In my native language, when we want to describe a situation in which a group of people suffer a special consequence regardless of how they performed or whether they deserve that or not, we say "(When fire comes,) wet and dry will burn together" meaning it doesn't matter whether there are dead branches or green branches, in case of a big fire all will burn. What we mean is 'the good suffer with the bad.'

For example,

A couple of students were shouting when the head teacher stepped in. He looked at us angrily and snarled,"next time I hear a sound, I'll send you all home, remember '(when fire comes,) wet and dry will burn together'"

Another example,

The priest told us that it is not enough to be just a good man and we should warn others against their bad deeds because in case of God's wrath, 'wet and dry will burn together'.

  • 3
    I think We're all in the same boat may work, but it has a different connotation from your "wet and dry will burn together" if I understand you correctly. Mar 13, 2016 at 11:25
  • Is the word "(tree) branches" implied in this saying? Mar 13, 2016 at 12:26
  • 1
    Maybe the teacher might also say "I will err on the side of severity". Mar 13, 2016 at 12:45
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    @CowperKettle: by wet and dry, we mean dead (having no water in tissues) branches and green (having water in tissues) branches. So yes actually what we literally mean is that (in case of a big fire) all braches (whether dead or green) get burnt.
    – Yuri
    Mar 13, 2016 at 12:49
  • 4
    @Azad You're all in the same boat might work, but I would go for You're all in this together. It's not a proverb, though. Mar 13, 2016 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


These are idioms rather than proverbs.

For punishment specifically:

punishing all for the acts of one

For unfairly blaming a whole group of people for the problems caused by some, you can say that the group were

tarred with the same brush

For death, you can say

We all go the same way

  • I guess I can use a couple of phrases and idioms that you mentioned to fit in different situations where I think I should use my native proverb because the meaning is more inclusive. Thank you all for your help. 😊
    – Yuri
    Mar 13, 2016 at 15:58

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