Learning English goes through English grammar, syntax and vocabulary. But it is not because you know how to make a sentence in English that you can declare yourself bilingual! Learning a language also involves cultural knowledge of English-speaking countries: history, geography, literature, famous people, art...
According to a survey conducted by Ifop for Le Point, in France, 48% of 18-24 year olds say they understand and speak English, including 14% fluently.
In your English lessons, you will not learn phrases out of context, but you will study current events in Great Britain or the history of the United States. In this perspective, a quote in English can help you better understand your English lessons and discover the English language differently!
Here are some examples of the most famous English quotes:
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” (“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm.”)
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” ("Success is not the end, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.")
“You have enemies? Good. It means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ("Do you have enemies? Good! That means you fought for something at least once in your life.")
“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.” ("The greatest lesson in life is knowing that even fools are sometimes right.")
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it's also what it takes to sit down and listen."
They can help you understand a historical context or simply inspire you, give you hope in moments of doubt. Here is a selection among the most evocative!
1/ Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them: William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare, everyone knows him! You may study it in English class in modern English versions of its texts.
This quote is from Twelfth Night and can be translated as “Don't be afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some are driven by greatness. »
Shakespeare is considered one of the greatest poets, playwrights and writers in English culture. He is so recognized that his name is used to designate the English language. The language of Shakespeare is the equivalent of the language of Molière to speak French.
2/ I have to be seen to be believed: Queen Elizabeth II
In English lessons, you will undoubtedly evoke the royal family, the Queen of England in mind! His most famous maxim can be translated as "I must be seen to be believed". By her words, the Queen showed that she understood her role well.
The sovereign must show himself in public to maintain the confidence of his subjects. Even if she doesn't necessarily enjoy it, she does it regularly. Elizabeth II was not destined to become Queen of England.
She was the eldest daughter of George VI, who became king by the abdication of his elder brother. She would have preferred "to be a lady living in the country with lots of horses and dogs".
3/ If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten: Rudyard Kipling
If history were taught as a story, it would never be forgotten."
Although he was born in Bombay in British India, Rudyard Kipling is a British author.
The author was considered an innovator, a pioneer of science fiction and one of the greatest writers of children's literature. He was a very popular author between the 19th and 20th centuries. Even the writer Henry James was particularly touched by Kipling.
He was also the first British author to receive the Nobel Prize in 1907.
4/ If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman. : Margaret Thatcher
The very controversial Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 did not have her tongue in her pocket.
Known as the 'Iron Lady', she is a symbol of steadfastness, particularly relating to the Provisional IRA hunger strikes in 1981 and the miners' strikes of 1984 and 1985. The quote in English translates to 'if you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman."
Finally, an English citation is your way of telling your readers that certain phrases in your work come from another source. It also gives your readers the information they need to find that source. When you write a dissertation, you are not required to note all the information (author, title of the work from which the passage is taken, date, page number...). However, it is necessary to indicate at least the author of the sentence you are using.