to be that way until we learn not to judge a book by its cover.”

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket

  • MEANING: Don’t put all of your hopes and resources into one goal or dream
  • EXAMPLE: “I know you really want to be an actor, but don’t you think you’re being financially irresponsible? Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Easy come, easy go

  • MEANING: When you make money quickly, it’s very easy to lose it quickly as well
  • EXAMPLE: “I won $200 at the casino, and then I spent it on a very expensive meal for me and some friends. Easy come, easy go.”

Good things come to those who wait

  • MEANING: If you are patient, good things can happen
  • EXAMPLE: “I know you’re hungry, but stop being so impatient. We just ordered our food. Good things come to those who wait.

If you play with fire, you’ll get burned

  • MEANING: If you get involved in something dangerous or beyond your abilities, you will probably experience negative consequences
  • EXAMPLE: “Don’t make him angry. If you play with fire, you’ll get burned.”

Knowledge is power

  • MEANING: The more you know, the more powerful you can be in different areas of your life
  • EXAMPLE: “When we were kids, our parents taught us how to swim. That knowledge helped me to save my cousin’s life when he was 5 years old. Knowledge is power.”

Laughter is the best medicine

  • MEANING: When you’re in a difficult situation, laughing can make it easier to get through that situation
  • EXAMPLE: “I’m sorry to hear about your dog. Want to watch a funny movie? Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.”

Practice makes perfect

  • MEANING: The more you do something, the better you will become at it
  • EXAMPLE: “Don’t give up on learning the violin. Practice makes perfect.”

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.”

Time is money

  • MEANING: Don’t waste your time or other people’s time; also, if you can use your time to make money in some way, you should do that.
  • EXAMPLE: “Hurry up! Time is money!”

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

  • MEANING: When you are in a new place or situation, try to act like the majority of people in that place or situation.
  • EXAMPLE: “Are you sure we should eat this with our hands?” Answer: “Why not? All of these people are eating it that way. When in Rome, do as the Romans do!”

Common Proverbs in English | Infographic

Proverbs

Most Common Proverbs in English with Meanings 1

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[…] Proverbs in English! Learn 45+ most common proverbs with their meaning and examples with ESL printable infographics for ESL […]

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[…] A proverb is a simple, concrete, traditional saying that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience. Proverbs give some form of life advice. And the following is the most common proverbs relating to friends and friendships: […]