13 English Idioms and Proverbs

Idioms and Proverbs

13 English Idioms and Proverbs (Meanings and Examples)

List of 13 English Idioms and Proverbs

While you are talking with native speakers, they sometimes say things you don't understand. This is not because you don’t have the vocabulary to understand them, but because the sentences just don’t make sense to you. On the other hand, it’s possible that you might understand the idiomatic expression they use, because your mother tongue has similar expressions. You can probably find these kind of expressions in nearly every language.

Here you can discover some interesting and useful English expressions with their explanation and some examples.

13 English Idioms and Expressions with their meanings

Actions speak louder than words

Actions speak louder than words.

It will prove more if you not only say that you’re going to do something, but you actually do it. 
“Instead of telling her I love her, I bought her 12 red roses. Actions speak louder than words.”

Two heads are better than one

Two heads are better than one.

A second opinion is helpful.
“If you want I can help you come up with ideas for the essay. Two heads are better than one.”

The early bird catches the worm

The early bird catches the worm.

If you are early you have an advantage over others.
“My boss advised me to come in before 9am because, as we all know, the early bird catches the worm.”

Two wrongs don't make a right

Two wrongs don't make a right.

If somebody else did something bad to you, it won’t become right again if you take revenge.
“I know he stole my pen, but I decided not to steal his. My mom always taught me that two wrongs don’t make a right.”

You can't judge a book by its cover

You can't judge a book by its cover.

Even if something doesn’t look really appealing, it’s what’s inside that counts.
“He was dressed in rags, but he is actually a college professor. I suppose you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Many hands make light work

Many hands make light work

If more than one person works on something it’s easier directly.
“The job was taking me such a long time, then my friends arrived and we finished everything in 10 minutes. I guess it’s true that many hands make light work.”

When in Rom do as the Romans do

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

If you’re away from home, you should respect the other culture and behave accordingly.
“When I visited Ireland I had to try the Guinness stew. You know what they say ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’.”

There's no time like the present

There's no time like the present.

If you can do something immediately, don’t wait until you can’t do it anymore. Now is the best time to do whatever you want or need to do.
“I decided to start the project today because there’s no time like the present.”

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Your love for someone/something grows when you’re away from him/her/it.
“I never realized how important my parents were until I started travelling. I suppose absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

You can’t criticize somebody for a weakness that you have as well.
“She was criticizing me for being late, but she arrives late every day! People in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Everything is beautiful for someone in the world, even if you can’t see it.
“That dog is so ugly, I don’t know why she loves it so much. I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Don’t just concentrate on one way to achieve your objective.
"You should apply to more than one university, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket."

The pen is mightier than the sword

The pen is mightier than the sword.

You can achieve more with words than with force.
“I wrote an email instead starting a big fight, the pen is mightier than the sword.”

Have you already heard some of those and couldn’t understand what the person you were talking to meant? Well, hopefully now you can understand them. You can use these English expressions every time they fit in a situation. Don’t use them, when you know that it will hurt somebody, remember to be kind.

I hope you will enjoy using them and have nice Christmas holidays!

Download free PDF of Idioms

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Privacy policy: I have understood Everest's Privacy Policy and want to receive promotional material from the school