Idiomatic Expressions | Proverbs

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In Idiomatic Expressions | Proverbs episode, you will learn about proverbs used in conversations as idioms. You will learn about some proverbs used in positive situations, negative situations and other common proverbs.

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Danny: Welcome to a new episode from English Plus podcast. And today it’s about idiomatic expressions and we will focus in this episode on proverbs. Now, what are proverbs? Proverbs are short sentences, which refer to something most people have experienced and which give advice or warnings. Like idioms, their form is fixed.

[00:00:29] So you can’t change it. You can’t just add words and replace words if you like, because they come as they are, they are fixed and it is not always possible to guess the meaning from looking at the individual words. Now we will get some examples of proverbs for positive situations and proverbs for negative situations.

[00:00:51] And some other popular proverbs, I will have Ben to help me. We will have mini conversations and then we will explore the meaning of some common proverbs. And we will start with these that talk about positive situations. Now let’s start with the first one. You’re ready, Ben?

[00:01:08] Ben: Yes, let’s do it.

[00:01:09] Danny: Okay.  We all want to solve this problem and I’m sure we’ll find a solution.

[00:01:15] Ben: Yes. Where there’s a will. There’s a way.

[00:01:18] Danny: So here we have our first proverb where there’s a will there’s a way. Just let me remind you when we said these are Proverbs and they’re fixed. So you have to use them in exactly the same way we just used them here. You can’t change where and put when you can’t change there’s a will, you say there are wills; there are ways,  etc. It’s always like this where there’s a will there’s a way, but now Ben, can you tell me what you’re trying to say when you use this expression or obviously proverb?

[00:01:51] Ben: Yes. Obviously you said that we want to solve this problem and I’m sure we’ll find a solution, and I’m trying to tell you that if you really want to achieve something, you can, and this is why I used where there’s a will there’s a way that simply means if you want to achieve something, you can.

[00:02:11] Danny: So just a quick thing before we move on to other Proverbs, why didn’t you just say that? Why don’t you tell me if you really want to achieve something you can, instead of saying where there’s a will, there’s a way?

[00:02:23] Ben: Well, obviously, we can do that, but if you think about it, it’s stronger.  When you say a proverb, when you use a proverb, it is deeper. It leaves a stronger impact.

[00:02:37] Danny: That’s correct. But let’s remind our listeners that yes, proverbs are stronger, but you have to be careful not to overuse them. Proverbs, like other idioms are stronger ways to say things, but if you overuse them, if you use a lot of proverbs in one conversation, you will be this kind of weird talker because usually people don’t use proverbs all the time. You can use it once and you can choose the right time to say a proverb, which leaves a great impact, but don’t use them all the time. That will sound a little bit weird. People don’t usually use them all that much. So it’s very important to understand the meaning of Proverbs and it is quite useful to use them now and then, but don’t overuse them.

[00:03:27] All right, saying that let’s move on to the next proverb. We’ll have to invest all our savings and work really hard. And there’s still a chance that the project won’t succeed.

[00:03:38] Ben: I know, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

[00:03:42] Danny: All right. So here we have our second proverb, nothing ventured, nothing gained. What do you mean by this Ben?

[00:03:49] Ben: Well, I mean to say, you need to take risks to achieve something.

[00:03:54] Danny: So that is the meaning of nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you don’t take risks, you are not probably going to achieve anything. It’s not always the case, but sometimes you need to take risks to achieve something. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

[00:04:09] All right, let’s move on to the next proverb. I was upset when I didn’t get into university, but at least it leaves me free to go traveling.

[00:04:18] Ben: Yeah. Every cloud has a silver lining.

[00:04:22] Danny: Well, that is our proverb. Every cloud has a silver lining. What do you mean by this? Ben? What does it mean? Every cloud has a silver lining.

[00:04:32] Ben: Well, I mean to say that there is something good in every bad situation. Now you told me that you didn’t get into university, which is a bad situation, but you also told me that at least it leaves you time to go traveling. So that is the silver lining. There is something good in every bad situation. Every cloud has a silver lining.

[00:04:54] Danny: That’s right. All right. Let’s move on to the next one. My job is different every day. It’s never boring.

[00:05:02] Ben: Well, variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?

[00:05:05] Danny: So that is our next proverb. Variety is the spice of life. What do you mean by that, Ben?

[00:05:12] Ben: Well, maybe this is one of the obvious proverbs, because you can tell the meaning from the words themselves, it simply means change makes life interesting.

[00:05:22] Variety is the spice of life.

[00:05:24] Danny: All right, now let’s move on to the next one. Josh found it impossible to get a new job, so he set up his own business instead.

