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Proverbs for ESL/EFL Beginners

There is a small collection of proverbs for ESL / EFL beginners.
You can read them in alphabetical or random order. You can read them aloud with TTS technology.
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A good name is better than riches.

Better a thousand enemies outside the house than one inside.

Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.

Better an open enemy than a false friend.

Better be alone than in bad company.

Better be born lucky than rich

Better be safe than sorry.

Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion.

Better deny at once than promise long.

Better early than late.

Better give a shilling than lend a half-crown.

Better late than never.

Better one word less than one too many.

Better to be eaten by a lion than to be eaten by a hyena.

Better two heads than one, better one head than a hundred.

Health is better than wealth.

Prevention is better than cure.

Cats and Dogs

A cat has nine lives.

A cat in gloves catches no mice.

A cat may look at a king.

A good dog deserves a good bone.

All cats are gray in the dark.

Barking dogs seldom bite.

Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion.

Curiosity killed the cat.

Dog does not eat dog.

Dumb dogs are dangerous.

Every dog has his day.

Every dog is a lion at home.

Every dog is allowed one bite.

Give a dog a bad name and hang him.

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Love me, love my dog.

Satisfy a dog with a bone and a woman with a lie

The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.

When the cat's away, the mice will play.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.


He that serves God for money will serve the devil for better wages.

He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.

Open not your door when the devil knocks.

The devil finds work for idle hands to do.

The devil is not so black as he is painted.

In hell one should pay court to the devil.

Talk of the devil, and he is bound to appear.

Tell the truth and shame the devil.

When flatterers meet, the devil goes to dinner.

The devil knows many things because he is old.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

An idle brain is the devil's workshop.

Every and Everything

A fool believes everything.

A piece of churchyard fits everybody.

Every dog is a lion at home.

Every family has a skeleton in the closet.

Every man is his own worst enemy.

Every man to his trade.

Every one to his taste.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Everything comes to him who waits.

Everything has its price.

Everything is best when it is ended.

Learning is a treasure which accompanies its owner everywhere.

There is a time and place for everything.

You can't please everyone.


A friend in need is a friend indeed.

A hedge between keeps friendship green.

All are not friends that speak us fair.

Better an open enemy than a false friend.

Books and friends should be few but good.

Choose an author as you choose a friend.

False friends are worse than open enemies.

Friends are thieves of time.

He that has a full purse never wanted a friend.

It is easier to visit your friends than to live with them.

Old friends and old wine are best.

Prosperity makes friends, and adversity tries them.

The friend that can be bought is not worth having.

Too many friends spoil the dinner.


Everyone for himself and God for us all.

God alone understands fools.

God defend me from my friends; from my enemies I can defend myself.

God gives, but man must open his hand.

God heals and the doctor gets the money.

God helps those that help themselves.

God is always on the side of the big battalions.

God loves the poor and helps the rich.

God takes care of fools and drunkards.

He who gets up early is rewarded by God.

Man proposes, God disposes.

The nearer the church, the farther from God.

There is no god except God.


A good beginning makes a good ending.

A good drink makes the old young.

A good face is a letter of recommendation.

A good surgeon has an eagle's eye, a lion's heart, and a lady's hand.

All good things must come to an end.

An honest man's word is as good as his bond.

Books and friends should be few but good.

Good fences make good neighbors.

Heaven protects the good man.

If you can't be good, be careful.

It is impossible to spoil what never was good.

No news is good news.

The best is oftentimes the enemy of the good.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The worst good day is always better than the best bad day.

There was never a good knife made of bad steel.

Life and Live

A light heart lives long.

A mad dog cannot live long.

All would live long, but none would be old.

Cows and sheep live together, but eagles fly alone.

Eat to live and not live to eat.

Friends are flowers in the garden of life.

He lives long that lives well.

He that lives long suffers much.

He who lives by the sword dies by the sword .

Life begins at forty .

Life is just a bowl of cherries .

Life is not all peaches and cream .

Life is sweet.

Live and learn.

Live and let live.

Only three things in life are certain: birth, death and change.

Reputations last longer than lives.

The best things in life are free.

There is no life without friendship .

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.


All is fair in love and war.

All the world loves a lover.

Coffee and love are best when they are hot.

He who loves a one-eyed girl thinks that one-eyed girls are beautiful.

Jealousy destroys love.

Love conquers all.

Love is blind.

Love laughs at locksmiths.

Love makes the world go round.

Love will find a way.

Love your neighbor, yet pull not down your hedge.

Lucky at cards, unlucky in love.

Music is the language of love.

Neither love nor a cough can be hidden.

No love like the first love.

Old love burns strong.

Salt water and absence wash away love.

The heart that loves is always young.

True love never grows old.


A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Actions speak louder than words.

An Englishman's home is his castle.

All roads lead to Rome.

Bad news travels fast.

Forbidden fruit is sweet.

Honesty is the best policy.

Never too late to learn.

Poverty is not a crime.

Rome was not built in a day.

Silence is golden.

The exception proves the rule.

The first step is always the hardest.

The shortest way is the best way.

There's no smoke without fire.

Walls have ears.


A fool and his money are soon parted.

A pretty face costs money.

Beauty is potent but money is omnipotent.

If you have the money your opinion is accepted.

Make money honestly if you can, but make money.

Money goes to money.

Money grows on the tree of patience.

Money has no smell.

Money is a good servant but a bad master.

Money is power.

Money often unmakes the men who make it.

No bees, no honey; no work, no money.

The abundance of money ruins youth.

The world stands on three things: money, money, and money.

Time is money.

He that has no money needs no purse.

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