Be not afraid to go slowly, be afraid only to stand still

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  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    We say that?

    Well, I googled it, and it's attributed as a "Chinese proverb," so I would not search for your English lessons here. I don't see any difference between the two sentences you're asking about, it just seems that one is the way it's translated, and the other isn't.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello

    Who told you, or where did you read, that we don't say the first version but we do say the second?

    To me, they are pretty much the same, and both are gramatically correct.
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Glenfarclas
    and Heypresto

    .

    It's my judge to think you don't say, "Be not afraid to go slowly, be afraid only to stand still."
    It's because I didn't get any hits by googling it.

    Let me make sure what I understood.

    I guessed at the differences between them, and concluded by myself that "Be not afraid to go slowly, be afraid only to stand still." is used for a specific situation that is, say, someone is about to quit the job or something like that.
    "Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still" is a general statement, so this can be said to someone who is not in a situation of being pressed by the pressure and going to quit the job.
    This means just a precaution "Don't be serious when facing a great pressure in the future."


    Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Quite honestly I don't think there is as much of a difference between the two as you believe there to be. They are not different enough to warrant giving them such distinct uses.

    To me they don't sound like advice about quitting jobs or coping with pressure. With their formal, somewhat literary language, they sound more like traditional proverbs, or sayings by someone like Confucius, meaning something like 'Don't be afraid of taking things slowly, just be afraid of not doing anything at all.'

    I'm not sure what it is you wish to say to someone about to quit a job, but if you are wanting to advise or comfort somebody about handling pressure, then I think something simple and straightfoward like 'Don't take things so seriously' would be better than using the formal, flowery language of these sentences.

    Hope this helps :).

    Edit: Just noticed that it is indeed from a Chinese proverb - I should have more closely read Glenfarclas's post above!
     
    Last edited:

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Heypresto.

    I think I now understand I was trying to get too much grammar from this proverb.

    Thanks again,
    taked4700
     
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