you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink

you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink

Meaning | Synonyms

  • we can offer good things to people but we can't force them to accept that
  • you can present an advantage but can't force someone to opt for that
  • we cannot enforce our decisions on anyone even if they are for their betterment
  • people will do whatever they wish to do no matter how much you ask them not to

Example Sentences

  1. I have tried my level best to educate him well, but he is still having a non-serious behavior, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
  2. My father always wanted me to become a doctor, but I just wanted to be a fashion designer. It is true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.
  3. I made all the arrangements but he is still not coming tonight. Well, you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink.
  4. I had advised him not to marry so soon, but he still did this. It's like you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Origin

The origin of the proverb "you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink" came in about 12th century and it is often considered as the oldest proverb of English that is in use today. It is initially believed to be recorded in 1175, in old English Homilies as:

"Hwa is thet mei thet hors wettrien the him self nule drinken"

It means that no one can give water to the horse if he is not willing to drink it.

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