English Proverb: Actions speak louder than words

English Proverb: Actions speak louder than words

 Actions speak louder than words 

The proverb that is going to be discussed here in this post relates to a situation in which someone wants to do something but he/she talks about the action.

Proverb #90

Actions speak louder than words

Meaning:

  • It is better to do something rather than just talking
  • What you do carries more weight than what you say
  • Doing something is better than just talking about that
  • Actual deeds are more important than stated intentions
  • Actions are going to be more important than just saying words
  • People judge by actions more than words, practice what you preach
  • What someone actually does means more than what they say that they will do
  • Actions are a better reflection of one’s character because it’s easy to say things, but difficult to act on them and follow through.
English Proverb: Actions speak louder than words
English Proverb: Actions speak louder than words

Let’s start our explanation with a conversational example:

Beth: I can’t understand some words in election campaigns that are said by these candidates to win the election.
James: Well actually most of them just care about political power.
Beth: But I don’t think they can achieve any success by saying these words.
James: You’re right. Actually, their actions speak louder than their words. 

We can understand from the above example that if the candidates want to win the election, they don’t need just talk and say some words so they need to have some great work and actions in their political resume indeed. James used the phrase “their actions speak louder than their words” to tell Beth this idea and it’s the proverb that we are talking about. Let’s check the meaning and explanations of this proverb in some popular dictionaries to understand its meaning better:

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Actions speak louder than words 

Oxford:
What someone actually does means more than what they say they will do

Cambridge:
What you do is more important than what you say, because the things you do show your true intentions and feelings

Mac Millan:
It is used for saying that what you do is more important than what you say you will do

Longman:
It is used to say that you are judged by what you do, and not by what you say

Origin:
It is an ancient proverb in many languages, including ancient Greek. It is a very old proverb and is found in many languages and in various forms. This proverb was first recorded in 1736 in English in the United States, but some resources believe that it was found in 1692 in various forms such as “actions are more sufficient than words”. This proverb was used in 1736 in A.M. Davis’ Colonial Currency (Meloncholy State of This Province) in this way: “Actions speak louder than words, and are more to be regarded.”

People often use this expression when they want to criticize someone who says one thing but does something else. Actually, the word spoken in this proverb does not refer just to the spoken word, but to demonstrating or showing. In other words what someone actually does would be much more important than what they say they will do.

English Proverb: Actions speak louder than words
English Proverb: Actions speak louder than words

Let’s take a look at some examples of this idiom to understand it better:

Angela always says she’ll donate but she never does, so I doubt her to do it this year. You know actions speak louder than words, after all.
• We don’t expect him to win in this match, but he believes actions speak louder than words.

Trump made all sorts of promises when he was on the campaign trail. However, actions speak louder than words, so we’ll find out how many of those promises he actually keeps.
• You always tell me you’d help me with my exam, but you keep forgetting your words. You know I believe actions speak louder than words!
• You need to know that actions speak louder than words. So it would help if you were more careful about what you do at home because your kids imitate what you do.
• While actions spoke louder than words, the captain tried to motivate his teammates and he finally could help his team to record another victory.
• Politicians are all the same, just talking while doing nothing; do they understand that actions speak louder than words?
• There is no advantage to sitting and speaking of success, you have to act on it. Remember actions speak louder than words.
A good leader is not the one just telling his team how things should be done, he should show them because actions speak louder than words.

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Click to find other idioms and proverbs

About Ahmad Osmani

Ahmad Osmani
I am Ahmad Osmani, an English teacher, and translator. I have more than 15 years of experience. I have been the administrator and writer of the website since its creation. I have studied Translation Studies and English Language. I love learning and teaching different languages. My main profession is writing and translating and sometime I teach English in my free time.

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