Free ESL texts and learning materials

The old wide version of ESLMOBI.COM is created for ESL beginners.
It contains the free reading stuff in HTML: proverbs, quotations, riddles, jokes, ESL games, and more.


Proverb is a short well-known saying that expresses an obvious truth and often offers advice. Proverbs are part of every spoken language and folk literature. Often, the same proverb may be found in many variants.
Learn proverbs and improve yours vocabulary.

Proverbs: Better

Better a thousand enemies outside the house than one inside.
Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.
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.
Better be safe than sorry.
Health is better than wealth.
Prevention is better than cure.

Proverbs: Cats and dogs

A cat has nine lives.
A cat may look at a king.
All cats are gray in the dark.
Curiosity killed the cat.
When the cat's away, the mice will play.
A good dog deserves a good bone.
Barking dogs seldom bite.
Dog does not eat dog.
Every dog has his day.
Every dog is allowed one bite.
Give a dog a bad name and hang him.
Let sleeping dogs lie.
Love me, love my dog.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Proverbs: Every

Every family has a skeleton in the closet.
Every man is his own worst enemy.
You can't please everyone.
There is a time and place for everything.
Learning is a treasure which accompanies its owner everywhere.(Chinese proverb)
Everything comes to him who waits.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
A piece of churchyard fits everybody.
A fool believes everything.
Everything is best when it is ended.

Proverbs: God

God defend me from my friends; from my enemies I can defend myself.
God helps those that help themselves.
God is always on the side of the big battalions.
God takes care of fools and drunkards.
Man proposes, God disposes.

Proverbs: Good

Good fences make good neighbors.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
There was never a good knife made of bad steel.
No news is good news.
Books and friends should be few but good.
All good things must come to an end.
A good face is a letter of recommendation.
A good drink makes the old young.
It is impossible to spoil what never was good.

Proverbs: Love

All the world loves a lover.
No love like the first love.
Music is the language of love.
Lucky at cards, unlucky in love.
Love your neighbor, yet pull not down your hedge.
Love will find a way.
Love makes the world go round.
Love laughs at locksmiths.
Love conquers all.
All is fair in love and war.
Love is blind.
Old love burns strong.

Proverbs: Mixed

All roads lead to Rome.
Bad news travels fast.
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 shortest way is the best way.
There's no smoke without fire.
Two are an army against one.
Walls have ears.

Proverbs: Money

A fool and his money are soon parted.
Beauty is potent but money is omnipotent.
If you have the money your opinion is accepted. (Hebrew proverb.)
Make money honestly if you can, but make money. (U.S. proverb.)
Money goes to money.
Money grows on the tree of patience. (Japanese proverb.)
Money is power. (U.S. proverb.)
No bees, no honey; no work, no money.

ESL Proverbs: Work

A woman's work is never done.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Many hands make light work.
The devil finds work for idle hands to do.
There is no work in the grave. (U.S. proverb.)
If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
The hardest work of all is to do nothing.
The work is afraid of its master.
A change of work is as good as a rest. (Irish Proverb.)
The work praises the man. (Irish Proverb.)

Quotations for ESL students

Quotations for ESL students: 1-10

1. Delay always breeds danger.
(Miguel de Cervantes 1547 - 1616)

2. It is impossible to love and be wise.
(Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626)

3. Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.
(Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626)

4. An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.
(Henry Wotton 1568 - 1639)

5. A man is as old as his arteries.
(Thomas Sydenham 1624 - 1689)

6. Man is a social animal.
(Baruch Spinoza 1632 - 1677)

7. The haste of a fool is the slowest thing in the world.
(Thomas Shadwell 1642 - 1692)

8. Sweet things are bad for the teeth.
(Jonathan Swift 1667 - 1745)

9. A moment of time may make us unhappy for ever.
( John Gay 1685 - 1732)

10. Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
(Benjamin Franklin 1706 - 1790)

Quotations for ESL students: 11-20

11. Man is a tool-making animal.
(Benjamin Franklin 1706 - 1790)

12. The parks are the lungs of London.
(William Pitt the Elder 1708 - 1778)

13. Where laws end, tyranny begins.
(William Pitt the Elder 1708 - 1778)

14.Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
(Samuel Johnson 1709 - 1784)

15. Somebody had said, that a king may make a nobleman, but he cannot make a gentleman.
( Edmund Burke 1729 - 1797)

16. The art of life is the art of avoiding pain.
(Thomas Jefferson 1743 - 1826)

17. There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.
(George Sand 1804 - 1876)

18.There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.
(Benjamin Disraeli 1804 - 1881)

19. A man should never put on his best trousers when he goes out to battle for freedom and truth.
( Henrik Ibsen 1828 - 1906)

20. A rich man's joke is always funny.
(Thomas Edward Brown 1830 - 1897)

Quotations for ESL students: 21-30

21. A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
( Samuel Butler 1835 - 1902)

22. A constitutional king must learn to stoop.
(Leopold II , Belgian monarch 1835 - 1909)

23. A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.
(John D. Rockefeller 1839 - 1937)

24. Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration.
(Thomas Alva Edison 1847 - 1931)

25. A gentleman need not know Latin, but he should at least have forgotten it. (Brander Matthews 1852 - 1929)

26. Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
(Oscar Wilde 1854 - 1900)
**bludgeon = hit somebody with heavy object.**

27.Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.
(Henri Poincar 1854 - 1912)

