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  • Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

  • Are you ready to learn about useful proverbs?

  • Let's talk about it.

  • Part of having an advanced English vocabulary is knowing phrasal verbs, idioms and yes,

  • proverbs.

  • But if you search on Google English proverbs, you're going to find lists of 150 proverbs.

  • That's way too much.

  • Nobody wants that, and when I looked at those, half of them, I didn't know what they were

  • and I've never used most of them in my life.

  • You don't want to waste your time.

  • If native speakers don't use them, then you don't need to know them unless of course you

  • know everything about English already and you want to know more of the stuff that I

  • don't even know, okay, go ahead.

  • Today I want to help you learn seven common proverbs that native speakers actually use

  • in real life.

  • If you use these, native speakers won't look at you like you're strange because these are

  • normal.

  • Don't use a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  • We never say this.

  • It sounds pretentious.

  • Pretentious means snobby or stuck up.

  • Instead, use these seven proverbs, like normal people.

  • Sometimes English learners find it difficult to learn proverbs because proverbs can be

  • long sentences or at least a couple words all together that you need to know in the

  • exact order, but the good news is that all of these seven proverbs can be shortened to

  • just a few words.

  • We'll talk about that in just a moment.

  • But let's get started with the first four.

  • Number one, actions speak louder than words.

  • If you tell your mom that you're going to take out the trash and you don't do it, she

  • might say to you, "Actions speak louder than words, just do it."

  • Or you can reduce this proverb and use the expression, "You know what they say about

  • actions."

  • We're going to be filling in that final word with something different for each proverb.

  • So if you don't take out the trash and your mom says to you, "Actions speak louder than

  • words."

  • Well, she might say, instead, "You know what they say about actions," and she's expecting

  • that you know this proverb.

  • She's expecting that in your head, you will fill in actions speak louder than words.

  • So you will definitely hear this and you can use this.

  • Oh, you know what they say about actions.

  • It means that actions speak louder than words.

  • So what you're doing right now is not matching with your words.

  • Actions speak louder than words.

  • Let's see how this kind of phrase, the shortening in this phrase would work with another proverb.

  • Proverb number two, honesty is the best policy.

  • Just like all proverbs.

  • This is a little bit too simple.

  • Sometimes honesty is not the best option, at least 100%.

  • Honesty, you don't want to say, "That dress looks terrible on you."

  • Probably not a good idea to be completely honest in this situation, but in general,

  • honesty is a great idea.

  • So we could say honesty is the best policy.

  • What if we used our shortening expression?

  • You know what they say about honesty.

  • So let's imagine that at work, one of your friends saw that someone else was stealing

  • some supplies from the office and your friend says to you, "Should I tell our boss?

  • I don't want to tattle."

  • That means to tell on the other person, "But I don't think it's right.

  • What should I do?"

  • You might say, "Well, you know what they say about honesty," and you're expecting that

  • your friend knows this proverb because all native speakers know this proverb.

  • Honesty is the best policy.

  • You're expecting that your friend will think, "Oh yeah, honesty is the best policy.

  • I should be honest.

  • I should tell my boss about this situation."

  • So you can say honesty is the best policy, or you can use our special phrase, you know

  • what they say about honesty.

  • Let's go onto the third one.

  • The third common proverb is no news is good news.

  • Let me tell you a quick story.

  • When my husband went to college, which is where I met him, the college was eight hours

  • away from where his parents lived and when he went to college, he was so into the activities

  • and into studying, kind of studying that he didn't call his mom for two months.

  • So in this situation his mom could have said, "Well, no news is good news."

  • This means that if there was a big problem, she would probably know about it.

  • Either Dan, my husband, would call her or maybe the school would call her.

  • So if there's no news, it's probably good news.

  • We can shorten this expression with our key phrase, "Well, you know what they say about

  • no news."

  • So maybe if a Dan's parents are having a conversation and they're saying, "Why didn't Dan call us?

  • Is he okay?

  • It's been two months."

  • Dan's dad might say to his mom, "Well, you know what they say about no news," and Dan's

  • mom might say, "Yeah, yeah, I know.

  • Okay, well he's probably fine."

  • So we can shorten it by using that expression.

  • The fourth common proverb is better late than never.

  • This is one of my favorite excuses for being late because you don't really have to explain

  • why you're late.

  • You can just say, "Hey, better late than never," which means you should be happy that I'm here

  • at all.

  • It's better to be late than to never come to that place.

  • So better late than never.

  • How can we shorten this?

  • Using the phrase, "Well, you know what they say about," we can't use the previous style,

  • which is just taking that first word.

  • Instead, we're going to have to make a little verb phrase here, you know what they say about

  • being late.

  • You know what they say about being late.

  • It's better than ever coming.

  • So here, if you come to a party late and everyone's already there, they're already eating.

  • You could say, "Better late than never," or maybe if you're the host of a party and someone,

  • one of your friends comes to the party late, you could say, "Better late than never."

  • Or you might say, "Well, you know what they say about being late," and it just shows,

  • "Hey, I'm glad you're here.

  • Even though you're late.

  • Who Cares?

  • I'm glad you're here."

  • Before we go onto the next three proverbs, let's do a quick review.

  • You could say, "You know what they say about actions.

  • You know what they say about honesty.

  • You know what they say about no news.

  • You know what they say about being late."

  • All right, let's go onto the next three proverbs, which we can shorten in a different way.

  • The fifth proverb that we commonly use is slow and steady wins the race.

  • Slow and steady wins the race.

  • This comes from the fable of the tortoise or a turtle and the hare, another word for

  • a rabbit.

  • They're in a race.

  • The hare goes quickly and then gets often distracted, but the tortoise, the turtle goes

  • slow and steady.

  • He is consistent and because he doesn't stop, he wins the race.

  • Maybe you don't want to learn all seven of these proverbs and memorize them today, but

  • you're going to memorize one every day for a week.

  • You are going to study slow and steady, great.

  • But how can we shorten this expression?

  • We often just say slow and steady.

  • It just means the same thing.

  • Slow and steady wins the race.

  • Let's imagine a quick situation.

  • If you're cleaning your house and it just seems like a total disaster.

  • There's so much mess everywhere and your friend comes over and says, "What in the world are

  • you doing?

  • This looks like a disaster."

  • You could say, "Slow and steady, slow and steady," and this means that you're cleaning

  • slowly but steadily.

  • It might look like a disaster, but don't worry, slowly and steadily you will clean your house.

  • You can just say, "Slow and steady, slow and steady," and they can understand that by being

  • slow and by being steady, you will win the race.

  • You will win the cleaning mess.

  • Let's go onto the sixth proverb, which we can also shorten by saying just the first

  • couple words.

  • The sixth proverb is the grass is always greener on the other side.

  • Grass is the little plants, the little green leaves that come up in a soccer field, that's

  • grass.

  • Have you ever been out to eat at a restaurant and you see your friends' food and you think,

  • "I wish I'd ordered that."

  • You're kind of jealous of their food.

  • Well, in the situation the grass is their food.

  • Someone else's thing seems better than yours.

  • The grass is greener on the other side.

  • The origin of this proverb is a lawn or a yard.

  • There is a fence and there's your lawn and there's your neighbor's lawn.

  • Their lawn always looks better than your lawn, at least that's what you think.

  • You're a little bit jealous because their thing looks better than your thing.

  • But here we have a subtle meaning with this idiom.

  • It means that you think their food is better.

  • You think their grass is greener.

  • But in reality it's probably not.

  • It's just in your head.

  • What someone else has always seems better than what we have.

  • So here it's kind of a false perception.