I would just like to ask if anyone could give me any English proverbs which mean: "one may escape from someone but it isn't for forever, early or late he/ she will be caught"?

Context: imagine that one of my friends used to do bad things against me, but hidden, behind me, and in the end he was caught and everything had been proved.

  • 2
    You could use the phrase sooner or later, meaning eventually, in the end: You may escape now, but sooner or later you will be caught again.
    – Vlammuh
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 17:44
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    What goes around comes around, perhaps? Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:21
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    The truth will out...
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 19:41
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    Or sometimes figuratively: murder will out
    – user230
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 20:14
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    I'm inclined to leave this question open - there are many ways to say it, and not exactly one correct answer, but I think it would be extremely challenging to find an answer elsewhere, and that the answers here will be helpful to other folks.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 20:45

3 Answers 3


There are a few ways to express what you're looking for, though I am not aware of an idiom that covers the entire meaning of your sentence.

What I commonly hear is:

  • You may escape now, but sooner or later/in the end/eventually/inevitably you will be caught.
  • Don't bother trying to escape, being caught is inevitable.
  • Why would you try to escape? It's better to just bow to the inevitable.

The phrases sooner or later, in the end, eventually express that at some point in the future, the person will be caught anyway. Inevitably and inevitable have a similar meaning, but these words also stress the fact that being caught cannot be avoided.

The idiom bow to the inevitable means that the person stops resisting and gives in, since he sees that whatever it is he is avoiding, actually cannot be avoided so it is best to just go through with it. You could probably rephrase this idiom to something along the lines of give in/give up.


Sometimes in if you are physically (not metaphorically) chasing someone you can say:

You can run, but you can't hide.

This is sometimes used in it's literal meaning to denote that you intend to catch them, sooner or later.

In your context, the meaning of the phrase could be somewhat different:

You can try to escape from what you fear, but eventually you will have to face it. The saying originated in the United States in the 1940s, and is attributed to the American boxer Joe Louis (1914-81)

from: "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996) via The Phrase Finder.


There is nothing someone can do to evade something.

from: Wiktionary

Alternatively, since this person did a bad thing in the past and as time goes by hopes that they've got away with it, you might say:

Your past/your actions will catch up with you (sooner or later).

Which means:

If something bad that you have done or that has been happening to you catches up with you, it begins to cause problems for you:

His lies will catch up with him one day.

If people in authority catch up with you, they discover that you have been doing something wrong and often punish you for it:

They had been selling stolen cars for years before the police caught up with them.

from: CDO


You'll get your comeuppance. Your chickens will come home to roost. You've cooked your own goose. You'll get your just desserts.

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