A farmer travel guide his cows as they pull a dare loaded with hay in his paddy field in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.

You are watching: What does make hay while the sun shines mean



And now, Words and also Their story from VOA discovering English!

When the sun shines brightly, it gives a good chance to obtain outdoor things done. Prefer making hay! in ~ least, the is what farmer from the previous would say.

“Make hay while the sunlight shines.”

This idiom is an extremely old, dating earlier to Medieval times. Rain would often damage the process of making hay. So, farmers had actually no selection but to make hay when the sun was shining.​

Today, us all use this expression, not just farmers. When problems are perfect to get something done, we have the right to say, “It’s a good idea to do hay while the sunlight shines.”

In other words, you room taking advantage that a great situation or of an excellent conditions. You space making the most of her opportunities. These all mean “making hay while the sun shines.”

Now hear while I use this expression with my friend Bryan.

Say, when is her husband comes home?

Not for another two weeks.

That’s a long time! just how are girlfriend spending your time alone?

I am lastly getting some home advancement projects done. You know, relocating some furniture, painting some rooms, clean closets …

That’s a the majority of work because that one person. Why don’t you wait for your husband come come home?

No way! It’s easier to carry out it by myself. Ns getting everything done that ns can’t perform with other world around.

Good idea. ‘Make hay when the sunlight shines.’


And occasionally we usage this expression to average we beat someone to the punch, or we gained ahead of who else.

And other times you do hay while the sunlight shines to make an excellent use that the chance to perform something while the lasts. You room being opportunistic – taking advantage of a an excellent opportunity.

For example, my girlfriend Ozzy to be sick for a week and could not go come work. So, his co-worker buy it -- who doesn’t choose him -- took benefit of his illness and also stole his project! Talk around making hay if the sun shines.

Sometimes once you do hay if the sunlight shines you are staying ahead that a difficulty – like in this example:

Hey, do you want to walk hiking with me and my friends this weekend? The weather is walking to be beautiful!

I wish ns could. Yet I have actually to finish my taxes. It’s the critical weekend before they’re due.

Oh, that’s as well bad.

Wait. What about your taxes?

My taxes space done. I was turn off from job-related a pair of weeks earlier and made hay if the sunlight shined. I got all of it done!

I wish ns would have actually taken benefit of mine time turn off last week. All ns did was lay approximately the house.

You should know that sometimes we just use components of this expression. You might hear someone simply say they to be “making a little hay.” The an interpretation is still there, even if every the indigenous aren’t.

And it is all the time we have actually for this Words and Their Stories. But join us again following week. You have the right to listen when you’re making dinner or riding come work.

Yeah, make hay when the sun shines. Learn more English expressions with VOA discovering English!

Until following time … i’m Anna Matteo.

See more: How Many Yards Are In A Miles To Yards Conversion (Mi To Yd)

And ns Bryan Lynn.

Anna Matteo composed this story because that VOA learning English. ­­­­Bryan Lynn to be the editor. The song at the is Jessica Andrews singing “There’s much more to Me than You.”


Words in This Story

idiom – n. an expression that cannot be construed from the definitions of its separate words however that has actually a separate definition of the own

medieval – adj. of or relating to the Middle eras : of or relating to the duration of European background from around A.D. 500 to around 1500

taking benefit of (something) phrase to use a case or possibility to get what you want