Como falo em inglês: Em time que está ganhando não se mexe

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Nov 14
Como falo em inglês Em time que está ganhando não se mexe

HI, everyone. O episódio de hoje fala sobre cinco provérbios bastante populares do inglês.


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Today I thought I’d talk about a few popular proverbs, or sayings, in English. There are countless proverbs in English, just like in Portuguese and, probably, every language in the world. Proverbs are supposed to express popular wisdom or a basic truth, but… do they always? Have you ever heard a proverb that you thought was silly? I have – can’t remember which ones right now, but, on the other hand, there are some proverbs that I think are great.

So here’s what I’m gonna do: explain each proverb briefly and tell you whether I agree or disagree – and I’d like to ask you to do the same in the comments. Let us know whether you agree or disagree with each proverb, and give us examples!

So the first one is super easy: a dog is a man’s best friend. We say exactly the same thing in Portuguese. I don’t know if dogs are men’s best friends but they are pretty great friends. I’ve always had dogs and I think they’re awesome friends so I’m totally OK with this proverb.

A dog is a man's best friendHow about this one: actions speak louder than words. What does that mean? Imagine that you’re a girl and your boyfriend says he loves you but he never calls or wants to see you; he’s rude to you and treats you badly… but he says he loves you at every opportunity. His words are saying that he loves you, but his actions are saying otherwise. This is a very popular saying in English that teaches you to watch somebody’s actions instead of blindly believing what they say. I have to say I really agree with this one! When someone talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk… something’s wrong.

Now here’s an interesting one: all publicity is good publicity. This one applies to companies or famous people. Let’s say you’re a celebrity and you get in a fight at a bar one evening. You’re punched in the face; it’s pretty awful and the next day you and your black eye are all over the newspapers. You’re so ashamed you tell your agent you never wanna leave your house ever again. She tells you, “Don’t be silly! All publicity is good publicity. At least people are talking about you; they know who you are! There’s no such thing as bad publicity: all publicity is good publicity”. In other words… as long as people are talking about you, it’s all good. I don’t know about this one; I’m not sure I agree.

Now check this out: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We have a saying in Portuguese with the same meaning; in Portuguese, however, we use a soccer metaphor. We say “em time que tá ganhando não se mexe”. So, there it is: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Don’t try to fix something that’s working just fine; there’s nothing to fix! I kind of agree with this one. Sometimes you can make something even better, even though that thing is working just fine! What do you think?

And, finally, good things come to those who wait. This proverb’s telling us that being patient pays off. If you’re patient, good things will come to you. Be patient. I don’t know. I think it’s all relative. Sometimes waiting is good; sometimes taking action, or changing your course of action works great. You know what I think? That going with your instincts is what works best. If your instincts tell you to wait, then wait… regardless of what everyone else says. If your instincts tell you to take action, then just do it!  

Now I’d like to know what you think about these proverbs. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments and talk to you next time!


  • a dog is a man’s best friend
  • actions speak louder than words
  • all publicity is good publicity
  • if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
  • good things come to those who wait



countless = inúmeros

his actions are saying otherwise = suas ações dizem o contrário

black eye = olho roxo

ain’t = contração bastante informal que, aqui, quer dizer “isn’t”

pays off = vale a pena



About the Author

Ana Luiza criou um blog de dicas de inglês em 2006, e depois de muito pesquisar o que faz alguém ganhar fluência numa segunda língua, criou seu primeiro curso de inglês em 2009.

  • jorge says:


    By reading such comments….I tend to ask: How can I say “verborréia” in english. Ok, all this kind of things are not to jeopardize, but….what a bunch of filosofy!!

  • Vânia Maria Barbalho Dutra says:

    I know that these statements are sometimes ironic,
    I wont comment about their meaning, I prefer to thank Ana because she was really objective in her explanations about the statements.
    God bless you, Ana.
    See you soon.

  • Cicero Rodrigues says:


    I wrote my comments about each proverb.

    1. Dog is man’s best friend. I agree with this proverb.
    It is telling us not only about friendship but also about loyalty, in my book. Dogs are always loyal to their owners, and will never betray them. Whereas human being…

    2. Actions speak louder than words. I couldn’t agree more.
    When we talk the talk but doesn’t wak the walk, we are being incoherent, and as such we don’t have credibility.

