when life gives you lemons


when life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Meaning | Synonyms

  • make the best out of a difficult situation
  • turn something negative into a positive
  • make something sweet out of something bitter
  • embrace life in whatever form
  • look on the bright side of life

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade is a proverbial expression used to inspire optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of difficulty or misfortune. Lemons suggest sourness or trouble in life; making lemonade is turning them into something positive or desirable.

Example Sentences

  1. She tried to live by the motto ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’
  2. He was so optimistic that he should have ‘when life gives you lemons‘ tattooed on his forehead.
  3. Although I was devastated when I was made redundant from my job, I used the time to go back to college and retrain. A case of if life gives you lemons and all that.
  4. My grandfather lost his job due to the coronavirus, but he decided to keep busy and active. He says, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
  5. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when life gives you millions of apples, make jam.
  6. Now when life gives you lemons, you can quickly and simply make so many lemony drinks and dishes.
  7. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When one door shuts, another one opens. So be optimistic.
  8. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade out of it – the saying fits quite aptly for my father who knows how to make the most out of everything.
  9. Why not try something more positive? As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
  10. My hope is that they look at this moment in time as a learning lesson to life and take away that when life gives you lemons – you make the best lemonade possible.


Of all the citrus fruit the lemon is quite sour and bitter to taste. So, it is often used in negative expressions in the English language. This phrase wants us to find optimism in the face of adversity by suggesting that if life puts you in a difficult situation or gives you bad luck, try to turn it into something positive or to your advantage.

The saying was originally coined by Christian anarchist writer Elbert Hubbard in a 1915 obituary he penned and published for dwarf actor Marshall Pinckney Wilder. The obituary, entitled The King of Jesters, praises Wilder’s optimistic attitude and achievements in the face of his disabilities:

“He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that fate gave him and started a lemonade stand.”

Although the expression was coined by Elbert Hubbard, many modern authors attribute the expression to Dale Carnegie who used it in his 1948 book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Carnegie’s version reads:

“If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade.”

Carnegie credited Julius Rosenwald for giving him the phrase.

If you are into video game Portal, you may have heard character, Cave Johnson says angrily:

“If life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade! Make life take the lemons back. Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons. What the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons!”

Share your opinions8 Opinions

If life gives you lemons take them throw them in the trash and get yourself some real food. Drive over to DQ and splurge on blizzard because life is about the simple moments

‒ Jen November 22, 2023

If life gives you lemons, give them back and demand chocolate instead.

‒ Wendy Cunliffe May 31, 2021

A pinch of sugar can make a lemon from sour to sweet. Love is that little pinch of sugar in ones life. After tasting sweet love, the bitterness and sourness of life starts sweetening.

‒ AP January 28, 2021

When life gives you pepper, make pepper soup.

‒ Happiness Eyoh November 25, 2020

When life hands you lemons, sell them as a new variety of artisanally grown tart citrus with a catchy name like Frapalapa for a whopping profit. Then get them carried in Whole Foods.

‒ Friend of Bill Gates August 4, 2020

When life gives you bamboos, make bamboo hut.

‒ HR.Iqbal July 30, 2020

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. ‘Yeah, but then you need some sugar.

‒ Chris R. Nielsen June 24, 2020

The mention of lemons makes the idiom fascinating for rumination.

‒ Louwalouwa June 22, 2020

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