“April showers bring May flowers”


And now, Words and their stories from VOA Learn English.

The rain can be annoying. This can prevent you from doing outdoor activities. Thus, it is easy to complain about the rain.

Of course, rain is important, especially for plants. Although rain may seem boring, it helps flowers and other plants grow.

There are certain times of the year when it rains more than others. In some parts of the world, for example, April can be particularly rainy.

This brings us to our expression for today: April showers bring May flowers.

This weather expression indicates that heavy rain helps flowers to grow. Here, “showers” means short periods of light rain.

As a verb, “shower” can mean that large amounts of things fall, are emitted, or occur at the same time. For example, you can shower someone with to rent out. It means you say a lot of nice things about someone.

Daffodils in flowerbed

But now, back to our expression: “April showers bring Mayflowers.”

If you hear someone complaining about all the rainy spring weather, you can remind them that April showers come in handy.

It’s 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, the good times will follow. “Adversity” means difficulty and trial.

In English there is another saying which means almost the same thing. Sometimes we just say, “That 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 it going?

B: Well, okay, I guess.

A: You don’t look well. What’s wrong?

B: The company I work for had to cut expenses. So I lost a lot of hours at my job. And both my parents were sick. So I take care of them.

A: I’m sorry to hear that. Sounds like you’re going through a tough time.

B: It will pass. I keep telling myself that April showers bring May flowers.

A: It’s a big attitude! Hey, how about I make my famous chicken soup for your parents?

B: That would be great. Thank you! See the ‘may flowers’ begin to Bloom.

And that’s all the time we have for that 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 displeasure : to reproach

to rent out – nm express his approval of

literal – adj. according to the ordinary or usual meaning of the words

adversity – nm a condition or instance of severe or continuing difficulty or misfortune

attitude – nm a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior

Bloom – v. produce or produce flowers


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