English Proverbs that Can Change Your Life

Can you recall those short stories that were told to you in your childhood days? Do you remember the moral lessons you used to hear in the end?

If yes, you might also be well aware of the word “proverb” or “Sayings”. In the olden days, moral education was imparted verbally which gave birth to such use of words that have a very deep meaning.

If we define a proverb, we can say that a proverb is a short combination of words that either gives you a piece of advice or has something quite truthful attached to it.

In this series of learning English, we will look into some proverbs which give you certain lessons about life.

Given below are 15 proverbs that can act as a piece of advice in your life:

1. A stitch in time saves nine.


You might have come across this proverb many times or have heard about it from someone. This proverb means that one should tackle problems immediately or they can be more time-consuming later. In other words, the proverb conveys that one should always try to correct their mistakes on time or it becomes quite difficult to do the same later.

समय रहते संभल जाने से बड़ी से बड़ी मुश्किलें टल जाती हैं।


“Please repair the small problems that are there in the bike now or it can lead you to serious trouble as it is said that a stitch in time saves nine,” said the mechanic.

2. Fortune favours the brave.


We often blame our stars for our failures and escape from initiating any task or our duty but it is not stars that control things it is we who work hard and achieve success in our respective lives. When we say “Fortune favours the brave,” it means that luck or fortune will be forced to be in our favour if we work hard towards achieving our desired goal.

भाग्य/ किस्मत हिम्मती लोगों का साथ देती हैं।


Don’t just blindly believe in fortune for success, take initiative, and work hard as fortune favours the brave.

3. God helps those who help themselves.


Most of us pray to god before exams to help us clear our exams, but we ignore the importance of our efforts and the necessary steps to be taken to do so. That is why it is rightly said that god helps us only when we learn to help ourselves. To be very precise, one can assume that this proverb advises us to make efforts from our side, and then have faith in God.

भगवान उन्हीं की मदद करते हैं जो खुदकी मदद करना जानते हैं।


Give your best in everything you do with full faith in god as god helps only those who help themselves.

4. Pen is mightier than the sword.


This proverb signifies the importance of words and expressions over violence in any situation. Expressions can speak louder than words and address the issues more effectively. Symbolically, it also says that one should avoid violence.

कलम एक तलवार से ज़्यादा शक्तिशाली है।


Use your pen to bring revolutions in the world as a pen is considered mightier than a sword.

5. Honesty is the best policy.


Most of you may be well acquainted with this saying and may have heard it too. This proverb praises one of the most important virtues of life which is “Honesty”. This proverb means that one should always be honest in one’s life.

ईमानदारी सबसे अच्छी नीति है।


Someone has rightly said that honesty is the best policy.

6. Cleanliness is next to godliness.


It is a mythological belief that god comes to such places where there is cleanliness. So, it is said that we should keep our surroundings neat and clean to welcome god to our place. This also signifies that one should always keep their surroundings clean to avoid any kind of disease and to stay healthy.

सफाई एक तरह की भक्ति से कम नहीं है।


Bharat Swachchhata Abhiyaan was an initiative to make the country clean as it is said that cleanliness is next to godliness.

7. Don’t judge a book by its cover.


How often do we underestimate a person’s potential by judging his/her dress or his/her standard of living? This proverb states that we should not judge a person on the basis of their looks or attire, instead we should respect everyone. In a nutshell, it means that one cannot tell about any other person by just looking at him/her.

किसी भी पुस्तक को उसके आवरण से नहीं नापना चाहिए।


People in the crowd were staring at the man in a dhoti and kurta, but when the man came up on the stage and delivered his speech, everyone was stunned. This is why it is said to never judge a book by its cover.

8. All’s well that ends well.


This is also one of the most commonly used proverbs which means that the difficulties are worth it or do not matter if the end result is in our favour.

अंत भला तो सब भला।


After a long struggle, he has achieved a good position in the business. While sharing his story he talked about the ups and downs that came his way. To put an end word to it he said, “All’s well that ends well”.

9. As you sow, so shall you reap.


This proverb is a very good life lesson which means that the soil will help the germination of the same plant of which the seed was sown.  Metamorphically, it means a child would grow with the same moral and ethical values with which he or she was nurtured right from their childhood.

जैसा बीज बोओगे वैसा फल पाओगे।


Nurture your kids with the right ethical values so that they can transform themselves into good human beings because you should know that as you sow so shall you reap.

10. Better late than never.


This proverb is used to motivate a person who doesn’t understands the importance of time. Time, as we say, is money. This proverb means  that it is beneficial for you to do something or arrive after the scheduled or expected time than not do it or arrive at all.

देर आए दुरुस्त आए।


I got the money. Well, better late than never.

11. An idle brain is a devil’s workshop.


This proverb relates to the importance of work in our life. We often tend to sit idle and do nothing, this makes us involved in something irrelevant and we start wasting our time. To avoid such circumstances, this proverb suggests a person to indulge himself or herself in work and spend their time doing something useful and be productive.

खाली दिमाग शैतान का घर होता है।


Invest your time doing something productive. Sitting idle is not a good option. It is said that an empty mind is a devil’s workshop.

12. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.


This proverb means that we often think that others are in a better position than us.

हम अक्सर ये सोचते हैं कि दूसरे हमसे ज़दा खुश हैं।


My life seems too peaceful and full of fun to everyone. All I can say is the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

13. A happy heart is better than a full purse.


Contentment is no less than a blessing in one’s life. It is greed that makes us run after wealth. This proverb tells us to avoid doing anything unethical or immoral. It means that one should be happy at heart, fully contended, and not blindly run after hoarding wealth.

दिल से संतुष्ट होना पैसे से ज़्यादा ज़रूरी है।


When I look at him, I believe that a happy heart is better than a full purse.

14. All that glitters is not gold.


We are always fascinated by sparkling things and get attracted to them. The same is the case with “mirage”. In the desert, we think that there is water at some distance but in reality, there is no such thing. This is what this proverb signifies that what is seen to be shining may not always be gold. One should not be lured with something that seems fascinating or too good.

हर चमकती चीज़ सोना नहीं होती।


People were deceived by an insurance company that promised them a high return. Beware of such things as all that glitters is not gold.

15. A tree is known for its fruits.


This proverb means that the worth of a person is judged based on the deeds and actions of that person.

एक पेड़ अपने फल से ही जाना जाता है।


The Government has promised that it would provide more employment in the upcoming years. The tree is known by its fruits – let’s see what happens now.


To be specific, parroting up concepts mindlessly and not understanding the concepts is what makes our learning monotonous. Instead of doing that, one should focus on learning based on their understanding and also learn things that are used in one’s daily life such as proverbs.

In addition, learning English through Hindi is now quite easy. Go for Awal’s Spoken English Course and start your speaking and writing practice to be fluent in English.


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