Don't count your chickens before they are hatched


      • don't make assumptions or predictions about something before it has actually happened or come to fruition
        Encouraging someone to wait until a result or outcome is certain before celebrating or planning based on it

    Examples of Don't count your chickens before they are hatched

    • The businessman was too confident in his latest venture and started counting his profits before the product was even manufactured.

      This example shows the idiom being used to state that the businessman acted prematurely by assuming the success of his venture without considering the actual outcome. It implies that he was overconfident and made assumptions before the product was actually produced.

    • The athlete boasted about his victory before the race had even started.

      This example illustrates the idiom being used to indicate that the athlete spoke too soon about his success before the race had even begun. By making such premature claims, the athlete was essentially assuming victory without taking into account any potential obstacles or competition.

    • The politician made promises to his constituents before he was even elected.

      This example demonstrates the use of the idiom to show that the politician was making commitments before the voting process had even taken place. This implies that he may have been overpromising or making promises that he couldn't realistically keep, as the outcome of the election was still uncertain.

    • The student celebrated her acceptance letter to her dream university before she had actually submitted her final exams.

      This example highlights the use of the idiom to express that the student was prematurely rejoicing over her admittance to her desired school before she had completed all of her academic requirements. This could suggest that she was assuming her success without acknowledging the work that still needed to be done.

    • Sarah made a grand plan to buy the luxury car as soon as her inheritance arrives. She even pictured herself driving the car around the city with the cool wind blowing through her hair. Her friend warned her not to count her chickens before they are hatched, but Sarah wasn't ready to listen. She had her hopes pinned on the inheritance, forgetting that anything could happen in between.

      Sarah's friend was reminding her not to be overly optimistic about the future, as the inheritance is still uncertain. She was warning Sarah not to celebrate the anticipated windfall too soon, as it is not a done deal until she actually receives the money. The idiom "don't count your chickens before they are hatched" here means that Sarah should avoid making definite plans or commitments based on assumptions or expectations that have not yet been realized.

    • Emma was enthusiastically announcing her engagement to her work colleagues. She talked about the dream wedding she was planning, the honeymoon trip to Hawaii, and the extravagant gifts she was receiving from her fiancé. But before the celebrations began, Emma's fiancé had second thoughts about the marriage and broke off the engagement. Emma's colleagues were sorry to hear that, and some of them remarked that Emma had been counting her chickens before they were hatched.

      Emma's colleagues realized that Emma had made premature assumptions about her future, based on her initial engagement. They understood that Emma had been too hasty in planning and announcing her wedding arrangements, and that she should have waited until the engagement was confirmed before she started making firm commitments.

    • Jack was an avid fan of a popular sports team. He planned to attend every home game and to purchase the season's tickets as soon as they went on sale. Unfortunately, the team's performance took a dive, and they were no longer considered a contender in their division. Jack's enthusiasm waned, and he began to lose interest in following the team. Some of his fellow sports fans reminded him that he had been counting his chickens before they were hatched by assuming that the team would do well.

      Jack's friends recognized that he had been making assumptions about the team's performance based on past successes, and without taking into account the possibility of a downward trend. They understood that Jack should have avoided making definite plans based on his initial optimism, awareness that the team's performance was unpredictable.

    • Lily was applying for law school, hoping to secure a scholarship based on her prior academic achievements. She told her family and friends that she was confident of receiving the scholarship, and that she would start preparing for the demanding law school curriculum immediately. However, she was notified that she had been rejected, and she was disappointed and upset. Her friends and family frowned, remembering that Lily had been counting her chickens before they were hatched.

      Lily's loved ones were aware that she had been assuming that she would receive the scholarship based on her past academic record, without considering the rigorous selection process. They recognized that Lily should have avoided making definitive statements about her future, as the scholarship was far from guaranteed. In this scenario, the idiom "don't count your chickens before they are hatched" means that Lily should have acknowledged the uncertainty of the selection process and prepared accordingly, rather than assuming that the scholarship was a done deal.


    This idiom is often used as a cautionary phrase to remind people not to get ahead of themselves and to avoid disappointment or embarrassment. It can also be used in a more positive sense, as a reminder to remain patient and not to take things for granted.

    Origin of "Don't count your chickens before they are hatched"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to ancient Greek storyteller Aesop, who wrote the fable "The Milkmaid and Her Pail." In the story, a milkmaid is carrying a pail of milk on her head and begins to daydream about all the things she will do with the money she will earn from selling the milk. However, she becomes so distracted by her fantasies that she ends up tripping and spilling the milk before she even reaches the market.

    The phrase "don't count your chickens before they are hatched" is believed to have been derived from this fable, as it serves as a moral lesson about not getting too excited or confident about something before it has actually happened. It has since become a popular idiom in English, used to caution against premature assumptions or expectations.