FILL in the blanks to complete the proverbs below.

1. The early bird catches the _____.

(a) worm

(b) germ

(c) bug

2. If at first you don’t succeed, _____.

(a) that’s quite normal

(b) try, try again

(c) try a grin

3. Don’t bite the hand that _____.

(a) ruffles your hair

(b) feeds you

(c) looks dirty

4. There’s no smoke without _____.

(a) a pipe (b) a barbecue (c) fire

5. Two’s company, three’s _____.

(a) the Musketeers

(b) a congregation

(c) a crowd

6. A miss is as good as _____.

(a) a mister

(b) a mile

(c) her smile

7. Don’t change horses _____.

(a) before they are tired

(b) in mid-stream

(c) until they stop running

8. Strike while _____.

(a) the iron is hot

(b) the mosquito is about to bite you

(c) your opponent is not looking

9. A penny saved is _____.

(a) a penny earned

(b) not much

(c) one step closer to your dream

10. The grapes are _____.

(a) sweet

(b) bitter

(c) sour

11. Rome was not built in a _____.

(a) hurry

(b) day

(c) night

12. It’s no use crying over spilt _____.

(a) milk (b) coffee (c) tea

13. A stitch in time saves _____.

(a) a few bucks

(b) nine

(c) embarrassment

14. He laughs best who laughs _____.

(a) uncontrollably

(b) first

(c) last

15. You cannot teach an old dog _____.

(a) how to walk on two legs

(b) new maths

(c) new tricks


1. (a) worm.

The person who acts promptly will be successful.

2. (b) try, try again.

Persevere and you will succeed.

3. (b) feeds you.

Don’t be ungrateful to someone who has been kind or helpful to you.

4. (c) fire.

A rumour does not spread unless there is some factual basis for it.

5. (c) a crowd.

Two people, especially lovers, should be left alone, undisturbed by a third person.

6. (b) a mile.

A near miss has the same result as missing by a great margin.

7. (b) in mid-stream.

Don’t change plans at the wrong time.

8. (a) the iron is hot.

Take advantage of favourable circumstances while they last.

9. (a) a penny earned.

You save money, little by little, if you do not spend it. Not spending money has the same result as earning money, so saving a certain sum of money is the same as earning that sum of money.

10. (c) sour.

When people cannot get what they want, they save face by pretending that they never wanted it.

11. (b) day.

Be patient and persevere. You need much time and hard work to complete important tasks. (This proverb is often used as an excuse for delay.)

12. (a) milk.

It’s no use to be unhappy about something that has already happened or that can’t be helped.

13. (b) nine.

Early corrective action may prevent serious trouble later.

14. (c) last.

A person may laugh now, thinking that he has won, but he may not come off best in the end.

15. (c) new tricks.

A person who has long been accustomed to doing things in a certain way is not likely to abandon his habits.


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