09 April 2022
And now, Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.
Rain can be annoying. It can stop you from doing activities outside. So, it is easy to complain about rain.
Of course, rain is important, especially for plants. Although rain might seem annoying, it helps flowers and other plants grow.
There are some periods of the year when it rains more than other times. In some parts of the world, for example, the month of April can be especially rainy.
That brings us to our expression for today: April showers bring May flowers.
This weather expression states that heavy rains help flowers to grow. Here "Showers" mean short periods of light rain.
As a verb, "shower" can mean that large amounts of things fall, are given off, or happen at the same time. For example, you can shower someone with praise. That means you say a lot of nice things about someone.
But now, let's go back to our expression: "April showers bring May flowers."
If you hear someone complain about all the rainy weather in the spring, you can remind them that April showers are helpful.
This is a literal meaning of this expression. But it also has a deeper meaning.
"April showers bring May flowers" means that even after long periods of adversity, good times will follow. "Adversity" means difficulty and hardship.
In English, there is another saying that means about the same thing. Sometimes we simply say, "This too shall pass." This means that difficult situations will not last forever.
Now, let's listen to two friends using this expression.
A: Hey, I haven't seen you in months! How's everything going?
B: Well, okay, I guess.
A: You don't sound okay. What's wrong?
B: The company where I work had to cut back. So, I've lost a lot of hours at my job. And both of my parents have been sick. So, I've been taking care of them.
A: I'm sorry to hear that. Sounds like you're having a tough time.
B: It will pass. I keep telling myself April showers bring May flowers.
A: That's a great attitude! Hey, how about if I make my famous chicken soup for your parents?
B: That would be great. Thanks! See the ‘May flowers' are starting to bloom.
And that's all the time we have for this Words and Their Stories. Until next time ... I'm Anna Matteo.
Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
annoying – adj. causing slight anger
complain – v. to express grief, pain, or discontent : find fault
praise – n. to express approval of
literal – adj. following the ordinary or usual meaning of the words
adversity – n. a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune
attitude – n. a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior
bloom – v. to produce or yield flowers