English phrase: Hindsight is 20/20

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Hello students! It’s Shayna from EspressoEnglish.net, and today I’m going to explain an interesting expression, and that is “hindsight is 20/20” or sometimes people say “hindsight is always 20/20.”

It’s now the year 2020, so I thought this would be an interesting phrase to teach you!

Let me give you an example situation of when you might use this phrase.

Let’s say in the past, your sister dated a guy who wasn’t very nice to her. He was manipulative and rude, and he didn’t treat her well, but she was in love with him at the time. Later, they broke up – meaning the relationship ended – and nowadays, your sister says to you, “I can’t believe I dated such a terrible guy!”

And you could reply, “Well, hindsight is always 20/20.”

This expression means: It’s easier to analyze and evaluate situations when we’re looking back on them in the past, than when we’re in the present moment.

The word hindsight refers to looking back or reflecting on things in the past, and 20/20 refers to perfect vision. So when we look back on situations in the past, we see things clearly that were not clear to us at the time.

Back when your sister was in the relationship, she couldn’t see her boyfriend’s flaws – but now, months or years later, it’s obvious to her that her ex-boyfriend was problematic. It wasn’t obvious when she was in the middle of it, but it’s obvious now that she’s looking back on it in the past.

We often use this phrase, hindsight is 20/20, when talking about things we regret or things that weren’t the best decision, but we didn’t realize it at the time; we only understand it later.

Another reason I’m teaching you this phrase is that I don’t want you to have regrets about your English learning. I don’t want you to get to the end of the year and then to look back and say “Oh, I should have studied harder, or I wish I’d taken that course, but I didn’t, and so my English didn’t really improve this year.”

Instead, I want you to take action! Practice your English every day. Join one of my courses, which you can find by clicking on the link in the video or in the description. Just keep working on your English consistently as the months go by.

Then, when we get to the end of the year, you won’t have regrets. You won’t think, “Ah, I wish I’d dedicated more time to my English, but hindsight is 20/20.”

Instead, you’ll be able to say “I did my best this year, I learned a lot of new things, and my English has improved in the year 2020.”

That’s my hope and my wish for you! And I’m so glad I can help you learn more English through these video lessons. Thanks for watching and I’ll talk to you next time.

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