Materials for language lessons

Posts tagged ‘proverb’

Welsh proverbs 2

“Heb ei fai, heb ei eni.”
Translation: “He who has no faults is not born.” 

“Hedyn pob drwg yw diogi.”
Translation: “The seed of all evil is laziness.” 

“Mwyaf y brys, mwyaf y rhwystr.”
Translation: “More the hurry, more the obstacles.” 

“Nerth hen, ei gyngor parad.”
Translation: “The strength of the old is their ready counsel.” 

“Ni cheir da o hir gysgu.”
Translation: “No good will come of over sleeping.” 
“Rhaid cropian cyn cerdded.”
Translation: “You must crawl before walking.” 

“Y mae dafad ddu ym mhob praidd.”
Translation: “Every flock has its black sheep.” 

“Yr hen a ŵyr a’r ieuanc a dybia.”
Translation: “The old know and the young suspect.”


Welsh proverbs

“A fo ben, bid bont.”
Translation: “If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.” 
“Allwedd arian a egyr pob clo.”
Translation: “Money is the key that opens all locks.” 

“Am gwymp hen y chwardd ieuanc.”
Translation: “The young laugh when the old fall.” 

“Angel pen ffordd, diawl pen tân.”
Translation: “An Angel on the road, a Devil at the fireplace.” 

“Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg.”
Translation: “Tapping persistently breaks the stone.” 

“Dywed yn dda am dy gyfaill, am dy elyn dywed ddim.”
Translation: “Speak well of your friend; of your enemy say nothing.” 

“Gall pechod mawr ddyfod trwy ddrws bychan.”
Translation: “A great sin can enter by a small door.” 

“Gorau adnabod, d’adnabod dy hun.”
Translation: “The best knowledge is to know yourself.” 

Irish proverbs

A drink precedes a story.

Time is a great story teller.

A friend’s eye is a good mirror.

Even a small thorn causes festering.

Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.

It is a long road that has no turning.

As the big hound is, so will the pup be.

A trade not properly learned is an enemy.

Put silk on a goat, and it’s still a goat.

When the liquor was gone the fun was gone

There is no fireside like your own fireside.

It is not a secret if it is known by three people.

It takes time to build castles. Rome was not built in a day.

The man with the boots does not mind where he places his foot.

If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn.

When a twig grows hard it is difficult to twist it. Every beginning is weak.


Proverbs – Wisdom and advice 2.

Wisdom and Advice 

  • No man can serve two masters.
  • No man is indispensable.
  • No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come.
  • No news is good news.
  • No one should be judge in his own cause.
  • Nothing is certain but death and taxes.
  • Old habits die hard.
  • One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.
  • One man’s gravy is another man’s poison.
  • One man’s loss is another man’s gain.
  • One picture is worth ten thousand words.
  • One swallow does not make a summer.
  • Opportunity seldom knocks twice.
  • Paper can’t wrap up a fire.
  • Prevention is better than cure.
  • Rats desert a sinking ship.
  • Recognize and deal with reality, no matter how unpleasant it may be.
  • Seeing is believing.
  • Sharing and giving are the ways of God.
  • Something is better than nothing.
  • Spare the rod and spoil the child.
  • Speak when you’re spoken to.
  • Speech is silver, but silence is golden.
  • Still waters run deep.
  • Success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan.
  • The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
  • The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
  • The dawn does not come twice to awaken a man.
  • The end justifies the means.
  • The eyes are the mirror of the soul.
  • The hand you cannot bite, kiss.
  • The heart of man and the bottom of the sea are unfathomable.
  • the higher the monkey climbs the more he shows his tail.
  • The more one knows, the less one believes.
  • The rich man has his ice in the summer and the poor man gets his in the winter.
  • The sea refuses no river.
  • The squeaking wheel gets the oil.
  • There is no death, only a change of worlds.
  • There’s a black sheep in every flock.
  • They that dance must pay the fiddler.
  • Things are not always what they seem.
  • Two dogs are fighting for a bone, a third runs away with it.
  • Two’s company, but three’s a crowd.
  • United we stand, divided we fall.
  • We are not so much concerned if you are slow as when you come to a halt.
  • We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
  • What can’t be cured must be endured.
  • What you don’t know can’t hurt you.
  • When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
  • When the cat’s away, the mice will play.
  • Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery.
  • You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.
  • You cannot have your cake and eat it.
  • You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs.
  • You can’t tell a book by its cover.
  • You can’t wake up a person who is pretending to be asleep.
  • You don’t get something for nothing.
  • You never miss the water till the well runs dry.
  • You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.