28. The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick.
(L. Frank Baum 1856 - 1919)

29. He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
(George Bernard Shaw 1856 - 1950)

30. When a man's education is finished, he is finished.
(E. A. Filene 1860 - 1937)

Quotations for ESL students: 31-40

31. An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.
(Nicholas Murray Butler 1862 - 1947)

32. There are only two classes of mankind in the world - doctors and patients.
(Rudyard Kipling 1865 - 1936)

33. An expert is a man who has stopped thinking. Why should he think? He is an expert.
(Frank Lloyd Wright 1867 - 1959)

34. Life is the game that must be played.
(Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869 - 1935)

35. A library is thought in cold storage.
( Herbert Samuel 1870 - 1963)

36. A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
( G. K. Chesterton 1874 - 1936)

37. You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
(G. K. Chesterton 1874 - 1936)

38. A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.
(Robert Frost 1874 - 1963)

39. A thick skin is a gift from God.
(Konrad Adenauer 1876 - 1967)

40. A single death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.
( Joseph Stalin 1879 - 1953)

Quotations for ESL students: 41-50

41. Facts are not science - as the dictionary is not literature.
(Martin H. Fischer 1879 - 1962)

42. A good gulp of hot whisky at bedtime - it's not very scientific, but it helps.
(Alexander Fleming 1881 - 1955)

43. There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, learning, and yearning.
(Christopher Darlington Morley 1890 - 1957)

44. Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.
(John Diefenbaker 1895 - 1979)

45. All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.

( Ernest Hemingway 1899 - 1961)

46. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
(Ernest Hemingway 1899 - 1961)

47. A good reader has imagination, memory, a dictionary, and some artistic sense.
(Vladimir Nabokov 1899 - 1977)

48. When a diplomat says yes, he means perhaps. When he says perhaps he means no. When he says no, he is not a diplomat. When a lady says no, she means perhaps. When she says perhaps, she means yes. But when she says yes, she is no lady.
(Lord Denning 1899 - 1999)

49. Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be read once.
(Cyril Connolly 1903-1974)

50. A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
(Bob Hope 1903-2003)

Quotations for ESL students: 51-60

51. In the factory we make cosmetics; in the store we sell hope.
(Charles Revson 1906-1975)

52. Is it progress if a cannibal uses knife and fork?
(Stanislaw Lec 1909-1966)

53. The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
(John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917 - 1963)

54. A pessimist is a man who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.
( Laurence J. Peter 1919 - 1990)

55. History is written by the winners.
(Alex Haley 1921 - 1992)

56. Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
(Marilyn Monroe 1926 - 1962)

57. A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
(Kenneth Tynan 1927 - 1980)

58. The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes.
(Stanley Kubrick 1928-)

59. Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
(John Lennon 1940 - 1980)

60. Comedy is tragedy that happens to other people.
(Angela Carter 1940 - 1992)

Riddles for ESL students

A riddle is a question, or statement of a problem, so worded as to have a double, or hidden, meaning.
One famous riddle, found in Greek mythology, was solved by Oedipus.
The Sphinx of Thebes asked him: " What animal is it that in the morning goes on four feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three?"
Oedipus replied, "Man, who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in adulthood walks on two legs, and in old age he uses a stick for better support as a third leg."

See and solve:    Logical riddles   Letter riddles

Logical riddles for ESL students

I am full of holes, I can hold water.
What am I?

I can speak all the languages of the world.
What am I?

What are two things people never eat before breakfast?

What has two hands and a face, but no arms and legs?

What has a neck, but no head?

What has three feet but no legs or arms?

What has teeth but can't bite?

What has 4 legs and only 1 foot?

Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man's father is my father's son.
Who is "that man"?

A doctor and a boy were fishing. The boy was the doctor's son, but the doctor was not the boy's father.
Who was the doctor?

Letter riddles for ESL students

The letter riddles oft is silly but they help to remember English words.

What can turn a lad into a lady?

What letter comes after B in the alphabet?

What is the coldest letter?

What can you always find in the middle of a taxicab?

What letter is like an island?

What letter comes once in a minute, twice in a moment and never in a thousand years?

What letter is like the sun?

What letter is like noon?

What is the centre of gravity?

What letter adds great value to a pear?

I am the beginning of sorrow, and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me, yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk, yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness.

What letter is like death?

What letter widens a road?

What letter is always discovered in the centre of a maze?

What letter is like New Year's Day?

What letter is always the centre of mirth?

What letter is the cleanest in the alphabet?

Q and A jokes for ESL students

Q: What is the punishment for bigamy?
A: Two mother in Laws

Q: What should a girl do if your boyfriend walks out?
A: Close the door.

Q: When is a man like a dog?
A: When he is a boxer.

Q: What can be served but not eaten?
A: A tennis ball.

Q: What's the difference between a banjo and an onion?
A: Nobody cries when you cut up a banjo.

Q: What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?
A: I don't know and I don't care!

Q: Why do archaeologists make the best husbands?
A: The older the wife gets the more interest he has in her.

Q: What's the definition of archaeologist?
A: It's someone whose career lies in ruins.

Q: How to tell when a lawyer is lying?
A: His lips are moving.

Q: What's the definition of a light-year?
A: A lot less calories than a regular year.
Note: A light-year is unit of distance in astronomy (approximately 9.46 trillion km).

Q: What part of a clock is never new?
A: The second hand.

Q: What's the definition of Diplomacy?
A: It's the art of saying 'Nice doggie!' until you can find a brick.