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It’s Better to Be Safe Than Sorry - Meaning, Explanation & Examples

Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a master's degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.

Meaning of It's Better to Be Safe than Sorry

Meaning of It's Better to Be Safe than Sorry

If you've ever made a mistake and been told, "It's better to be safe than sorry," then you know what it means to be cautious. When someone is cautious, he or she thinks things through thoroughly before acting or making a decision.

This common phrase means that you should take precautions now to prevent problems later rather than having to deal with the consequences that could result if you don't take action. For example, if you are thinking of applying for a new credit card and your friend says, "It's better to be safe than sorry," he or she is suggesting that you read the fine print carefully in case there are any unexpected fees.

If something bad might happen, then it makes sense to avoid it. As the saying goes: "It's better to be safe than sorry."

For example, if you're worried that your partner could get angry and become violent, then you should probably leave him or her. It's not worth getting seriously hurt by someone who is emotionally unstable and dangerous.

If you're worried that your father could kill himself in a drunken rage, then you shouldn't leave him alone. It's better to babysit him until he sobers up than watch him die.

If you're worried that your sister is using drugs and could overdose, then you shouldn't leave her alone. It's better to stay with her until she gets clean than watch her die.

If you're worried that your friend might drive drunk and kill someone, then you shouldn't let them drive. It's better to call them a cab than have an innocent person die.

How to Use “It’s Better to Be Safe Than Sorry”

You can use the phrase in just about any context. It is most often used as an expression of caution, and it’s a good way to express that a little extra preparation or safety is better than taking a risk.

For example, if you’re packing for a camping trip, and you have room in your car for everything, you might say “it’s better to be safe than sorry” and pack an extra tent just in case.

You could also use the phrase to express concern. For example, if your friend had plans to go hiking alone, you might say “it’s better to be safe than sorry” and encourage them to bring along a friend.

The phrase can also express regret over not being more prepared. For example, if it rains on your camping trip and you didn’t bring rain gear, you might say “I should have listened to myself and packed rain gear; it’s better to be safe than sorry!”

Usage of “It’s Better to Be Safe Than Sorry”

Example 1:

Mike walks into his office and sees that his coworker, Tom, has spilled coffee on the floor. He tells Tom, "Hey, Tom, you should probably clean up your coffee spill. It's better to be safe than sorry."

Example 2:

Jess has been living in her apartment for two months now. She still hasn't changed the locks on the doors because she doesn't know how much it costs or who she should call in order to get them replaced. Her friend, Steve, suggests that she just go ahead and change them as soon as possible. He says, "If you don't change those locks soon, someone could break into your house when you're not home. It's better to be safe than sorry."

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Examples 3:

The best way to protect yourself against viruses is to use antivirus software on your computer. It's better safe than sorry!

Example 4:

I don't know if the bridge is going to collapse or not, but it's better to be safe than sorry. We should cross the river another way.

Example 5:

"You should wear a helmet when you ride your bicycle." "Why?" "Because it's better to be safe than sorry."

Examples 6:

"Let's wait for a few more minutes for Tim to show up before we leave." "He's probably in traffic." "Better to be safe than sorry. He might get lost if we don't wait."

Examples 7:

When my son was young, I always made him wear a helmet when he rode his bicycle. I thought it was better to be safe than sorry.

Example 8:

You should take an umbrella with you today because it might rain. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Examples 9:

"Our house has been burgled twice in the past year, so we've installed an expensive security system. It's better to be safe than sorry."

Examples 10:

"You know, I think you should go to the doctor and get that cough checked out. It's better to be safe than sorry."

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Muhammad Rafiq

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