Ok, sometime in life you do 1 thing but that action can give 2 or more benefits.

For example, before owning a car you have to wake up early everyday and have a 10 minutes walking to the station to wait for the train. Now, you've bought a car and you said.

Buying this car is like "1 shot kills 2 birds" because I don't need to wake up early and I don't need to spend 10 minutes walking to the station and don't need to wait for the train.

so, Can we use the expression "1 shot kills 2 birds" to express the idea that you do 1 thing but it can have many benefits?

If it has 2 benefits then I'll say "1 shot kills 2 birds" but

If it has 3 or more benefits then do I have to say "1 shot kills 3 or many birds" or just "1 shot kills 2 birds"?

also, Is there any other similar expression?

1 Answer 1


The commonly-used idiom is to "kill two birds with one stone".

to succeed in achieving two things in a single action: I killed two birds with one stone and picked the kids up on the way to the train station.

  • what if it can solve 3 or more problems? do u say "kill 3 or many birds with 1 stone"?
    – Tom
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 7:42
  • Whilst it's less common, I'm sure everyone would understand what you meant if you said "I was visiting London so I met with Dave who lives there and picked up a book for my friend, killing three birds with one stone".
    – Ste
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 7:44
  • Another dictionary gives: Fig. to solve two problems at one time with a single action. idioms.thefreedictionary.com/kill+two+birds+with+one+stone Solving two problems with one action isn't exactly equivalent to bringing two benefits with one action. I think the former is closer to the common usage of the idiom.
    – Yang
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 8:13
  • Let's say achieving two objectives. Birds aren't necessarily problems or benefits. Maybe they're a project; something you throw stones (projectiles) at. Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 8:31

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