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you don't get something for nothing

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

ProverbEdit

you don't get something for nothing

  1. One cannot expect to receive some benefit if one does not pay for it in some way or does not face a counterbalancing hazard or harm.
    • 1901, Frank Norris, The Octopus, ch. 5:
      There's half the fight won, first off."
      "Osterman bribed him, I suppose," observed Magnus.
      Annixter raised a shoulder vexatiously.
      "You've got to pay for what you get," he returned. "You don't get something for nothing, I guess."
    • 1987 November 15, Steve Lohr, "Eurotunnel's Day of Reckoning," New York Times (retrieved 20 Sep 2018):
      "You don't get something for nothing," said Richard Hannah, an analyst for Phillips & Drew, a London brokerage house. "For the 40 percent return, you take one bloody huge risk."
    • 1998 September 3, Chris Taylor, "The Blue Pill Blues," Time (retrieved 20 Sep 2018):
      As the saying goes, you don't get something for nothing—especially not where sex is concerned. Just as the terrors of HIV followed the joys of the sexual revolution, so it seems that Pfizer's anti-impotence wonder drug, Viagra, carries with it more health risks than anyone suspected.
    • 2007 August 20 , Stuart Jeffries, "To have and to hold," Guardian (UK) (retrieved 20 Sep 2018):
      Melanie Phillips, who defends the institution of marriage and is not keen to extend property rights to cohabiting couples, says: "The law is based on justice; justice requires that you don't get something for nothing. You don't claim rights if you don't enter into obligations."

See alsoEdit