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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...



Reading: Proverbs

Lesson Objectives: To understand how proverbs are used when reading.


Proverbs: A "proverb" is a short, traditional saying in general use. It usually expresses some obvious truth or familiar experience. Here are some proverbs that are well known in English, though some of them come from other languages.

The best things in life are free.
We don't have to pay for the things that are really valuable, like love, friendship, good health etc.

A stitch in time saves nine.
Repair something as soon as it is damaged. That's a small repair job. If not, you will have a much bigger and more expensive repair job later.

Still waters run deep.
Some rivers have rough surfaces with waves. That's usually because the water is shallow and there are rocks near the surface. But deep rivers have no rocks near the surface and the water is smooth and still. "Still waters run deep" means that people who are calm and tranquil on the outside, often have a strong, "deep" personality.

You can't take it with you when you die.
When we die we leave everything on earth. We don't take anything with us. Even the richest people cannot take their money with them after death. This proverb reminds us that some material things are not really so valuable as we think.

Don't cross your bridges before you come to them.
Don't worry about problems before they arrive.

Soon learnt, soon forgotten.
Something that is easy to learn is easy to forget.

Even a worm will turn.
Everybody will revolt if driven too far. Even the lowest of people, or animals, will revolt and hit back at some stage. Even a worm, the simplest of animals, will defend itself.

It was the last straw that broke the camel's back.
There is a limit to everything. We can load the camel with lots of straw, but finally it will be too much and the camel's back will break. And it is only a single straw that breaks its back - the last straw.

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
Many women have won a man's love by cooking delicious meals for him. They fed his stomach and found love in his heart.

Where there's a will there's a way.
If we have the determination to do something, we can always find the path or method to do it.

Marry in haste, and repent at leisure.
If we get married quickly, without thinking carefully, we may be sorry later. And we will have plenty of time to be sorry.

You can't tell a book by its cover.
We need to read a book to know if it's good or bad. We cannot know what it's like just by looking at the front or back cover. This proverb is applied to everything, not only books.

No news is good news.
This is like the proverb "Bad news travels fast." If we are waiting for news about someone, it's probably good if we hear nothing because "bad news" would arrive quickly.

Bad news travels fast.
"Bad news" means news about "bad" things like accidents, death, illness etc. People tend to tell this type of news quickly. But "good news" (passing an exam, winning some money, getting a job etc) travels more slowly.

Live and let live.
This proverb suggest that we should not interfere in other people's business. We should live our own lives and let others live their lives.





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