Many People 'Thank Their Lucky Stars'

    13 April 2024

    Now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.

    Looking up at a star-filled night sky can be one of the most beautiful sights to see. It can fill you with awe and amazement. It can also take us away from our worldly troubles and problems.

    A long time ago, people may have looked to the stars for more than inspiration and entertainment. Ancient star-gazers may have looked to the stars to find good luck. In modern times, people who believe in astrology also look to the stars for guidance and advice on how to improve their lives.

    FILE - In this file photo, Dave Cooke observes the Milky Way in Ontario, Canada, early Sunday, March 21, 2021. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)
    FILE - In this file photo, Dave Cooke observes the Milky Way in Ontario, Canada, early Sunday, March 21, 2021. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

    Stars have served us in many ways throughout human history. So, it is not surprising that we have an expression that thanks them.

    When we say, thank your lucky stars, we are expressing gratitude for something. We use this expression to show our appreciation for something good in our lives. For example, I thank my lucky stars for my health and also a career that I love.

    We often use the expression with the word "should." For example: My friend should thank her lucky stars for her amazing brother. He has helped her many times over the years.

    This saying means that you should be grateful for your good luck. Thanking the stars in ancient times may have been a type of superstition. But these days, it simply means we are thankful.

    Let's hear what some of my co-workers thank their lucky stars for.

    First is Dan Friedell:

    I thank my lucky stars for the people who came before me and taught me lessons about life I put into practice today.

    And here is Dorothy Gundy:

    I thank my lucky stars that the rain has stopped and the children can play outdoors.

    Sometimes we use the word "count" in this expression. Saying I count my lucky stars doesn't change the meaning. For example: I count my lucky stars for my family and friends.

    Now let's hear this expression used in a conversation:

    A: Are you okay? You look terrible.

    B: I rear-ended a garbage truck on my drive over here.

    A: Oh no! Was anyone hurt?

    B: No, thankfully. But I really damaged my car. It's going to cost a lot to fix it.

    A: Well, crashing into the back of a trash truck will do that. What happened?

    B: I dropped a piece of chocolate and looked down for a minute to find it. When I looked up, the trash truck was stopped right in front of me.

    A: Wow. You should count your lucky stars that you weren't seriously injured.

    B: I know! I'm very thankful. And I need to be more careful. But in my defense ... it was really good chocolate.

    We here at VOA Learning English thank our lucky stars for all of our listeners.

    What do you count your lucky stars for? Tell us in the comment section or send us an email at

    And that's all for this week's Words and Their Stories.

    Until next time, I'm Anna Matteo.

    Anna Matteo wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.


    Words in This Story

    awe – n. a feeling of mixed fear, respect, and wonder

    inspiration – n. the act or power of moving the mind or the emotions

    gratitude – n. the state of being grateful : grateful – adj. appreciative of benefits received

    appreciation – n. a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude

    superstition – n. a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, or trust in magic

    conversation – n. talking or a talk between two or more people