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4.3.2. English Proverbs with verbs in the Imperative Mood

1. Note the use of the verbs in the Imperative Mood in the following proverbs and sayings. Try to memorize them. Give their Russian/Ukrainian equivalents

1. Catch your bear before you sell its -skin. 2. Cut your coat according to your cloth. 3. First try and then trust. 4. Strike while the iron is hot. 5. Live and learn. 6. Give credit where credit is due. 7. Call no man happy till he is dead. 8. Speak the truth and shame the devil. 9. Give the devil his due. 10. Forgive and forget. 11. Cross the stream where it is shallowest. 12. Never spur a willing horse. 13. Make haste slowly. 14. Make hay while the sun shines. 15. Help a lame dog over a stile. 16. Hoist your sail when the wind is fair. 17. Be just before you are generous. 18. Love me little, love me long.  19 Live not to eat, but eat to live. 20. Practise what you preach. 21. Take the rough with the smooth. 22. Put the saddle on the right horse. 23. Take heed of the snake in the grass. 24. Make the best of a bad Job. Learn to walk before you run.


2. Express the idea of the following by using appropriate proverbs and sayings with the verb in the Imperative Mood. Use (1) as a key.

1. Experience is a good teacher. The longer we live, the more we learn. 2. Act prudently and don't be over-optimistic. 3. Let bygones be bygones. 4. Adjust your expenditure according to your resources. 5. This cynical proverb suggests that life is bound to be so bad that no living person can ever be happy. 6. We should acknowledge the good points of even    those we dislike or disapprove of. 7. Be on your guard against treachery. 8. Behave in the same way as you advise others to behave. 9. Don't make difficulties for yourself by doing things the hard way. Find the simplest means of achieving your object. 10. Don't expect your road through life to be always easy. Accept bad times philosophically. 11. Do not let your passion for a person become too strong, for it may soon burn itself out. Mild affection is more likely to be long-lived. 12. Knowledge cannot be acquired all at once; it must be gained step by step. Don't try to spell "catastrophe" if you cannot spell "cat". 13. Eating should not be the main purpose of life. We should, on the contrary, eat just enough to lead a useful life. 14. Don't urge a person who works well and without complaint to work harder and faster, for he may then do less, or not be quite so willing. 15. You have no right to be generous till you have first met the demands of Justness You should not, for examp­le, start giving presents to your friends before you have paid back the money you owe others. 16. Don't do anything in too much a hurry. 17. Don't act when circumstances are unfavourable. Wait for a better opportunity of achieving success — and when it comes, seize upon it. 18. We should recognize the good points of others, even though they are not friends of ours. 19. Do not wait until tomorrow, for rain may ruin the hardest. By extention this means that we should always take advantage of favourable circumstances 20. Choose the right moment to act, take advantage of a sudden opportunity. 21. Speak the truth boldly in defiance of strong temptation to tell lies. 22. Give assistance to anyone in difficulties or distress. 23. Accept your present position with equanimity, put up with an unfavourable or uncomfortable state of affairs. 24. First make sure the person is reliable and then trust him. 25. Blame those who deserve it, not those who don't.


3. Comment on the use of the verb "let" in the following proverbs and sayings—3rd person imperatives. Give their Russian/Ukrainian equivalents.

1. Let bygones be bygones.  2. Let the buyer beware. 3. Let the cobbler stick to his last. 4. Let sleeping dogs lie. 5. Let the world wag. 6. Let well alone. 7. Let not the sun go down on your wrath. 8. Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. 9. Let not your wits go wool-gathering. 10. Let the dead bury their dead.


4. Express the idea of the following by using appropriate proverbs including let used as an imperative with a following infinitive

1. Don't try to improve sth that is already satisfactory. 2. Don't look for trouble on purpose, don't interrupt or trouble a person, situation, etc. when this is likely to cause disorder. 3. Forget past quarrels and forgive him/her whatever he/she has done wrong in the past. 4. If you are angry with anybody, don't let your bitter feelings last overnight. 5. Don't allow your mind to wander. Think what you are doing. 6. Forgive and forget. 7. However clever you may be at your trade, don't try to give advice on other matters. 8. Let the world do what it likes. I regard the course of events with complete unconcern. It matters nothing to me what it does as long as it leaves me alone. 9. Keep secret any help you give to the poor; don't boast of your almsgiving. 10. Before he parts with his cash a purchaser should satisfy himself that whatever he is buying is in good condition and worth the money he is paying for it. It is too late to complain after the transaction has been completed.


5. Note the use of the auxiliary do to build the negative form of the verb in the Imperative Mood in the following proverbs and sayings. Give their Russian/Ukrainian equivalents.

1. Don't count your chickens before they are hatched. 2. Don't swap horses when crossing a stream. 3. Do not halloo till you are out of the wood. 4. Don't empty the baby out with the bath water. 5. Don't cry stinking fish. 6. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. 7. Don't cut the bough you are standing on. 8. Do not kick against the pricks. 9. Don't meet trouble half-way. 10. Don't make a rod of your own back. 11. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. 12. Don't pour out the dirty water before you have clean. 13 Don't tell tales out of school. 14. Do not wear out your welcome.


