15 Common English Proverbs with Examples, Useful Proverbs for Students with Meaning


Here we present you a list of very common & well known proverbs, detail explain with examples, easily grasped.  Illustration of important proverbs + common saying are useful for students, children and for all!!


No Pains No Gains


To gain a good result in the examination, one has to work hard. To reach the top of hill is an uphill task, but if one wants to stand at the peak, one must be prepared to undergo arduous and laborious task of sealing the height. No pains, no gains - well saying. If Columbus had not braved the storms of the sea, America would have remained a continent unknown to the world. Explorers, whose name is recorded in the history of the world, would not have obtained so coveted an honour, they had not risked their lives in the adventure they undertook. They say that a closed mouth catches no fly. Nothing venture, nothing have. Hard work is a key to success.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness


The proverb “The cleanliness is next to godliness” deserve to be given a good deal of thought and practised by each and everybody. Cleanliness of clothes is necessary for success in social life, of body for health life and of mind for spiritual uplift. It is not necessary that your clothes should be costly, but its very essential they should be clean. A bath cost almost nothing but it is a productive way fo getting good results. A sounf mind can be lodged only in a sound body. Cleanliness of mind leads to a clean thoughts and actions. Good thoughts lead to good action and noble deeds to God. It is thus that cleanliness lead us to purity of thoughts and action and ultimately to godliness. If you want to live a healthy life, we should keep our clothes, body and house clean.

As You Sow, so Shall You Reap


If you sow barley and expect to reap wheat, you will find that you are sadly mistaken. To reap wheat you must sow wheat. Do good and you will have in return good done to you. As love begets love so evil begets evil. Do as you wish to be done by. He who digs a pit for other himself falls into it. The wicked rover who cut the bell tied to the buoy put into the sea by the Abbot to warn ships of hidden rock himself fell a victim to his evil action.
One’s principle in life should be to do good to all.

Rome  was not built in day


It is a well-known proverb denoting that great things cannot be accomplished in a short time. As a Rome big city of Italy took many centuries to come to its present form, similarly worth-while projects demands patient and proper planning. It is not like producing of an apple tree with ripe fruit by magician in the twinkling of an eye. Time play an important role in the growth. An Elephant takes a long time to come to its full stature, so do a tree and a human being. If you sow today, you can’t reap today; if you plant a tree today, you can’t get its fruit today; you have to wait.
In short, perfection and prosperity needs time for their attainment.

A man is known by the company he keeps


“A man is known by the company he keeps”, a well-known saying, the truth of which has been recognised through the ages. We generally form an opinion about a man from his company. “Tell me whom he associates with, “said a wise man, “and I will tell you what sort of person he is.” A thorough gentleman, who has never tasted liquor, if you found in the company of drunkards, will be labelled as drunkard. Undoubtedly, our companions have a great influence in our life. It will not be beside the mark if one were to say that it is the company that makes or mars one’s character and life. We should, therefore, always keeps good company, wherever we are, whether at school or in the street.

A Friend Is Need Is a friend Indeed


Friendship is natural to every human being. No man can live alone and be happy. Sorrow shared is sorrow halved and joy shared is joy double. We feel the need of a friend at every step of life. But a true friendship is very rare. A true friend is the balm of life. He consoles us in grief  and share out joy. A true friend will not hesitate to sacrifices even his life to save that of his friend. False friends pretended to be friends as long as they are in hope to gain some advantage from us, but leave us in the lurch when, they find, that we are of no use to them. A true friend never prove false, he always help his friend in need and never desert him in his difficulties.

Nip the evil in the bud


Just as freshly planted plant can be pulled out easily, so can an evil when its just lifts up its head, be crushed. Do not let an evil take root. Do not let it become a habit. Once it does, there is no undoing it. A large number of children’s get spoiled, as their parents do not take proper care of them in the beginning. An ordinary fever if neglected in the beginning may develop into a tuberculosis which may cost one one’s life. Similarly crops in the field do not thrive if weeds and thorns are not removed timely. It is advisable to nip the evil in the bud. If it allowed to grow and flourish, it will become strong enough to resist all efforts to crush it.

Cut your coat according to your clothes


One must keep one’s expenditure within in one’s income, if one wants to live a happy life. Those who let their expenditure exceed their income soon become to grief. The prodigal son soon ran through his share of property  and had to come back to his father  and ask him to let him be his slave, as he was not worthy of being his son. Those who spend their money lavishly without paying any regard to their earning shall share the fate of the prodigal son. One should never spend beyond one’s means, if one does not want to go insolvent.  Cut your coat according to your cloth’s is wise policy and should be rigorously practised.

Make hay while sun shine


England is a country, which remains snow-bound in winters. Summer is of a short duration. It is only in summer that the sun shines brightly in the sky. Farmers in countries having climate similar to that of England makes hay during the bright days of summer; and if they let slip this opportunity, they cannot lay by a store of hay for use in winter. The proverb, therefore, means that we should avail ourselves of opportunities while they are within our grasp and use them to the fullest i.e. take full advantage. Such an opportunity may not come our way again.
The proverb has special significance for students. It behoves a student to work hard when he has an ample time at his disposal so that when he take the examination, he is not found wanting. The proverb teaches us that we should strive to make the best use of opportunities which comes our way.

