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those who can't do, teach
Those who are unable to successfully find a career in their field of interest end up teaching about it instead. (A shortening of "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.") A: "I know he always aspired to be a great novelist, but the last I heard, he's still teaching middle school English." B: "Well, those who can't do, teach."
don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs
An older person is wiser and more experienced and worldly than a young person may think—thus, the older person does not need to be taught. I may be 70, but I've been using a computer since before you were born! Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs, sonny!
teach a man to fish
Teaching someone how to do something is more helpful to him or her in the long run than just doing it for him or her. The full proverb is "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." A: "I don't want to teach Billy how to drive!" B: "Well, I know you're sick of driving him around, and this is a solution. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime!" I'm trying to show my grandfather how to use his new computer, so that he won't call me with questions every time he tries to use it—teach a man to fish and all that.
teach (one's) grandmother to suck eggs
To try to teach an older person who is wiser and more experienced and worldly than a young person may think. Why are you explaining basic typing to Ethel? Yes, she's 70, but she's been using a computer since before you were born—quit teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.
Those who are especially skilled in a certain field or area will be able to pursue a career, while those who are less skilled will end up teaching about it instead. A: "I know he always aspired to be a great novelist, but the last I heard he's still teaching middle school English." B: "Well, those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
To teach; to be a teacher in a school. Did you know that Karen teaches school? I thought she was stockbroker. Don't feel so bad. I've taught school for 30 years, and I still run into situations I don't know how to handle.
you can't teach an old dog new tricks
You can't teach someone who is set in their ways to change their behavior. Good luck getting grandpa to start going to yoga with you. You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
teach one's grandmother to suck eggs
Fig. to try to tell or show someone more knowledgeable or experienced than oneself how to do something. Don't suggest showing Mary how to knit. It will be like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs. Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs. Bob has been playing tennis for years.
teach someone a lesson
to get even with someone for bad behavior. John tripped me, so I punched him. That ought to teach him a lesson. That taught me a lesson. I won't do it again.
that'll teach someone
Inf. What happened to someone is a suitable punishment! (The someone is usually a pronoun.) Bill: Tom, who has cheated on his taxes for years, finally got caught. Sue: That'll teach him. Bill: Gee, I got a ticket for speeding. Fred: That'll teach you!
See also: teach
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
Prov. People who are able to do something well can do that thing for a living, while people who are not able to do anything that well make a living by teaching. (Used to disparage teachers. From George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman.) Bob: I'm so discouraged. My writing teacher told me my novel is hopeless. Jane: Don't listen to her, Bob. Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
*tricks of the trade
special skills and knowledge associated with any trade or profession. (*Typically: know ~; learn ~; show someone ~; teach someone ~.) I know a few tricks of the trade that make things easier. I learned the tricks of the trade from my uncle.
You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
Prov. Someone who is used to doing things a certain way cannot change. (Usually not polite to say about the person you are talking to; you can say it about yourself or about a third person.) I've been away from school for fifteen years; I can't go back to college now. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Kevin's doctor told him not to eat starchy food anymore, but Kevin still has potatoes with every meal. I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
teach a lesson
Punish in order to prevent a recurrence of bad behavior. For example, Timmy set the wastebasket on fire; that should teach him a lesson about playing with matches . This term uses lesson in the sense of "a punishment or rebuke," a usage dating from the late 1500s. Also see learn one's lesson.
teach an old dog new tricks
Change longstanding habits or ways, especially in an old person. For example, His grandmother avoids using the microwave oven-you can't teach an old dog new tricks. This expression, alluding to the difficulty of changing one's ways, was first recorded in 1523 in a book of husbandry, where it was used literally. By 1546 a version of it appeared in John Heywood's proverb collection.
tricks of the trade
Clever ways of operating a business or performing a task or activity, especially slightly dishonest or unfair ones. For example, Alma knows all the tricks of the trade, cutting the fabric as close as possible, or The butcher weighs meat after it's wrapped; charging for the packaging is one of the tricks of the trade .
you can't teach an old dog new tricks
If you say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, you mean that it is often difficult to get people to try new ways of doing things, especially if they have been doing something in a particular way for a long time. The low levels of participation among older people are affected by the widespread belief that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Note: This expression is often varied. For example, if you say you can teach an old dog new tricks or an old dog can learn new tricks, you mean that it is possible to get people to try new ways of doing something. Our work shows that you can teach an old dog new tricks. An old dog can learn new tricks if he has both the will and the opportunity.
teach your grandmother to suck eggsBRITISH
If you teach your grandmother to suck eggs, you give advice about a subject to someone who knows more about it than you do. Look, I don't want to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, but haven't you done this the wrong way round? Note: You can also say that you teach your granny to suck eggs. At the risk of teaching my granny to suck eggs, wouldn't it be better to use this pan?
could tell someone a thing or twoor
could teach someone a thing or two
If you could tell someone a thing or two about something or could teach someone a thing or two about it, you know much more about it than they do. Perhaps they'd like to meet my sons, now aged 14 and 17. They could tell them a thing or two about drama. They could teach us a thing or two about family values. Note: A thing or two is often used after other verbs to mean a lot of things. Patricia Hewitt knows a thing or two about how to be well-organised. The peace movement has learnt a thing or two from Vietnam.
you can't teach an old dog new tricksyou cannot make people change their ways. proverb
teach your grandmother to suck eggspresume to advise a more experienced person.
The proverb you can't teach your grandmother to suck eggs has been used since the early 18th century as a caution against any attempt by the ignorant or inexperienced to instruct someone wiser or more knowledgeable.
tricks of the tradespecial ingenious techniques used in a profession or craft, especially those that are little known by outsiders.
teach your grandmother to suck ˈeggs(British English, informal) tell or show somebody how to do something that they can already do well, and probably better than you can: I don’t know why he’s telling Rob how to use the computer. It seems to me like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.
teach somebody a ˈlesson(also ˈteach somebody (to do something)) learn from a punishment or because of an unpleasant experience, that you have done something wrong or made a mistake: He needs to be taught a lesson (= he should be punished). ♢ Losing all his money in a card game has taught him a lesson he’ll never forget. ♢ That’ll teach you! Perhaps you’ll be more careful in future!
(you can’t) teach an old dog new ˈtricks(saying) (you can’t) make old people change their ideas or ways of working, etc: My grandmother doesn’t want a computer. She says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
can/could teach/tell somebody a ˈthing or two (about somebody/something)(informal) be able to help somebody, or teach somebody how to do something, because you have more experience: He thinks he knows a lot about farming, but old Bert could teach him a thing or two.
That’ll teach someone
sent. That is what someone deserves. That’ll teach you to pull out in front of me.
See also: teach
tricks of the trade
n. special skills and knowledge associated with any trade or profession. I know a few tricks of the trade that make things easier.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
Getting people to change their habits or acquire new skills is impossible. Puppies are teachable, but older dogs are less apt to be able to be trained, or so popular wisdom had it. By the same token, an octogenarian who has read the morning newspaper for decades is unlikely to be willing, much less eager, to switch to the online edition.