Proverbs are wise sayings. You can find quite a few proverbs in almost all languages. Interestingly, different languages sometimes have proverbs with similar meanings.
During a conversation, you may hear proverbs. Sometimes people say entire proverbs to give advice. Sometimes people just say a part of the proverb, probably because they expect you to know the remaining.
If you know some of the most common proverbs, you can easily spice up your speech and writing. Proverbs may also help you understand the way native English speakers think about the world.
Here is a list of the most common proverbs in English.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
This is said to discourage people from seeking revenge. Somebody may have done something bad to you, but you can’t make that wrong right by doing something equally bad to them.
“The pen is mightier than the sword.”
This is used to suggest that people who use their words and ideas to transform the world are more successful than people who use weapons.
“When in Rome, do as the Romans.”
Do what the people around you are doing. While traveling, you might come across people who do things differently than you are used to. Instead of trying to change them, you must act the way they are acting.
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
This is used to suggest that people, who complain about something, are more likely to get their problems solved. If you are hesitant to voice your complaints, nobody is going to help you.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Strong people don’t lose heart when they face setbacks. They just work harder.
“No man is an island.”
This is used to suggest that we all need help from other people. Nobody can live completely independently.
“Fortune favors the brave.”
People who pursue their goals with courage and conviction are more likely to be successful than people who try to live safely.
“People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”
People who are not perfect themselves must resist the temptation to criticize others.