Proverbs (also known as sayings or aphorisms) are a type of idiom that carries moral lessons or some form of life advice within them. This list of English proverbs is compiled especially for IELTS exam, it includes definitions and examples. Hence, if you want to get 8 or higher for Vocabulary in your Speaking, try to implement one of these proverbs in your answer.

 

English proverbs for IELTS — List of sayings and aphorisms

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
A picture is worth a thousand words
Actions speak louder than words (OK for Essay)
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Better late than never
Birds of a feather flock together
Don't bite the hand that feeds you
Don't judge a book by its cover
Don't put all of your eggs in one basket
Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today
East or West, home is best.
Easy come, easy go
Handsome is as handsome does
Honesty is the best policy
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself
Knowledge is power
Many men, many minds
No man is an island
Other times, other manners
Practice makes perfect (OK for Essay)
The devil's not so black as he's painted
The grass is always greener on the other side
There is no such thing as a free lunch
There is no time like the present (OK for Essay)
Time is money
Two heads are better than one
What does not kill me makes me stronger
When the cat's away, the mice will play

IELTS proverbs — Explanations & Examples

#483
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step — you must begin smth if you want to finish it
If you want to lose weight, you need to start exercising and stop eating junk. Today, not tomorrow. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Proverbs
#482
A picture is worth a thousand words — a picture can tell a story or describe smth better than words
(1) I just love take photos. You know, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. (2) If a picture is worth a thousand words, a movie's worth a million.

Proverbs
#481
Actions speak louder than words (OK for Essay) — what you do is more important than what you say
Actions speak louder than words and certainly louder than clothing.

Proverbs
#558
An apple a day keeps the doctor away — eating nutritious food will make you healthier
To stay healthy I use the rule "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Proverbs
#484
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — beauty is different for each person
I absolutely don't like these distressed jeans, but you know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Proverbs
#485
Better late than never — it's better to do smth late than to never do it at all
I would like to enroll a programming course. I believe that better late than never.

Proverbs
#559
Birds of a feather flock together — people of the same sort or with the same tastes and interests will be found together
My future wife and I got along immediately, as we both were into skating — birds of a feather flock together.

Proverbs
#486
Don't bite the hand that feeds you — don't make someone angry or hurt someone who is helping you or paying for you
People say you shouldn't criticize your employer because you'll be biting the hand that feeds you. But I'm not agree, I believe it is a worker who feeds the employer.

Proverbs
#487
Don't judge a book by its cover — do not judge someone or smth by appearance
Take CEOs of international corporations. They often wear just baggy t-shirts and shorts. So, I guess we can't judge a book by its cover.

Proverbs
#488
Don't put all of your eggs in one basket — try to diversify your risks
My father always told to not put all of your eggs in one basket, and now I use this suggestion in my financial management.

Proverbs
#489
Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today — do not procrastinate
I teach my children to be effective in their time management. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Proverbs
#561
East or West, home is best. — Home is the best place to be no matter where it is.
You may think that traveling all the time is fun, but eventually you'll discover that east or west, home is best.

Proverbs
#490
Easy come, easy go — when something, especially money, is easily got and then soon spent or lost
Easy come, easy go — that’s how it is for some people when they invest in the stock market.

Proverbs
#562
Handsome is as handsome does — character and behaviour are more important than appearance. (for female — pretty is as pretty does)
I teach my children that pretty is as pretty does.

Proverbs
#491
Honesty is the best policy — it is always better to tell the truth
Honesty is the best policy. If you want people to trust you, you need to be honest with them.

Proverbs
#492
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst — be optimistic but ready for hard times as well
I hope for the best, but I am always prepared for the worst when it comes to job interviews.

Proverbs
#493
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself — do not depend on someone else to do a good job; do it yourself
Actually, with kids works the rule "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself".

Proverbs
#494
Knowledge is power — the more you know, the more powerful you can be in different areas
They say, knowledge is power. And I totally agree with this, we should learn new things during our life.

Proverbs
#564
Many men, many minds — every man is unique and has individual judgement/ideas/opinions
There is no one standard viewpoint on the matter — many men, many minds.

Proverbs
#495
No man is an island — to not be able to live independent of others at all times
We tried doing it all by our self but broke down in six months because no man is an island.

Proverbs
#563
Other times, other manners — different generations or eras have different customs
I've no idea what will be popular in the future. Other times, other manners.

Proverbs
#496
Practice makes perfect (OK for Essay) — the more you do something, the better you will become at it
I thought I will never speak Spanish, but practice makes perfect, and now I have the C1 level.

Proverbs
#560
The devil's not so black as he's painted — Something is not so bad as it is believed to be.
I thought it was impossible, however, step by step, I learned how to program. The devil's not so black as he's painted.

Proverbs
#497
The grass is always greener on the other side — people always want what they don't have
The grass is always greener on someone else's Facebook page.

Proverbs
#499
There is no such thing as a free lunch — even the things that are free have a hidden cost
It seems that the Facebook is free, but they take our data and sell it to other companies. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Proverbs
#500
There is no time like the present (OK for Essay) — right now is the best time, do it now
It is true that there is no time like the present to do what your heart always desired.

Proverbs
#501
Time is money — do not waste your time or other people’s time
Time is money, and I try to manage it effectively.

Proverbs
#502
Two heads are better than one — it is easier to do something as a team than by yourself
It's always more effective to collaborate with someone for sophisticated projects as two heads are better than one.

Proverbs
#498
What does not kill me makes me stronger — difficulties boost our skills and experience
It was really hard work. But, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Proverbs
#555
When the cat's away, the mice will play — people will naturally take advantage of the absence of someone in authority to do as they like
The children usually do their homework better when we're at home, you know, when the cat's away, the mice will play.

Proverbs