7 Proverbs

A "proverb" is a short, traditional saying in general use. It usually expresses some obvious truth or familiar experience. There are proverbs in all languages.

Here are 7 proverbs that are well known in English:

"You can't tell a book by its cover."
We need to read a book to know if it's good or bad. We cannot know what it's like just by looking at the front or back cover. This proverb is applied to everything, not only books.

"Where there's a will there's a way."
If we have the determination (the will) to do something, we can always find the path or method to do it.

"Don't cross your bridges before you come to them."
Don't worry about problems before they arrive.

"It was the last straw that broke the camel's back."
There is a limit to everything. We can load the camel with lots of straw, but finally it will be too much and the camel's back will break. And it is only a single straw that breaks its back - the last straw. This can be applied to many things in life. People often say "That's the last straw!" when they will not accept any more of something.

"Bad news travels fast."
"Bad news" means news about "bad" things like accidents, death, illness etc. People tend to tell this type of news quickly. But "good news" (passing an exam, winning some money, getting a job etc) travels more slowly.

"You can't take it with you when you die."
When we die we leave everything on earth. We don't take anything with us. Even the richest people cannot take their money with them after death. This proverb reminds us that some material things are not really so valuable as we think.

"Still waters run deep."
Some rivers have rough surfaces with waves. That's usually because the water is shallow and there are rocks near the surface. But deep rivers have no rocks near the surface and the water is smooth and still. This proverb means that people who are calm and quiet on the outside, often have a strong, "deep" personality inside.

More about proverbs

Contributor: Josef Essberger