7 of my Favourite Quotations

A “quotation” is usually a short text – perhaps one or two sentences – written or spoken by one (usually famous) person and often repeated or at least known by others. Here are 7 of my favourite quotations, arranged (loosely) from humorous to serious. Have a look at them and try to understand them. You may know some of them already in your own language. Do you agree with them? You can find explanations of some of the more difficult words in English Checker at the end.

“You must come again when you have less time.” Walter Sickert to Denton Welch

“There is less to him than meets the eye.” Tallulah Bankhead

“The head cannot take in more than the seat can endure.” Winston Churchill on long speeches

“Only the insane take themselves seriously.” Max Beerbohm

“To be uncertain is uncomfortable; but to be certain is ridiculous.” Goethe

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Santayana

“When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom.” Confucius

English Checker

  • condemned: sentenced as a punishment; forced to suffer
  • endure: suffer patiently; tolerate
  • insane: seriously mentally ill
  • seat: a person’s buttocks

By Josef Essberger for EnglishClub July 2008
Josef started teaching English as a foreign language in 1991 and founded EnglishClub for learners and teachers in 1997.


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