A stitch in time saves nine


If rent in a piece of cloth is overlooked for some time in the beginning, it grows bigger and requires many stitches afterwards. So it is with our daily life. If we do not take steps to fight a diseases when it start in our body, it may become chronic after some time and may prove incurable. A small fire can be put out easily, but if it is allowed to spread, it may cause a heavy damage before it is brought under control. Every evil should be nipped in the bud. A boy may become notorious if he is not looked after properly when he is about to take evil ways. Much of the time, labour and money should be saved, if things are set right at the very outset. Time action is not only desirable but necessity. The slightest negligence may result in serious loss or trouble.

Look before you leap Or Haste makes waste


“Look before you leap” contains a lot of wisdom in a nut-shell. It exhorts us to be thoughtful and considerate in our actions. It warns us against haste, which,, later on, one may repent of. Certainly it is dangerous to jump into a well without knowing its depth and thinking before-hand of the means of coming out of it. One must consider, before taking a step, what its consequences will be, lest one should have to repent afterwards. 

Those who take a plunge into the unknown are sure to come across risks that may endanger their reputation, honour and even life. “Think twice before you speak” and “Haste makes waste” convey the same meaning as “look before you leap” does. They do not probation, but they impress upon us that we should do nothing in haste but do things after mature consideration.

A rolling stone gather no moss


There is no denying the facts that a stone that is constantly rolling cannot gather moss, while stone that remains lying in one place does so. In the same way, a man who is constantly changing his occupation and pursuits and does not settle down long in some particular work cannot achieve any great success in life. He will be merely wasting his energies, and will get nowhere. Firmness of mind and perseverance can only lead a man to success. A man of wavering mind will not go far in life. The proverb, “He who hunts two hares, loses both” very beautifully describe the condition in life of a person who does not choose his profession after a mature consideration and give it up before giving it a fair trial and takes up another that catches his fancy.

Where there is a will there is a way


Napoleon Bonaparte, a great emperor of France, used to say that the words ‘impossible’ was to be found in the dictionary of fools and cowards.  Nothing was difficult to achieve provided one had the will to do it.  If we are determined to do things, however difficult it may be , success will surely kiss our feet. An iron-will enable us to conquer all difficulties that beset our path. Stalin, Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, and Kennedy attainted great heights simply they worked with a determined will. In short, there is nothing which a man of iron-will and strong determination cannot achieve. He will find a way or make it.

Birds of a feather flocks together


It is natural phenomena that birds of same kind flock together. We see that pigeons flocks with pigeons  and hawks with hawks. Neither Lamb will never mix with wolf, nor goats with lions. Wise man will not associate with fools and rich rarely mix with the poor. The idle do not make friends with the industrious and saints shun the company of sinners. You will never find the moneylenders in the company of cobblers, nor scavengers in the company of engineers. Laborers have their own associations and politicians too, organize themselves into a body of their own. One very rarely comes across a person making friends with a person having different tastes and aptitudes.

Union is strength Or United we stand, divide we fall


Two bullocks by showing a united front are said to have set at naught the efforts of a lion to kill them. Small drops of water make the mighty ocean and small strings bound together makes a strong rope to bind even an elephant. So long as there is time sprit of among the workers, there are but few chances of their failure. Nations cannot progress if they do not work with the spirit of co-operation. Similarly a small united army can stand a big army whose officers are at logger-heads with one other. A single stick can be broken with ease, but a bundle of sticks defies your efforts to break it. Verily, ’United we stand, divide we fall’.

An idle brain is a devil’s workshop


Idleness is the root of all evils. An idle man can easily be led away from the right path. The devils find in him an easy catch. Once a person yields to the intrigues of the devil, he is his slave for ever. One must, therefore, keep oneself occupied with some sort of work; otherwise one will find time for evil pursuits. There is a saying, if the person has nothing else to do, he should undo his clothes and sew them up again.

An idle person is also looked down upon by all. He is not only a burden to himself, but also to the society. Everyone hates him and nobody even likes to talk to or having any dealings with him. Our principle of life should be to keep ourselves busy or employed, preferably in some useful task.

Prevention is better than cure


The proverb poses a proposition. It is, which is better, to suffer and get well or not to suffer at all. The answer is simpler than even the proposition. Nobody would like to writhe in pain or undergo sufferings if these can be avoided. It is always better to prevent an evil from occurring than to set it right after it has occurred.

We should take every precaution to safeguard ourselves against a disease.
Avoid falling ill if you can. A man who does not take necessary precautions when he should, will very likely come to grief. The proverb teaches us to take preventive measures in time to save ourselves from falling a prey to an illness or evil. 
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