What are Chinese idioms? Chinese Idioms are consist of mostly 4 words or 4 characters, it has a long history since it was found to be used, and Chinese idioms might be the most frequently used language in everyday’s life other than other languages, Chinese idioms carry a lot of history(See Also the history of Chinese movies) and art beauty of Chinese language, today we will focus on the 10 most commonly used Chinese idioms, examples with English translations.
When you are taking Chinese lessons, you must encounter a lot of Chinese idioms or sayings, it is very frequently used in everyday life, and you must be very impressed about those idioms which are meaningful and insightful. If you are looking for some Chinese idioms to learn, here are the most commonly used 10 Chinese idioms you should learn.
1.一箭双雕(Yījiànshuāngdiāo) Kill two birds with one stone
This is a great idiom when you want to say you did one action but it came with two consequences, and normally, those are good consequences, Chinese people say this idiom very often in daily life, this is one of the most frequently used Chinese idioms. Like me give you an example for this:
Chinese pinyin: zhè cì de huódòng bùjǐn liànxíle wǒmen de jìqiǎo, érqiě duànliànle wǒmen de nàixīn, zhēnshi yījiànshuāngdiāo de hǎoshì a!
English translation: This activity not only practiced our skills, but also exercised our patience. It is a good thing to double-edged!
2. 万事如意(Wànshì rúyì) All dreams come true
万事如意(Wànshì rúyì) is very commonly used during Chinese new year because it mean wish all your dreams come true, it is a very nice wish for all your friends and family, an example for this idiom.
Chinese pinyin: zài xīnnián de shíhòu, wǒmen dūhuì zhùyuàn jiārén wànshì rúyì, shēntǐ jiànkāng.
English translation: In the New Year, we wish our family all the best and good health.
3. 一帆风顺(Yīfānfēngshùn) Everything goes smoothly
一帆风顺(Yīfānfēngshùn) means everything goes so smoothly, this is a wish for people when they get a job, when they live in a new city, or anything they started fresh, this is a great wish for luck.
Chinese pinyin: zhù nǐ zài xīn de gōngzuò gǎngwèi shàng, yīfānfēngshùn!
English translation: I wish you all the best in your new job!
4. 三心二意(Sānxīn’èryì) Being not focused
三心二意(Sānxīn’èryì) means being not focused, this is most commonly heard in school or class when your teacher is not very happy with your performance, he or she will say you should not be三心二意(Sānxīn’èryì), you should focus more on your study, let take an example for this.
Chinese pinyin: shénme shìqíng dōu bùnéng sānxīn’èryì, fǒuzé kěnéng yīshìwúchéng.
English translation: You can’t do two things at the same time, or you may not achieve anything.
5. 十全十美(Shíquánshíměi) Everything is so perfect
十全十美(Shíquánshíměi) means everything is so perfect, this is the best wish for a person, we wish all the best for you, everything goes well, no difficulty, of course, this is just a person’s wish, we all hope this, don’t we?
Chinese pinyin: lǎobǎn zǒng shì yāoqiú wǒmen hěn gāo, dàn wǒ juédé yǒu shíhòu zuò shìqíng yě bùnéng yāoqiú shíquánshíměi
English translation: The boss always asks us to be very perfect, but I feel that sometimes I can’t ask for perfect things.
6. 亡羊补牢(Wángyángbǔláo) Build the home for sheep after it is dead
This is a idiom for one who takes action too late after the mistake is happened, this is a warning for a person who should not wait until the last minute to do anything, he or she should always be precautious about things, and prepare the bad to be coming before it comes.
Chinese characters:事情已经发生了，现在做什么都是亡羊补牢，根本没有用了。Chinese pinyin: shìqíng yǐjīng fāshēngle, xiànzài zuò shénme dōu shì wángyángbǔláo, gēnběn méiyǒu yòngle.
English translation: Things have already happened, and now what is done is to make up for it, it is useless.
7. 心旷神怡(Xīnkuàngshényí) Feel so comfortable when seeing a beautiful scenery
心旷神怡(Xīnkuàngshényí) means feel so comfortable and refreshed when seeing a beautiful scenery, when we go travelling we see many beautiful places like mountains, rivers, temples, trees and flowers etc, when you describe the great feeling, this idiom fits best in the situation.
Chinese pinyin: zhè shì wǒ dì yī cì dēngshān, shānshàng de fēngjǐng ràng rén juédé xīnkuàngshényí
English translation: This is my first time climbing, the scenery on the mountain makes people feel refreshed.
8. 万事俱备(Wànshì jù bèi) Everything is already well prepared
万事俱备(Wànshì jù bèi) means everything is already well prepared, when you are ready to go, you say this.
Chinese pinyin: xiànzài wǒmen wànshì jù bèi, míngtiān de bǐsài yīdìng kěyǐ
English translation: Now that we have everything ready, we ill definitely win in tomorrow’s game.
9. 心急如焚(Xīnjírúfén) Very worried
This idiom is describing your worried feeling, literally it means your heart is like on fire, you are so worried and you can’t even sit there and wait, an action must be taken place when you are feeling so worried.
Chinese pinyin: ér zǐ huán méiyǒu dàojiā, māmā zǎo jiù xīnjírúfénle.
English translation: The son has not yet arrived home, and her mother has been is so worried.
10. 杯水车薪(Bēishuǐchēxīn) Useless to do an action
杯水车薪(Bēishuǐchēxīn) means useless to do an action. Bēi means cup, shuǐ is water chē is a car xīn is wood, wood in a car is on fire, you should not take a cup of water to distinguish a car of wood, it is useless, you need obviously more water! It is used when little help can’t solve the big problem, take an example,
Chinese pinyin: xiànzài wǒmen xūyào hěn dà de zījīn qù bāngzhù gōngsī, zhèxiē qián gēnběn jiùshì bēishuǐchēxīn, bāng bùliǎo shénme máng de.
English translation: Now we need a lot of money to help the company. This money is simply a drop in the bucket and it won’t help.