You Reap What You Sow – Meaning, Origin and Usage

We are sure there have been times when you have seen a mean-spirited person finally get their comeuppance. Perhaps you have tried to teach your child a lesson about proper behavior. If so, we have the perfect phrase for you. Have you ever heard the phrase “you reap what you sow”? This is a trendy phrase that is often used in day-to-day life. But what does it mean? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


This saying means that if you do something, good or bad, you will eventually see the consequences of your actions. In short, the phrase means that you will see results if you put in the effort. You reap what you sow is a simple way of saying that you will get back from an action exactly what you put into it. If you sow bad deeds, then you will get a bad result. If you put forth earnest effort, you will get the benefits of that effort.

This phrase is often used as motivation to keep going even when things are tough. So, if you’re facing a difficult situation, remember that you will reap the benefits of your hard work if you don’t give up. In most cases, this phrase is used as a way to warn or teach others about the consequences of poor choices, but it can also be used to explain positive results. More information can be found in the video (here)

Example Usage

“I know you’re feeling discouraged right now, but remember, you reap what you sow, if you keep putting in the effort, you will eventually see the results.”
“You can’t just cheat on your partner and expect things to work out. You reap what you sow.”
“If you want to be successful in life, remember that you reap what you sow. The harder you work, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.”

Origin of You Reap What You Sow

This phrase is derived from the Bible. The Book of Galatians says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” This phrase has been used in many different contexts over the years and has become a famous saying that is often used in everyday life. The expression was also found in a sermon from old English times around 1650. It details the path of God’s followers getting the rewards of the kindness they sow during their lives.

Phrases Similar to You Reap What You Sow

  • As you sow, so shall you reap.
  • What goes around, comes around.
  • Karma’s a bitch.
  • What goes up must come down.

Phrases Opposite to You Reap What You Sow

  • Every dog has his day.
  • You can’t judge a book by its cover.
  • You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree.
  • Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

What is The Correct Saying?

The phrase “you reap what you sow” is the correct saying.

Ways People May Incorrectly Say You Reap What You Sow

Most people use the phrase “you reap what you sow” correctly. However, there are some ways that people may incorrectly say this phrase. For example, some people may say, “you reap what you do” or “you reap what you saw.”

Acceptable Ways to Phrase You Reap What You Sow

Some examples of proper usage are:

  1. Always do your best, after all, you reap what you sow.
  2. Don’t bully your classmates or it will come back to bite you in the end. After all, you reap what you sow.
  3. I am not sure how you expected a promotion after missing so many days from work. You reap what you sow, and you sewed lack of interest.
  4. Keep in mind that you reap what you sow. If you sow seeds of kindness you will get the fruits of that labor in return.

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