20 Spanish Proverbs that Promise a Better Day to Come
Are you in need of some inspiring Spanish proverbs? They provide a quick reminder that things can get better?
I love discovering powerful phrases to keep me going. Believe me, Spanish proverbs hit the mark when it comes to giving hope.
One of the best parts about learning a new language is immersing yourself completely in memorable expressions. Spanish proverbs are a great way to practice your fluency and become familiar with the phrases native speakers use.
If you’re a Spanish learner in need of motivation and some pick-me up phrases that’ll brighten your day, this blog post has 20 Spanish proverbs just for you!
What are Proverbs?
Spanish proverbs are phrases of popular origin that teach a moral lesson or give advice. These expressions are passed from generation to generation and are an essential part of oral traditions in Spanish that vary by region and ethnic group.
They are ideal for describing ideas and expressions in a brief and poetic way. Spanish proverbs offer a clear and direct message; they’re focused on reflection and imparting wisdom.
Lessons from Spanish Proverbs
Many Spanish proverbs attribute their origin to diversity of thought and come from a time when most of the population was illiterate. Knowledge had to be transmitted orally. These memorable phrases were easy to transmit and taught valuable life lessons. Many of the ancient proverbs we know today originated in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Spanish proverbs can have both a literal meaning and a figurative meaning, leaving room for your own interpretation of each.
Hundreds of Spanish proverbs exist that are related to all types of feelings, situations, and topics. There are proverbs about life, love, death, family, money, friendship, education, and beauty.
20 Spanish Proverbs that Promise a Better Day to Come
The following collection of Spanish proverbs say a lot in a few words and provide valuable life lessons. Understanding their meaning and applying them in your day-to-day life may take you a long way toward becoming more fulfilled, inspired, and content.
1. El tiempo lo cura todo.
Time heals everything.
Time takes care of any pain or grief you may be feeling. Feelings of sadness or melancholy are not permanent.
2. Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.
Eyes that don’t see, heart that doesn’t feel.
This one is among those unforgettable Spanish proverbs that leave room for interpretation. It can either mean “what you don’t know, won’t hurt you,” or “out of sight, out of mind.”
This phrase is used in situations of heartbreak, infidelity, or omission of a harmful situation that you’re better off not knowing about.
3. Zapatero, a tus zapatos.
Shoemaker, to your shoes.
Stick to what you know and are good at. It’s unnecessary to get involved in situations that don’t concern you or you don’t know anything about. Work on strengthening skills that provide you with opportunities for growth.
4. Que cada palo aguante su vela.
May every mast hold its own sail.
This Spanish proverb comes from the idea that on a ship, each mast should hold its own sail, independent from all others. It refers to how every person is responsible for their own actions and should be accepting of the consequences of those actions.
5. Cada uno sabe dónde aprieta el zapato.
Everyone knows if the shoe fits.
Each person knows their own limitations, obstacles, and what’s best for themselves. You are the only one who knows when to stop, what you can do, and when it’s enough.
6. A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda.
God helps those who get up early.
This one is perfect for those early birds who like to stay a step ahead. Remember, being the first to act is often an advantage. Don’t be afraid of being productive and pushing yourself.
7. Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.
The devil knows more due to being old than from being the devil.
This Spanish proverb reminds us to embrace the wisdom of our elders. While it’s important to create and cultivate your own experiences, learning from others is useful and rewarding.
8. No juzgues un libro por su portada.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Appearances can be deceiving, and things are often not the way you think at a simple glance. It’s important to look beyond appearances and superficial things, as people may surprise you.
9. A caballo regalado, no se le mira el diente.
Don’t look at the teeth of a horse you are gifted.
Being grateful is an essential part of life. Whenever you receive a gift, you shouldn’t worry about its monetary value. The important part of receiving is embracing the intention from the person who is giving you the gift.
10. Más vale pájaro en mano que ciento volando.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
This one talks about how it’s better to be certain of something even if it seems small than to have high hopes with uncertainty. There’s nothing wrong with being safe, and sometimes the risks are not worth it when you don’t know the consequences.
11. Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.
The shrimp who falls asleep is taken by the current.
Stay one step ahead and seize every opportunity. Keep your eyes open and stay alert, as my abuela once said, “Este mundo es de los vivos” (this world belongs to those who look alive). In other words—you snooze, you lose.
12. Al que buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija.
One who is near a good tree will be well shaded.
For those who are blessed enough to find a stable situation, a bright future lies ahead. Embrace moments that bring you peace and growth, and they’ll bring even better things your way.
13. Oídos sordos a corazones ciegos.
Deaf ears to blind hearts.
Don’t pay attention to those who speak maliciously and with bad intentions. Only acknowledge what those who have your best interest at heart have to say.
14. Quien siembra vientos, cosecha tempestades.
Whoever sows wind reaps storms.
Remember, anything you do today has consequences for tomorrow. It’s important to make good decisions that won’t negatively affect yourself or others.
15. No es más rico quien más tiene, sino el que menos necesita.
That one who has the most isn’t the richest, but the one who needs it the least.
This proverb is a reflection on how accumulating wealth and riches only takes you so far and doesn’t guarantee happiness. Learning to live with what you have allows you to be in balance and focus on what matters most.
16. A falta de pan, buenas tortillas.
In the absence of bread, tortillas are good.
Having something is better than nothing. Be grateful every day for what you have and may often overlook. Use this proverb when you wish you have a better version of something, even when it’s not necessary. Instead, feel lucky to have what you have.
17. Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho trecho.
Between saying and fact, there is a great divide.
Talk is cheap. There’s a huge difference between saying you’ll do something and actually getting it done. Take that Spanish class you’ve been delaying. Go on the trip you’ve been postponing. In other words, get out there and make things happen!
18. En las malas se conoce a los amigos.
In bad situations, you’ll know your friends.
Among Spanish proverbs on friendship, this one is excellent! When you’re doing well, you’re surrounded by friends, but in the hard times, you’ll discover your true friends. True amigos are those who stay with you through thick and thin. Learn to cherish those who stick around.
19. Haz el bien y no mires a quien.
Do good, and don’t look at whom you are helping.
This Spanish proverb is essential for life. Be good to others no matter who they are or what they’ve done. Kindness is key in becoming a better person, and love can be expressed through the tiniest acts.
20. El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho.
One who reads and walks a lot sees and knows a lot.
This is one of my favorite Spanish proverbs. It was coined by Miguel de Cervantes, one of Spain’s best-known authors. It talks about how traveling and reading can teach you an infinite amount of things—about society, culture, and mostly about yourself.
Try new experiences and explore the world, and you’ll end up with more than you expected! A new language and new friends, for example.
Spanish Proverbs Carry Wisdom
I hope after going through this list you’re feeling grateful and ready to tackle any obstacle you may encounter in your daily life. These Spanish proverbs are ideal for you to practice your conversational Spanish, and they make sharing wisdom easy.
Do you want to learn more attention-grabbing Spanish proverbs? Sign up for a free trial class with our certified Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala. They’ll help you practice your conversational skills and teach you other Spanish proverbs that didn’t make this list.
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