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(originally published on

Proverbs – Wisdom and advice

Wisdom and Advice 

  • Don’t cry over spilt milk.
  • A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
  • A fair exchange is no robbery.
  • A leopard cannot change his spots.
  • A man should not be struck when he is down.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • After a storm comes a calm.
  • All is fish that comes to the net.
  • All roads lead to Rome.
  • All that glitters is not gold.
  • All the fingers can’t be of the same length.
  • April showers bring May flowers.
  • Bad news travels fast.
  • Barking dogs seldom bite.
  • Beggars can’t be choosers.
  • Better late than never.
  • Better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness.
  • Beware of a quiet dog and still water.
  • Curiosity killed the cat.
  • Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.
  • Dream different dreams while on the same bed.
  • Each person is his own judge.
  • Every land has its own law.
  • Every seed knows its time.
  • Everybody laughs in the same language.
  • Faith will move mountains.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt.
  • Few desires, happy life.
  • Fingers were made before forks.
  • Fire is a good servant, but a bad master.
  • Flies never visit an egg that has no crack.
  • Forgive and forget.
  • Go abroad and you’ll hear news of home.
  • God helps them that help themselves.
  • Good fences make good neighbours.
  • He who touches honey is compelled to lick his fingers.
  • If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
  • If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
  • If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
  • If you are ready to believe, you are easy to deceive.
  • If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
  • Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.
  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
  • In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • It is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.
  • Jack of all trades, master of none.
  • Keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
  • Let us sit bent, but talk straight.
  • Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
  • Look before you leap.
  • Lookers-on see most of the game.
  • Man cannot live by bread alone.
  • Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.
  • Might is right.
  • Might makes right.
  • Money cannot buy happiness. It can, however, rent it.
  • Money isn’t everything.
  • Never say never.
  • Never speak ill of the dead.

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(originally published on

Proverbs – Business


  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • Business before pleasure.
  • Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
  • Don’t put the cart before the horse.
  • Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
  • Everybody’s business is nobody’s business.
  • Great minds think alike.
  • Haste makes waste.
  • He is the best general who makes the fewest mistakes.
  • He knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
  • He that cannot obey cannot command.
  • He who is master of himself will soon be master of others.
  • He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
  • He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
  • Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
  • If you can’t beat them, join them.

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  • If you run after two hares, you’ll catch neither.
  • It is best to be on the safe side.
  • More haste, less speed.
  • Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  • When in doubt, do nothing.

(originally published on

Proverbs – Encouragement


  • A book holds a house of gold.
  • A fault confessed is half redressed.
  • A little pot is soon hot.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
  • A stitch in time saves nine.
  • A teacher will appear when the student is ready.
  • Ask the experienced rather than the learned.
  • Diligence is the mother of good luck.
  • Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
  • Eat to live, not live to eat.
  • Empty sacks will never stand upright.
  • Even a clock that does not work is right twice a day.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • Every man has his faults.
  • Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  • Experience is the best teacher.
  • He who laughs last, laughs best.
  • If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t make anything.
  • Little strokes fell great oaks.
  • Make hay while the sun shines.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • No pain, no gain.
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  • Spare the rod and spoil the child.
  • The early bird catches the worm.
  • The first step is the hardest.
  • The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
  • There’s a first time for everything.
  • Thinking without learning is a dangerous thing.
  • To err is human.
  • Where there is a will, there is a way.
  • You never know what is enough unless you know more than enough.
  • You never know what you can do till you try.

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(originally published on

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