You are here:

English as a Second Language/Opposite of "Where there's smoke, there's fire"



I want to know if there is some idiom in English that can be considered as an opposite or conveys the opposite meaning of "where there's smoke, there's fire". As I understand the meaning of this idiom, it is that when there is an indication or sign of something bad, usually the indication is correct. So is there any fancy way, like an idiom, a famous saying or whatever, to suggest that its not always the case that if something gives an indication of being bad, it actually is bad. Off course I can explain it like this or even more elaborately but I was hoping for a one liner to nullify effect of this idiom.


It's hard to think of idioms on the spur of the moment.   The closest thing I can come up with this morning is, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  In other words, when you get a lot of bad events in your life, try to make the best of them and turn the results into something positive.

"Crying wolf" makes reference to Aesop's fable of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."  If you cry wolf, it means you are asking for help when you don't need it.  There is also the idiom "the sky is falling" which comes from the folk story, "Chicken Little" (called "Henny Penny" in other English-speaking cultures).  If someone says the sky is falling, they may be hysterical and he or she believes that some disaster is about to happen.

English as a Second Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Shannon Cole


I can answer questions related to learning the English and Spanish language.


I have taught ESL and Spanish since 1998 at the university and middle school levels. I am a native of the U.S., and have taught in both the U.S. and Mexico.

I am owner and operator of, an online language school.

Georgia TESOL in Action (1999)

B.A. in Spanish; M.Ed. in Language Education

Past/Present Clients
I have clients worldwide, some who want their documents proofread, and others who take lessons with me through the Internet. Some work at high-profile companies and government organizations. Besides the U.S. and Mexico, my recent students come from South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Colombia, Russia, Italy, Paraguay, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.

©2017 All rights reserved.