since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English
Sayings

There is a time to speak and a time to be silent

This page is about the saying "There is a time to speak and a time to be silent"

Possible meaning:
We should know when to say something and when to say nothing.

Origin: Like many "There is a time..." proverbs, this proverb is based on the Bible (Ecclesiastes 3):

  1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Quick Quiz

The proverb "There is a time to speak and a time to be silent" urges us to

a. speak quietly

b. speak at the appropriate time

c. never say anything

Saying of the Day

Contributor: Josef Essberger