in my language we have " measure 7 times, cut once" meaning one better check, think and plan thoroughly before making any decision or excuting any action. is there any English equivalent? Thank you in advance!

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    In the US it's only "measure twice, cut once", and that's likely only known to people in the building trades. (There's always "Look before you leap!") – Hot Licks Mar 31 '16 at 1:06
  • thank you so much. seems we overdo it by measuring 5 times more, LOL – Tamir Mar 31 '16 at 1:53

"Measure twice, cut once" is the closest English equivalent, with the same meaning. I think it is known outside the building trades, and this article opens by asserting "Most of us have heard the expression..."

I suspect "twice" is used instead of a larger number because (a) it still makes the point, and (b) English does not offer a more concise common way to say n times for n>2. Does your language offer a more concise way of saying that for seven times?

Also do feel free to check out our sister site, English Language Learners, which has a lot more questions like this. If you want this question to be moved there, you can request that a moderator do so in the question comments or by flagging the question if you have the flag option.

I see Hot Licks has put this in a comment and have upvoted that comment, but it fits better as an answer.

  • thank you so much. seems we overdo it by measuring 5 times more, LOL – Tamir Mar 31 '16 at 1:54
  • @Tamir I'm curious, what language is that in? – WBT Mar 31 '16 at 2:57
  • I think the "Measure twice..." version was originally a Jamaican expression. – Joe L. Mar 31 '16 at 5:34
  • We actually do have the word "thrice". And "measure thrice, cut once" turns up as a much less frequent alternative. – Peter Shor Mar 31 '16 at 19:04
  • We do have "thrice" but it is used far less often than "three times" while "twice" is far more common than "two times." See the ngrams graph I linked to with the qualifier "commonly." – WBT Apr 1 '16 at 2:50

In India, the prevalent saying is Look before you leap. It basically means that you shouldn't act without first considering the consequences and dangers. Only after thoroughly analyzing the situation, you should consider performing an action.


Dot your "i's" and cross your "t's" is an English idiom that can be used as a statement or a demand.

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    Dot your Is and cross your Ts means to check something thoroughly afterwards, i.e. make sure it's finalised and in working order. OP is asking for something meaning checking before actioning. – Moogle Mar 31 '16 at 9:23
  • I always get it wrong -- dot my Ts and cross my eyes. Then I can't see where I'm going and I fall down the stairs. Ouch! – Hot Licks Mar 31 '16 at 21:48
  • Moogle, in the case of taking a trip a friend may asked, "Did you dot your i's and cross your t's?" Would it not fulfill the OP's request "one better check, think and plan thoroughly before making any decision or executing any action". – Semaj Apr 2 '16 at 0:48


forewarned is forearmed

Knowledge in advance enables one to be prepared, as in Let me know when he's in town so I can take the phone off the hook-forewarned is forearmed. This expression originated as a Latin proverb, Praemonitus, praemunitus, which was translated into English by the early 1500s. It soon was put to broader use than its original military applications.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms

count to ten

To take a moment to calm down, especially when angry, before doing anything rash or hasty. Used as an imperative, it can but doesn't necessarily mean to literally count to the number ten. I know your boss said some unfair things about you, but just go count to ten so you don't end up saying something that gets you fired.

Farlex Dictionary of Idioms

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