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I am looking for a saying which means "too much of something makes the value of it decrease, or sometimes people doesn't value it at all". I know there is a phrase "to take something for granted", but I want something like a saying or a proverb.

I thought about it and came up with this one. Though it's not a proverb, it might convey the meaning I intend to convey.

"Too much bread makes one lose one's hunger."

Tell me if this is understandable, or if you have any better alternatives.

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    'Familiarity breeds contempt'. – StoneyB Apr 26 '14 at 15:19
  • Can I use this saying for an object also, instead of a person? – Man_From_India Apr 26 '14 at 15:30
  • Fersher. "Nobody stops to think what an extraordinary technical achievement {the telephone/the internet/the automobile/the printing press/the frozen pizza} is. Familiarity breeds contempt." – StoneyB Apr 26 '14 at 16:05
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    can you type here in hindi? what are you looking for? I may try/help – Maulik V Apr 27 '14 at 13:28
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    @MaulikV Thanks friend. But I have not thought about one in Hindi also ;) what I was trying is that to convey the following in a proverb - "Too much football, spoils the charm of the game". – Man_From_India Apr 28 '14 at 2:10
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It depends on the shade of meaning you want to express. As StoneyB suggested,

Familiarity breeds contempt

expresses a similar sentiment, but not identical. Here, it isn't the quantity possessed, but the frequency of contact.

There is also a specific saying having to do with rich people not appreciating their advantages in life:

Born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple

Again, this is more specific than the general definition you gave, but it might work in some contexts. It will be perceived as folksy and Southern U.S. or Texan English specifically.

When talking about the general concept, it is more idiomatic in English to use a phrase like:

He doesn't appreciate what he has.

This is not exactly a proverb--but it, along with "take for granted," is the most common way you will hear English speakers express this idea.

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Does it have to be a proverb? There's something called "the law of diminishing returns" which I've heard well-educated people use metaphorically, to express the idea that one enjoys the, say, fourth serving of cake rather less than one's first serving of cake, and that the 10th serving of cake makes one no more happy than the 9th serving of cake.

  • Well, can you provide me with some example sentences? If I like it, I can use it in my own writing and will leave the idea of a proverb :) Thank you. – Man_From_India Apr 28 '14 at 3:41
  • "I'm trying not to show up too often, so they appreciate me when I'm there. Law of diminishing returns, you know." – Codeswitcher Apr 28 '14 at 3:51
  • Thank you so much. I have no problem using this one. – Man_From_India Apr 28 '14 at 3:51
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"Count your blessings on one hand"

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"The more we have, the less we appreciate".

It's not a proverb because it hasn't been in wide circulation, but I hope it would help you formulate the phrase you want.

I also looked up the site called Goodreads, it has a handy system of quotations from different writers. Here's from the quotations tagged values:

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.” ― Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

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