The Apple Tree

Here is a short story about a man who had spent his whole life planting trees in his garden. You’ll find idiom definitions, example sentences, conversations, and a short quiz after reading the story.

Once upon a time, there was a poor man who never had the chance to go to school. He tried to convince his parents to let him study but still rejected. After a year, his parents have decided to let him enroll in the nearest school, but he needed to take it with a grain of salt due to multiple rejections received.

With what happened, he ended up rejecting the idea of studying as he thought that there were other fish in the sea. With this, he spent his whole life planting trees in his garden. He had an apple tree that bore a lot of fruit. 

The apple tree made the man very rich. He tried to save for a rainy day, too. The man and his wife were very blissful for a long time although both of them did not experience to study in a school. As a man without a college degree, he believed that every cloud has a silver lining. But one day, the man came up with an idea and thought, “Why we need to wait for this tree to bear fruit? I am also paying more taxes now than before. Let us sell the whole land and make a tremendous amount of money.”

The man was very upset to wait for the apple tree to bear fruit each season. The foolish man’s wife also agreed, so they decided to sell the land at a high price. Though the price was costly, the land was sold quickly because of the apple tree. The man and his wife moved to the city and lived happily. They did not apply for any job as they thought their money was enough to support their lives. After a few years, the man realized his mistake. He ended up poor again.

Every cloud has a silver lining

  • to get some benefits in a bad situation
Example Sentences

Do not be upset of not winning the class presidency as I am sure that every cloud has a silver lining.

For every trial or difficulties that you encounter in life, you need to remember that every cloud has a silver lining.

A: Things are not easy for me these past few days.

B: I knew that your company’s sales are not doing well, but you don’t need to worry because every cloud has a silver lining. 

Save for a rainy day

  • to save money to be used in times of unforeseen trouble, or need
Example Sentences

Benny has been aiming to buy a new smartphone, but his brother advised him to save for a rainy day.  

Delia has been saving a portion of her monthly salary because she believes that she needs to save for a rainy day.

A: Daniel, what is your top priority now?

B: I plan to save for a rainy day and pay off all my debts.

Take (something) with a grain of salt

  • to evaluate something to check its authenticity and never believe immediately
Example Sentences

Every time that the new employee talks about an information that is not formally announced yet by the board, I need to take it with a grain of salt.

A lot of politicians nowadays are making a lot of promises before the election, but make sure to take these promises with a grain of salt.

A: I can’t believe that I am reading a lot of articles with full of exaggerations.

B: Yes, these articles online should always be taken with a grain of salt.

There are other fish in the sea

  • mostly being said when someone has been unsuccessful or has broken up with his/her partner
  • can also be applicable to excellent opportunities, possibilities that one can find
Example Sentences

My boyfriend suddenly broke up with me so my sister has advised me that I don’t need to be hopeless as there are other fish in the sea.

Martha is very disappointed because she fails to ace the annual promotion, but she still strives to do her best as there are other fish in the sea.

A: Leslie, my son has been so depressed because his girlfriend left him.

B: There are other fish in the sea, so your son should cheer up. 

You can’t have your cake and eat it too

  • someone cannot do or have two options at the same time when these options conflict with each other
Example Sentences

It’s true that I can’t have my cake and eat it too because I have been working very hard to pay for my big house, but I rarely go home.

Lenny wants to be promoted to get a higher salary, but she is afraid that she might have less time for her daughter, so she accepts the fact that she can’t have her cake and eat it too.

A: Why is it that I am paying more taxes in the past few months.

B. Your company has boomed. So, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want more sales and company growth, never expect to pay less tax.


1. Always think that ____________________ in this world because there are many opportunities that are coming in your way.

2. John has been told to ________________ because he keeps on spending all his salary.

3. You did not fulfill your promises to me so everything that you will say, I need to ________________.

4. Don’t be frustrated as ____________ so keep moving, and do your best always.

5. I ___________ because I wanted to be fit, but I cannot promise not to pig out when the foods are grilled pork and fried chicken.

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