    3. All publicity is good publicity. I dont’t agree.
    But I think the most celebreties have different opinion from mine. Famous people love to be on social media, no matter the reason.

    4. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I kind of agree.
    However, stuff must evolve otherwise will be obsolet.

    5. Good thing comes to those who wait. It all depend on the situation. Sometimes you have to wait, sometimes you should take any action. My advice: Follow your intuition.

    A Bear hug for you.

  • Jennifer says:

    Dogs are the men’s best friend:dogs are friendly animals, but if they are someone best friend, that person is in trouble.Action speak louder than words:I think yes.Because is always easiest speak than do something.All publicity is good publicity:no way.Some companies lost a lots of money for that reason.IF ain’t broke don’t fix it:it depends. Everything can be better.This call progress.Good things come to those who wait:I think if we are working and waiting for the best, OK.Just wait is a waste of time. A big hug for you, and thanks one more time!!!

  • Andre says:

    I completely, or partially, disagree with all these statements. I think they may not be used represent the whole truth just because they fit jokingly or ironically to some specific situations. They cannot be used to present ‘Principles’, so to speak.
    Although these sayings do not intend to deceive anybody, they don’t take into account some facts that is necessary for us to have a full understanding of the situation. Since there is nothing like ‘half-lie’, or as some say “white-lie’, there is nothing like half-truth either. A statement may include some elements of truth, and may even be totally true, but if they are only part of the truth, it may be said to be a deceptive statement.
    Let’s see:
    * A dog is a man’s best friend
    – A person who thinks that dogs are their best friends should see a psychiatrist. (I’m joking- I love dogs)
    * Actions speak louder than words
    – Good people do sometimes bad things. We are all imperfect and we are all influenced by others who are also imperfect, so an action alone does not represent the anything , nor whole truth.
    * All publicity is good publicity
    – This is a ‘saying’ used by the media. Propaganda tries to sell something and most of the time they are not committed with the truth. They try to catch people by their ‘emotions’. When people are emotionally involved with something is when they are easily manipulated.
    * If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
    – Nothing works properly forever, so why wait until they are completely beyond repair to do something.
    * Good things come to those who wait
    – Hilarious. No comments. (Be patient is a virtue, but even patience has its limits, according to the purpose.)
    PS.: I’m talking (or writing) too much, in order to practice my English. The statement above fills that purpose.

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Great, thoughtful comment… Love it! Thanks for adding to the discussion. I can see your points… In the end, I think all proverbs are generalizations and taking them as truth may be stretching it too far. I can see how all these proverbs are true sometimes and other times, they’re just silly.

  • Débora says:

    I agree with this one: Actions speak louder than words. We all have to pay attention to our own actions, it’s so importante.

  • Renan says:

    I think the phrase “actions speak louder than words” is the best proverb that i have ever heard. I konw a lot of people that just talk about problems in the world as bad politicians, corruption, or world’s health. But less than ten percent of these guys do something to fix the problems. Something is wrong here, isn’t it?

    And i say: some dogs are the best man’s friend. If you’ve ever seen a pinscher’s bark you will agree with me.

    See you Ana!

  • Marilene Liber says:

    Dogs are great mates, but I think we have to be best friends of ourselves first of all.
    I not only agree but I also follow this saying to the letter with my kids here at home!
    Neither do I! It might work with celebrities but for me, never!
    I agree, but, I want to remember that every game is a game and if one team doesn’t do something different, the other do! Things are changing all the time!
    Being able to wait is a virtue but we must be always ready to act too.
    Thank you very much, once more congratulations on choosing the podcast!

  • Natan Bernardo da Costa says:

    I was talking with friends that are learning english like me, and we were talking exactly about this, and that’s the reason i agree with this proverbs.

  • Marivan says:

    Great Podcast
    The “interesting way” you do them make us involving in each one of your “well done work”…
    God bless you, bye!

  • I agree with this proverb: “Actions speak louder than words”.
    Because there are people that do not act what they say.
    It is not the words that they say, but the actions that they do will show what they are.
    So we should pay more attention to their actions!

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