Learning a new language is tough, particularly when words don’t always mean what their literal translation suggests! Proverbs are wise sayings that express common sense or advice, often through metaphors. The English language is full of proverbs and strange sayings, which can be very confusing even if you’re a confident English speaker. Take a look at our infographic for some examples of common proverbs and their definitions.
Here are five common proverbs – can you match them to the correct definition? Don’t worry, the answers are at the bottom of the page if you get stuck!
Do you understand English proverbs?
1. “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
2. “You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs first.”
3. “A leopard can’t change its spots.”
4. “Every cloud has a silver lining.”
5. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”
English proverb definitions
A. People cannot change basic parts of their personality, even if they want to.
B. Other people’s lives always appear to be better than your own.
C. You shouldn’t form an opinion of someone based on their appearance.
D. Difficult times always lead to better things.
E. It is impossible to achieve something good without encountering problems along the way.
Answers: 1: C, 2: E, 3: A, 4: D, 5: B