English Idiom – Make hay while the sun shines.

Meaning – To make the most of an opportunity while it is available. To take advantage of a favourable situation for as long as you can. If you make hay while the sun shines you ensure you make the best use of opportunities and positive situations.

The origin of this idiom or proverb is fairly self explanatory. Hay can be spoiled by rain or wet weather. Farmers need to make the most of sunny weather during harvest time by completing haymaking tasks such as cutting or drying the hay.

Related Expressions:


When could you use this idiom?

  • You want to leave your job but have been offered extra money to stay.
  • The company you work for is offering overtime.
  • A football team is trying to win while the opposition team has injuries.
  • The conditions for driving are good so you decide to continue driving when you wanted to rest.


  • “I want to move to Australia but my company has offered me a promotion and humongous pay increase. I guess I’ll stay because we have to make hay while the sun shines.”

In The News:

Stephen Bennett making hay while the sun shines


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

What is FunkyEnglish?

FunkyEnglish is a website that helps you improve your English. We offer quick lessons that teach idiomsslangphrasal verbs and more. Visit our homepage to see our latest articles, or use the menu to find specific content!