What is a Proverb?

A proverb is a simple and concrete saying and is popularly defined as short expressions, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience.

Few examples are:-

A good mind possesses a kingdom.

  • Meaning: Material assets are fleeting, but intellectual assets will basically stay with you for the rest of your life. Therefore, intellectual assets are much more worth than material ones.

Advisers run no risks.

  • Meaning: It is easy to give advice, but hard to act.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

  • You don’t lose anything by enlightening others.

 

Proverbs are wise sayings in a language based on the practical experiences of different kinds. They can mostly be used independently to explain a situation in very few words.
Here are some common proverbs used in English which you can also use in your day to day talks to cut the long talk short and still convey it with same conviction.

 

1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder – Our love for the loved ones grows more with the distance.
The two brothers deeply wish to meet as they haven’t seen each other since 10 years. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

2. Accidents will happen in the best regulated families – Unforeseen can happen with anybody.
You need to be extremely cautious with electricity – The accidents will happen in the best regulated families.

3. Actions speak louder than words – What people do shows more about them than what they just say.
Hearing about her friend’s illness, she directly reached the hospital with a cheque of 50,000 /-. Her concern was evident – after all, actions speak louder than words.

4. Appearances are deceptive – Internal truth of a person is usually different from what is visible outside.
You should not believe strangers immediately. Appearances can be deceptive.

5. Never judge by appearances – Don’t use looks as the criteria to assess someone.
I saw the CEO of a big blue chip company hanging out with his friends at a local market in casual attire. Its true that you can’t judge someone by their appearance.

6. An apple a day keeps the doctor away – An apple eaten everyday keeps you in good health.
My father has always stayed in a good health with his habit of eating an apple everyday. For him, An apple a day keeps the doctor away has worked well.

7. Art is long, life is short. – Life is too short to learn all the art in this world.
She always complained of getting bored. I advised her to learn some music or painting. After all, Art is long, life is short.

8. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours – If you help me, I’ll help you.
America is pushing the Indian government for FDI in retail. Indian government will get the foreign currency while America gets a big market for its goods. The principle is simple – You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

9. Beauty is only skin deep – Never judge by appearance – A good looking woman may not necessarily be good by character.
My daughter-in-law is very beautiful but very cunning – Beauty is only skin deep.

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