Common Proverbs used While Writing Composition
Here are some proverbs that your child can start using in his compositions to impress his or her teachers in school!
- A watched pot never boils.
Waiting for something to happen will make time pass even slower.
Example: John stared out the window at the long winding road, waiting for any sign of a car approaching in the distance. But he knew that a watched pot never boils, and he tried to turn his mind towards the book in front of him again, in a bid to distract himself.
- Beggars can’t be choosers.
When you receive help, you have to be content with and accept whatever you get.
Example: Hunger-stricken, I walked up to the first tiny house with their lights turned on and pounded on the door. An old lady with the kindest eyes perused my sorry state before inviting me into her warm living room. My shame was overwhelmed by my starving belly as I blurted, “Do you have anything to eat, please?” The old lady shuffled slowly into the kitchen whilst I sat and watched in anticipation, knees together, arms wrapped around my stomach as if it would help calm down the desperate growls from within. As she returned, cupping a bowl delicately in her hands, I almost lunged out to grab that delicacy. However, I froze when I saw all that she had to spare – a half-filled bowl of plain white rice. Beggars can’t be choosers, I thought, as I wolfed down the rice in seconds.
- Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Do not be overconfident, or make plans based on something good that you think will happen, before it has actually happened.
Example: Julie was already shopping around for a car as a self-reward for her upcoming promotion, but I told her not to count her chickens before they hatched.
- Don’t cry over spilt milk.
Do not be upset over something that has already happened that you cannot change.
Example: Tim was dejected; he had just failed his test. As I patted him on the shoulder I tried to encourage him. “Look, Tim, this test is already done, so don’t cry over spilt milk. There’s still the finals at the end of the year, and I know you can do it.”
- Many hands make light work.
This proverb is about teamwork. If everyone works together to help in something, the task is accomplished much quicker.
Example: At first, we were intimidated by the actual area of the wall we had to paint. It was a huge, old bungalow and the paint was practically peeling from every corner of the house – all three levels of it! But everyone was so cooperative, and since many hands made light work, we managed to finish painting the whole house before sunset.
- There is safety in numbers.
When people tend towards something together as part of a group, either in thinking a certain way or in doing something, they are less likely harmed or blamed for it.
Example: We gathered in a group of about twenty and marched up to the principal’s office to make our complaint, thinking that there was safety in numbers.
- There’s no smoke without fire. (variation: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.)
This proverb is saying that there might be truth in rumours, because rumours, no matter how twisted they are, must have been grounded in some underlying fact.
Example: Our new teacher appears very friendly and gentle, but some claim they have seen her ex-students sent out of the classroom in tears during her lessons. There’s no smoke without fire, so let’s wait and see.
- Too many cooks spoil the broth.
When too many people are involved, they can do more harm than good and ruin something instead.
Example: Everyone was throwing in ideas and giving opinions, and by the end of the day we could not even decide where we wanted to host the event. There were clearly too many cooks spoiling the broth.
- We never miss the water till the well is dry.
We tend to take things for granted, and only realize how important something / someone is until we lose it.
Example: Now that I’m past forty, and my joints creak and ache every time I get up from my bed. I realize how we never miss the water till the well is dry. I can barely remember what it feels like to be young again!
- You can’t make bricks without straws.
You cannot accomplish something without the right information or necessary tools.
Example: “But I hate training!” I exclaimed. My coach grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me in the eye. “Boy, are you lazy!” he reprimanded me. “If you want to get a gold medal, you need to build up your strength. You need to build up your core. You need to understand that you can’t make bricks without straws.”
There are tons of other proverbs. Just prowl the net and you’ll be amazed how many everyday sayings that you use regularly are actually proverbs. That said, it will take your child some effort to understand many of these proverbs. Then your child can use them in his or her compositions.
The best way to use proverbs is to let them fit naturally into a sentence. Don’t force them in. Afterall, Rome wasn’t built in a day – the key is to consistently practise, revise and repeat!