6. Give English equivalents of the following proverbs.

1. He дав слова—крепись, а дав слово—держись. 2. Чтобы научиться ходить, научись сначала ползать. (Всему свой черед). 3. Не буди лихо, пока лихо спит. 4. Кто старое помянет, тому глаз вон. 5. Не продавай шкуру неубитого медведя. 6. По одежке протягивай ножки. 7. Поступай так, как проповедуешь. 8. Не делай из мухи слона. 9. Не радуйся раньше времени. (Не говори “гоп”, пока не перескочишь). 10. Тише едешь, дальше будешь. 11. Куй железо, пока горячо. 12. Поднимай паруса, пока дует попутный ветер. 13. Дареному коню в зубы не смотрят. 14. Пусть люди говорят, что вздумается. 15. Пусть мертвые хоронят своих мертвецов. (Кто старое помянет, тому глаз вон). 16. Цыплят по осени считают. 17. Не разглашай чужих тайн (чужих секретов). 18. Не выноси сор из избы. 19. Не откладывай на завтра то, что можешь сделать сегодня. 20. Не задавай вопросов и не услышишь лжи. 21. Не бросай занятие, дающее средства к существованию. (Не действуй вопреки своей выгоде). 22. Доверяй, да не очень. 23. Внешность обманчива. (Не суди по внешности).


7. Note the stylistic transposition of the imperatives coordinated with the following imperatives or declaratives in the proverbs below. Give their Russian/Ukrainian equivalents

1. Love me, love my dog. 2. Spare the rod and spoil the child. 3. Talk of the devil and he is sure to appear. 4. Set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the devil. 5. Lend your money and lose your friend. 6. Marry in haste, and repent at leasure. 7. Make yourself all honey and the flies will devour you. 8. Give knaves an inch and they will take a yard. 9. Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone. 10 Give a lie twenty-four hours' start, and you can never overtake it. 11. Give a thief enough rope and he'll hang himself. 12. Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves. 13. Ask no questions and be told no lies. 14. Catch not at the shadow and lose the substance. 15. Waste not, want not. 16. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. 17. Grasp all, lose all. 18. See a pin and let it lie, you'll want a pin before you die. 19. Tread on a worm and it will turn. 20. Laugh before breakfast you'll cry before supper. 21. Throw nature out of the door, it will come back again through the window. 22. Don't make yourself a mouse, or the cat will eat you. 23. Speak of angels and they flap their wings (talk of an angel and you'll hear his wings). 24. Grasp the nettle and it won't sting you. 25. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.


8. Give English equivalents of the following proverbs Take care to use the verbs in the Imperative Mood where necessary

1. Гони природу в дверь, она войдет в окно. 2. Легок на помине. 3. Рано пташечка запела, как бы кошечка не съела

4. За многим погонишься—последнее потеряешь. (Много желать — добра не видать) 5. Хочешь потерять друга, одолжи ему деньги. 6. Дан ему палец, он и всю руку отхватит. 7 Смелость— залог успеха. 8. Не продавай шкуру неубитого медведя. 9. Розги пожалеешь — ребенка испортишь. 10. Не задавай вопросов и не услышишь лжи. 11. Посади свинью за стол, она и ноги на стол. 12. Любишь меня, люби и мою собаку (т. е. все со мной связанное). 13. Женился на скорую руку, да на долгую муку. 14. Услуга за услугу, рука руку моет. 15 Мотовство до нужды доведет; кто деньгам не знает цены, тому не миновать нужды. 16. Береги пенсы — целы будут и фунты (ср.; копейка рубль бережет). 17. Посеешь ветер—пожнешь бурю (пострадать от собственной неосмотрительности, поплатиться за что-л.)



Check your knowledge English proverbs with verbs in the

Imperative Mood

Express the idea of the following by using proverbs with the imperative and indicative forms of the verbs instead of complex sentences with a conditional clause.


Variant 1

1. If you waste time on trivial aspects of a matter, you may neglect the essential matter itself. If you catch at the shadow you may lose the substance. 2. If you give a had person enough opportunities he will bring about his own downfall. If you give a thief enough. rope he'll hang himself.  3 If you concentrate on saving small amounts in time you will have a large amount. 4. If (when) a man without money grows suddenly rich, he is liable to become the most arrogant of mortals. If you set a beggar on horseback he'll ride to the devil. 5. If a child is spared punishment, it will be spoilt. It does not improve a child's character if he is not punished for having done wrong. 6. If you see a pin and do not pick it up, you will one day find yourself in need of a pin. 7. If you are too much in a hurry to get married, you will have plenty of time to regret it. 8. If we talk of sb, he is sure to appear (if we talk of the devil, he is sure to appear. We say this jokingly in shortened form when we are joined by a person we have just been talking about).

Variant 2

1. If you ask no questions, you will be told no lies. 2. If you lend your money, you may lose your friend. If your friend finds himself unable to repay the debt, he will avoid you and may well say bad things about you to justify his conduct. 3. If you love me, you must love my dog. If you love me, you must put up with my faults, my little ways, or (sometimes) my friends. 4. If you help me or do sth in my favour, I'll help you in return. 5. If you laugh before breakfast, you will cry before supper. 6. If you are too greedy you will lose even what you have already. 7. If you do sth bad it will lead to a worse. 8. If a lie is not refuted immediately, it will pass from mouth to mouth until it is accepted as truth by everybody.

Variant 3

1. If (when) a person is cheerful other people share in his joy; if (when) he is sad he must suffer alone. 2. If you belittle yourself, people will take advantage of you. 3. If you grant some people a small favour, it only encourages them to take much more than they are offered. 4. If you are too obsequious, too servile, others will treat you with contempt. 5. If you tread on a worm, it will turn. Even the most quiet and humble person will refuse to allow himself to be treated badly beyond a certain point. 6. If you throw nature out of the door, it will come back again through the window. 7 If you grasp the nettle, it won't sting you. If you attack a difficult situation or problem with bold determination you will succeed. 8 If we speak of sb, he is sure to appear (if we speak of angels, they'll flap their wings).

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