Talk Like a Native

Episode 6 - Don’t count your chickens before they hatch

June 12, 2016

Talk Like a Native


Episode 6: “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”


Christine: Hey Kevin, what are you up to?


Kevin: I’m checking out how many listeners we have.


Christine: Ooh, it looks like we have at least 10.


Kevin: We’re gonna be famous!


Christine: Dude, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.


Kevin: Chickens? What chickens? I’m talking about our followers.


Christine: That’s what I’m talking about too! Don’t get your hopes up before anything happens. If you count your chickens before they hatch, you may find yourself with less than you originally expected. I think I even saw your mom as one of our subscribers.


Kevin: Of course, she’s one of our biggest fans.


Christine: Exactly, so we’re not going to be famous if only our family members listen to this. You’re getting too excited about something that hasn’t happened yet. Let me give you some other examples of this expression:


  • The results haven’t come out yet and you’ve already planned the party. You shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch!

  • I know you have big plans for your startup, but you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch.

  • Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, he hasn’t even proposed yet and you’ve already bought the wedding dress.


Christine: This expression actually comes from Aesop's Fables about the milkmaid that is carrying a pail filled with milk on the top of her head.


Kevin: Oh I know this story. She daydreams about buying chickens with the money she gets from selling the milk. Then she would make money from the eggs so she could toss her head at the suitors when she’s rich.


Christine: Yup, and then she physically does that and spills the milk instead, leaving her with nothing!

Kevin: Ok, fine! I won’t count my chickens before they hatch.