Learning Idioms in Context: Lily's Belief in Life

Here is a story about a young lady who is diligent and friendly. You’ll find idiom definitions, example sentences, conversations, and a short quiz after reading the story.

Lily is a lady who lives in a small town near the city. She loves to walk every weekend together with her brown puppy. During her summer vacation, she makes sure to relax to compensate for the busy moments in her school days. For her, living near the city is a blessing in disguise. In her first few months, she wasn’t able to appreciate the scarcity of establishments around. But now, she enjoys the simplicity and calmness of the neighborhood. She now sees the significance of some situations that seem terrible at first, but good things happen after.

Lily believes that contentment is one of the most useful virtues in life. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” Lily advised. She is delighted with what she has right now. Moreover, she also believes that a little learning is a dangerous thing. “People who don’t understand something fully are dangerous,” she said. She always reiterates the significance of wisdom as a tool for success. She is also a fan of real justice and equality. “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” she said. A person may look bad, but you should observe and know him before judging. 

Lily stressed that one of the most important virtues in life is a sacrifice. “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs,” she suggested. It is hard to achieve goals in life without doing your best. Sometimes, unpleasant things happen, but life must go on. What doesn’t kill you makes you wiser and stronger. Finally, make sure to give your best at all times. At any rate, that’s how to be happy and successful in life according to Lily.

A blessing in disguise

  • a favorable situation or a result that seemed terrible at first, but it turns out to be an advantage or a fortune
Example Sentences

Adam’s early resignation from his work was a blessing in disguise because he got plenty of rest and a break from his toxic work life. 

Amanda’s failure in her exams was a blessing in disguise for she realized that she was not happy anymore with her bachelor’s degree and decided to change it to the degree she loves.

A: What makes you blessed now these days?

B: When Alana broke up with me, I was so distressed for a few months. But now, I think the breakup is a blessing in disguise because no one stops me when I want to stay late with my friends on weekends.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

  • what you have is more precious or valuable than what you can get later, so it is best to be contented and happy with what you possess right now no matter how small it is
Example Sentences

Layla might have got a better offer if she had waited for some more time, but she decided to take the one she had. After all, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

People may not like their job, but they should not quit just because they have the belief of finding a better one. They may not realize a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

A: You have been working in the company for quite a long time. What’s your secret?

B: Our company is already established. We have excellent benefits here that other companies cannot offer to their employees. You know, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

A little learning/knowledge is a dangerous thing

  • this applies to people who don’t understand something or those who know a few are dangerous, and they are prone to errors
Example Sentences

Tom came home with some bruises that he got when playing in the mud. Just because his best friend jumps and runs in the dirt, it doesn’t mean that he will not get wounded. This goes to show that a little learning/knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Sam read about how to take care of himself when he has a high fever. He thought he doesn’t need a doctor. With this, he got worse and stayed in the hospital for a few days. This turned out that a little learning/knowledge is a dangerous thing

A: Are you now ready for the thesis defense this Friday?

B: No, I have to go over my research notes and study possible inquiries so that I can have organized thoughts, and my presentation will run smoothly. I have to be ready because I know that a little learning/knowledge is a dangerous thing.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs

  • give up something or to take much effort to get something in return or something desirable
Example Sentences

Helen is trying to do her best for her to get the university scholarship. She is not going out with her friends and watching movies. She has realized that she can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs

I have been studying English, and it’s hard work. However, I am hopeful that I can improve soon as it is true that I can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

A: How long have you been preparing for the 5k Marathon competition?

B: It has been two months, and I am not giving up. I can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. I know, I can do it.

You can’t judge a book by its cover 

  • don’t just look at the value of something by its appearance and this may sound bad in the outside appearance, but it’s good inside
Example Sentences

One of the applicants did not look very smart, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.

The restaurant looked so attractive from outside, but the meals were so horrible. We made a mistake. It’s really true that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

A: John has married Ella, one of the smartest students in his batch. She has a brown complexion and small. 

B: I think John has made a wise decision. He is happy now. He believes that you can’t judge a book by its cover.


  1. A major problem in life that you may encounter can turn out to be _________________. Embrace it and be positive.
  2. Be grateful for what you have accomplished. Be happy! You can never be promoted in your workplace for several years but _________________.  
  3. Human resource professionals scrutinize each applicant and they practice the belief that ____________________. So they hire based on skills and attitude not on appearance.
  4. Do not start a business without researching your market and efficiently planning because ______________ as you might face difficulties and issues that lead to failure.
  5. My best friend and I hope to achieve outstanding scores this summer class. We plan to decrease our screen time though this will make us upset. We believe that _____________________.

Learn more idiomatic expressions using short stories, sentences, and quizzes. It is essential to learn them in context as they are never easy to understand. Happy learning!

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