[00:05:34] Ben: Yes. Well, necessity is the of invention.

[00:05:38] Danny: Okay. So necessity is the mother of invention. That’s our next proverb. What do you mean by that? Ben?

[00:05:46] Ben: What I mean by this?  That if people really need to do something, they will find a way to do it. Necessity is the mother of invention.

[00:05:55] Danny: So talked about some Proverbs we can use in positive situations. We said where there’s a will, there’s a way. And that means if we really want to achieve something, we can, we used nothing, ventured, nothing gained.

[00:06:09] And that means you need to take risks to achieve something. We used. Every cloud has a silver lining and that means there’s something good in every bad situation. We used variety is the spice of life, which means change makes life interesting. And we used necessity is the mother of invention, which means if people really need to do something, they will find a way to do it.

[00:06:34] Okay. Now let’s move on to talk about some proverbs that are used in negative situations. So let’s start with the first one. Marta ended her relationship with Jacob and the next day, her friend Ellie met Jacob for a drink all’s

[00:06:50] Ben: fair in love and war.

[00:06:52] Danny: Okay. So here, Ben kind of summed up what I said, but in a different way, by means of a proverb, he said all’s fair in love and war.

[00:07:00] So Ben what do you mean by saying all’s fair in love and war?

[00:07:03] Ben: Well, this proverb is used to say that all behavior is acceptable in extreme situations, especially in romantic situations and competitions. That’s not always a good idea, but all’s fair in love and war. That’s what it is.

[00:07:21] Danny: All right, so let’s move on to the next proverb.

[00:07:24] What a day my car broke down and my wallet has been stolen. It

[00:07:29] Ben: never rains, but it pours.

[00:07:31] Danny: Okay. So we have our next proverb. It never rains, but it pours. What does that mean, Ben?

[00:07:37] Ben: Well, it simply means that problem always happened together. It never rains, but it pours

[00:07:43] Danny: all right now for our next proverb. I wonder why Sylvia and Ben have broken?

[00:07:49] Ben: Well, it takes two to tango.

[00:07:51] Danny: Okay. We have our next proverb. It takes two to tango. What does that mean, Ben?

[00:07:57] Ben: Well, it means two people are equally responsible. It’s not the fault of one person. They are both equally responsible. It takes two to tango.

[00:08:07] Danny: Alright, now we’ll move on to talk about some other popular proverbs.

[00:08:11] I’m going to tell you about the proverb and Ben is going to help us understand the meaning of the proverb. I’m really impatient to finish decorating my flat, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

[00:08:23] Ben: Well here, Dan used Rome wasn’t built in a day, which is the proverb we have here. That means it takes a long time to do important things properly.

[00:08:34] Rome wasn’t built in a day.

[00:08:36] Danny: Okay. Now for our next one, we should buy extra travel insurance for our skiing trip. Better safe than sorry.

[00:08:43] Ben: All right. Better safe than sorry is a proverb that means it is better not to take risks, even if it seems boring or hard work.

[00:08:53] Danny: Okay. Now for the next one, I have to study hard and do a lot of exams to become an accountant, but no pain, no gain.

[00:09:02] Ben: All right. The proverb is no pain, no gain. And that means there must be some suffering in order to succeed.

[00:09:11] Danny: And for our last proverb for today, we don’t have enough tickets for everybody. So it’s a case of first come first served.

[00:09:20] Ben: So the last proverb is first come first served first come first served means the first to arrive will get something in this case, the tickets, because we don’t have enough tickets for everybody.

[00:09:32] Danny: So these were the Proverbs we have for you for today. I hope you found them useful. Let me remind you again. These Proverbs are very powerful ways to convey some of the ideas or some of the things you want to say, but remember not to overuse them.

[00:09:48] This being said, I would like to thank you very much for listening to the episode today. Don’t forget that you can find the transcript of this episode in the link we will leave in the description and there will be also a link to a quiz that you can find on my website. That will challenge you to guess the words missing in some other famous proverbs, other than the ones we talked about about here.

[00:10:13] So it is a chance for you to learn some other common proverbs and maybe make them part of your conversations to come. But remember, don’t overuse them.

[00:10:22] You will also find in the description, a link to support us on Patreon and become a patron of this show and help us create more episodes. And maybe one day, get to the dream of having the 24 seven radio show English plus radio station 24 seven broadcasting all over the world with a mission of spreading quality education for everybody for free. [00:10:46] These were your hosts. Dan and Ben saying, thank you very much for listening to another episode from English Plus podcast, and we’ll see you next time.

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