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      • Native Language:
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    no pain, no pains

    I've read the proverb 'No pains, no gains' in quite a few English dictionaries compiled in China. But the Macmillan Dictionary says 'No pain, no gain'. Which is right? Or are both right?

    Thank you.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    Re: no pain, no pains

    I've only heard the singular, but I'm sure it would be possible to concoct a context where the plural would work.


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 556

    Re: no pain, no pains

    Bob, I can imagine using the plural in some contexts (maybe a mother having labor pains? Actually, it's hard to come up with something) but I can't imagine it being listed in a dictionary that way.

    As far as I know, this expression originated during the aerobic exercise class craze in the 1970s, and was intended to spur on the panting, suffering exercisers.

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