the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

The tide must be taken when it comes

This page is about the saying "The tide must be taken when it comes"

Possible interpretation:
We should use all opportunities when they come, before it's too late.

Compare: "There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune..." (from "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare 1564-1616)

Origin: Ships (especially in the old days) often need a high tide to leave or enter port. Man cannot control the tide, so when it comes ships have to use the opportunity it gives them without delay.

the tide (noun): the rising and falling of the sea caused by the attraction of the moon and sun

Quick Quiz:

"The tide must be taken when it comes" is a saying suggesting that we

a. wait for opportunities

b. look for opportunities

c. act on opportunities

Saying of the Day

This entry is in the following categories:

Contributor: Josef Essberger