I'm curious if there's an English proverb or saying that has the meaning "you can't have too many friends". The matter is, we have such a saying in Russian ("Друзей много не бывает"). In other words, no matter how many friends you have, it's good to make additional friends.

A line or stanza from a poem will do, if proverbs are few. (0:

The literal translation of the Russian original is

Друзей - (of) Friends (Genitive case)
Много - Many (here, closer to "overmuch")
Не бывает - Does not exist: negative particle "не" + verb "быть" (to be, to exist; cognate with English "to be")

Meaning, "there's no such thing as (too) many friends".

  • 1
    What is the literal, word-by-word translation of that phrase?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 17:25
  • In a moment I will add it to the body of my question Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 17:27
  • 2
    As in Russian, it's not uncommon to simply state that directly: "you can't/can never have too many friends," "there's no such thing as too many friends," etc.
    – blahdiblah
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 2:09

4 Answers 4


The first one that comes to my mind from my English classes years ago, is:

Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, the other is gold.

I also found this youtube video which is related. (:


A well-known saying,

The more, the merrier

Also, there's a saying "two is company, three is a crowd" (saying that the 3rd person is unwelcome), but a jolly (perhaps little-known) variant on that is,

One is company, two is a crowd, three is a party!

(i.e. "I'm fine by myself, the company of one person is oppressive, but a group of several people is fun).


As Marcus says in Nick Hornby's About a Boy (1998),...

“I feel safer than before, because I know more people. I was really scared because I didn’t think two was enough, and now there aren’t two anymore. There are loads. And you’re better off that way”

I don't think he ever uses the exact phrase, but essentially what Marcus is saying is there's...

Safety in numbers
the hypothesis that, by being part of a large physical group or mass, an individual is less likely to be the victim of a mishap, accident, attack, or other bad event.


I came across a quote years ago, don't remember where, just remember it because it touched me. "A person can never have too many friends, only too many to properly care for." Struck me as very true. Friends do require time and relationships require care if they are to grow and strengthen.

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