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Difference between Count one’s chickens and Count sheep

count one’s chickens—anticipate some benefit, with the implication that it may not materialize (in allusion to the proverb “don’t count your chickens before they are hatched”):

  • He had been counting his chickens and borrowing money on the strength of his expectations as his uncle’s sole heir.

count sheeptry to fall asleep by counting imaginary sheep jumping over a stile one by one:

  • Did you know that if you count sheep, it is watching the sheep jump that sends you off?