Are you familiar with some proverbs or sayings from America? They are another good way to learn English.
Especially, this way is very interesting because the expressions mirror the particular culture or society. And the words are all witty or wise that’s why they survived the test of time. They were passed from one generation to another – by word of mouth.
For you, this is a good way to learn English because you first try to understand (1) the meaning before you think about (2) the grammar. You can learn longer sentences just by understanding the situation in which they are used; not word by word.
Finally, if you memorize these sayings (and use them with the right timing), not only will you sound clever, but you will also learn sentence-making naturally.
Most important of all, you can use these sayings as guidelines for each day. Like principles to follow towards a better personality – or perhaps success in life.
- “TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE.”
= Meaning: If two people think at the same time, they can arrive at a solution faster or they can make a better decision. It’s not good to think about a difficult problem alone, so you should accept someone’s offer or ask for someone’s help.
(*Note: This isn't commonly used for personal problems. It's better with "task" problems)
- “THE MORE, THE MERRIER.”
= Meaning: This saying is similar to No. 1, but this is casual or informal because this talks about a party or any other get-together. If somebody asks to join your group, or if your group is hesitating to invite more people, you can say: “The more, the merrier!” ==> The more people come or join, the happier everybody will be.
- “ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER.”
= Meaning: This is a very positive saying which is a bit similar to the Indian concept of “karma.” But “karma” involves both good and bad things while this only talks about the good. It means that when people do good things to others, good things will also happen to them.
- “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, MAKE LEMONADE.”
= Meaning: This is another very positive saying which basically means don’t be discouraged when life’s too hard. Stop complaining and, instead, if you can find a way to make something good out of the bad things that are happening to you, just do that. Stay positive.
- “AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY.”
= Meaning: Turn to the next one, because that saying has a very similar meaning to this.
- “AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN A POUND OF CURE.”
= Meaning: This and Saying No.5 both mean: If you do something as simple as eating fruit regularly etc., you can avoid wasting a lot of money in the future on hospital bills. If you try to keep a healthy lifestyle (prevention), then you won’t get sick and you won’t need to see the doctor or go to the hospital (cure).
- “BIRDS OF THE SAME FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER.”
= Meaning: People with the same character, interests, ideas, tastes, styles etc. usually go together. This is used to talk about friends or group members with similar characteristics. And this can be used to mean either good or bad, depending on the situation.
- “TELL ME WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE AND I’LL TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE.”
= Meaning: This one is also similar in meaning to the one before it. But Saying No. 7 refers to the group of people as a whole while this talks about one person and his/ her friends more directly. This also means you should be careful in choosing your friends because your choice of companions mirrors your own personality or thinking. And people can judge you based on the kind of friends that you keep.
- “EASIER SAID THAN DONE.”
= Meaning: Some things are easy to say but hard to do. This can be used to criticize someone who talks a lot but doesn’t act. Or someone who proposes one way but that way is more difficult than he/ she is saying.
- “THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD.”
= Meaning: Words are stronger than physical strength or brute force. This is often used to talk about the media, newspapers etc. fighting and beating powerful, corrupt politicians. Or, when a written campaign against violence or crime wins. This means intelligence (usually in the form of writing) is in fact, quite ironically, stronger than real physical power.
P.S. These sayings were chosen by me randomly, for no particular reason. If you are familiar with any other, please feel free to share them here too, or to ask me if you’re not sure about their meaning.