The implication is that when something bad happens, only then one will see the results. Is there a semantically identical idiom in English? Can this idiom be considered as an equivalent to the above-mentioned one ? - Shut the stable door after the horse has bolted ?

  • That's a great idiom! Out of curiosity, which language does that come from?
    – m_a_s
    Mar 29, 2018 at 0:08
  • 1
    The Georgian language.
    – Beqa
    Mar 29, 2018 at 0:08
  • 1
    We call that a wake-up call.
    – Phil Sweet
    Mar 29, 2018 at 0:16
  • All I can think of as close to, but not exactly the same, would be "You reap what you sow."
    – psosuna
    Mar 29, 2018 at 0:17
  • The road isn't a result of the accident. Are you saying that seeing the road is obvious evidence that there has been an accident? I can't see why you'd need such confirmation. Mar 29, 2018 at 0:24

6 Answers 6


The closest thing that I can think of would be the fairly common expression in English hindsight is 20/20:

In hindsight, things that are obvious now were not obvious from the outset; one is able to evaluate past choices more clearly than at the time of the choice.

Quite obviously, it's not the exact equivalent, but conceptually the two expressions are really more or less the same. To get a better idea how this idiom works, take a look at this example:

With 20/20 hindsight, it's now obvious that we should not have trusted this charlatan from the very beginning! He cheated us out of all our money!

  • It still doesn't convey the good event vs bad event aspect Mar 29, 2018 at 1:11
  • Well, it certainly can convey that idea. It all just depends on how you use it. Mar 29, 2018 at 9:18
  • 2
    Given Gio's example of "Only after the house had been completely burnt down, the new settlers realized how important it was to install an anti-fire system. They realized it only after the house was burnt down." there is no better answer in English than "hindsight is 20/20".
    – Dispenser
    Apr 6, 2018 at 19:06

a rude awakening TFD

The shocking instance of learning the unpleasant or unwelcome truth about a situation.


You don't know what you have until you've lost it.

Don't know what you got till it's gone
Don't know what it is I did so wrong
Cinderella lyrics


It appears that the proverb warns one to not wait until an unfortunate incident to see the results helplessly (the "harsh" reality of the "road" after the cart has overturned) but be prepared to prevent it (make sure the cart is moving smoothly by "driving" it gently, maintaining it in a good state of repair, etc). In that sense, a good English counterpart may be "Foresight is better than hindsight".


Foresight is better than hindsight.
cliché It is better to anticipate and prevent future problems than to realize how they could have been avoided after the fact.
If I were you, I would pay the extra $50 for full insurance coverage while you're traveling. You never know what might happen, and foresight is better than hindsight.

Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


"Every cloud has a silver lining"

The Free Dictionary says:

It is possible for something good to come out of a bad situation. (A silver lining on a cloud is an indication that the sun is behind it.)


Consider the following quote:

Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions - attributed to Mark Twain at AZ Quotes

The experience resulting from bad decisions parallels your idiom's overturned cart, and the experience leading to good decisions parallels your idiom's road.

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