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Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining & Don't Cry over Spilt Milk

This lesson is a part of an audio course English Phrases and Idioms by Robert Davey

Hello and welcome to lesson 9 of the English phrases and idioms course. In this lesson, we will be looking at the origin and meaning of 'Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining & Don't Cry over Spilt Milk.'

– Our first phrase for today is, 'Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining.' This is quite a popular phrase in English.

– Yes, I have heard this phrase lots of times.

– Well, it was first used by the wonderful poet, John Milton, back in the 17th century, and ever since, clouds and silver linings have been used a lot in literature.

It's a phrase that basically means every bad situation has some good to it, and we usually use it as a way to provide encouragement to someone who is having a difficult time or a bad experience. For example, 'Even though your relationship is going through a difficult phase, don't despair, every cloud has a silver lining' or 'She might have lost the game, but she now has more experience and confidence. Every cloud has a silver lining.'

The second phrase for today is 'Don't Cry over Spilt Milk.'

– That's a strange phrase; where does this come from?

– This phrase has a long history, coming from England in the 1650s, where it was used by the historian and writer James Howell. It means, don't be sad about something that has already happened, and you cannot change; it's better to move on than to stay angry. If you spend your time worrying about what has happened, that is not going to change anything. The best we can do is try to learn from the situation.

For example, 'John's car was completely destroyed in the accident, at first he was very sad and frustrated, but he realized it is best not to cry over spilt milk.' Or 'Yes, we made a mistake, but there is no point crying over spilt milk.'

So, listener, We can find some positive in every bad situation because every cloud has a silver lining, so let's not cry over spilt milk.

This is the end of lesson 9 of the 'English Phrases and Idioms' course.

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Written by

Robert Davey

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