常用成语

Business

TO RISK EVERYTHING IN A SINGLE VENTURE

孤注一掷 gū zhù yī zhì

What it means:

尽其所有力量最后的搏。

jìn qí suǒ yǒu lì liàng zuò zuì hòu yī bó.

To risk everything in a single venture.

How to use the metaphor:

在别无他法之下,也只好孤注一掷,碰碰运气。

zài bié wú tā fă zhī xià, yĕ zhĭ hăo gū zhù yī zhì, pèng pèng yùn qi.

With no other options available, he had to risk everything to try his luck with the business venture.


TO BE WELL KNOWN

大名鼎鼎 dà míng dĭng dĭng

What it means:

名气很响亮,显赫。

míng qì hĕn xiăng liàng, xiăn hè.

(of a person) to be well known.

How to use the metaphor:

大家都认识这位大名鼎鼎的作家。

dà jiā dōu rèn shi zhè wèi dà míng ding dĭng de zuò jiā.

The author is very famous. Everyone knows who he is.



TO BE UNDAUNTED BY REPEATED SETBACKS

百折不挠 băi zhé bù náo

What it means:

形容意志非常坚定。

xíng róng yì zhì fēi cháng jiān dìng.

To be undaunted by repeated setbacks.

How to use the metaphor:

他凭着百折不挠的精神,才踏上成功道路。

tā píng zhe băi zhé bù náo de jīng shen, cái tà shàng chéng gōng dào lù.

He succeeded because he persevered and was undaunted by setbacks.



TO ACT BLINDLY BY DIVORCING ONESELF FROM REALITY

闭门造车 bì mén zào chē

What it means:

比喻只依自己的想法去做,脱离实际。

bĭ yù zhĭ yī zì jĭ de xiăng fă qù zuò, tuō lí shí jì.

To act blindly by divorcing oneself from reality.

How to use the metaphor:

你必须对产品有深入的研究,闭门造车是无法制造出优良的产品的。

nĭ bì xū duì chăn pĭn yŏu shēn rù de yán jiū, bì mén zào chē shì wú fă zhì zào chū yōu liáng de chăn pĭn de.

In-depth research is critical in product development. Failing which, you will not have the sound foundation needed for developing a top-notch product.



STAGE A COMEBACK

东山再起 dōng shān zài qĭ

What it means:

原指隐居后又出来做官。后多比喻失败后,等待力量恢复和时机,卷土重来。

yuán zhĭ yĭn jū hòu yòu chū lái zuò guān. hòu duō bĭ yù shī bài hòu, dĕng dài lì liàng huī fù hé shí jī, juăn tŭ chóng lái.

Stage a comeback.

How to use the metaphor:

经过慎重考虑,他决定东山再起,重组新公司。

jīng guò shèn zhòng kăo lǜ, tā jué dìng dōng shān zài qĭ, chóng zŭ xīn gong sī.

After much deliberation, he decided to stage a comeback by setting up a new company.



SHOW GREAT FORESIGHT

高瞻远瞩 gāo zhān yuăn zhŭ

What it means:

比喻目光远大。

bĭ yù mù guāng yuăn dà.

Show great foresight.

How to use the metaphor:

当年他高瞻远瞩, 发展电脑科技,如今他成了我国科技行业的龙头。

dàng nián tā gāo zhān yuan zhŭ, fā zhăn diàn năo kēj ì, rú jīn tā chéng le wŏ guó kē jì hang yè de lóng tóu.

With great foresight, he worked on developing the field of computer technology years ago. Today, he is a leader in the industry.



OPEN AND UPRIGHT

光明正大 guāng míng zhèng dà

What it means:

形容心地纯正,为人坦率,言行正派。

xíng róng xīn dì chún zhèng, wéi rén tăn shuài, yán xíng zhèng pài.

Open and upright.

How to use the metaphor:

他是个光明正大的人,绝对不会做出偷鸡摸狗的事。

tā shì gè guān gmíng zhèng dà de rén, jué duì bú huì zuò chū tōu jī mō gŏu de shì.

He is an open and upright person who will definitely stay away from any shady activity.



HEARSAY

道听途说 dào tīng tú shuō

What it means:

未经证实的传闻,无根据的消息。

wèi jīng zhèng shí de chuán wén, wú gēn jù de xiāo xi.

Hearsay.

How to use the metaphor:

这都是道听途说的传言,你怎么可以相信呢?

zhè dōu shì dào tīng tú shuō de chuán yán, nĭ zĕn me kĕ yĭ xiāng xìn ne.

How can you simply believe the rumour? It is just hearsay.



GO BACK ON ONE’S WORDS

出尔反尔 chū ěr fǎn ě

What it means:

比喻反复无常。

bĭ yù fǎn fù wú cháng.

Go back on one’s words.

How to use the metaphor:

他常常出尔反尔, 没有人敢相信他许下的承诺。

tā cháng cháng chū ěr fǎn ě, mĕi yŏu rén găn xiāng xìn tā xŭ xià de chéng nuò.

Nobody dares to believe him as he often goes back on his words.



CALM AND UNFLUSTERED

从容不迫 cóng róng bú pò

What it means:

行事镇定不急迫。

xíng shì zhèn dìng bù jí pò.

Calm and unflustered.

How to use the metaphor:

经理为人沉着,面临危机时,也能从容不迫地应付。

jīng lĭ wéi rén chén zhuó, miàn lín wēi jī shí, yĕ néng cóng róng bú pò de yìng fù.

The manager is always very composed. He stays calm and unflustered even when confronted with threatening situations.



BRAG WITHOUT BLUSHING

大言不惭 dà yán bù cán

What it means:

说大话,不知羞耻。

shuō dà huà bù zhī xiū chĭ.

Brag without blushing.

How to use the metaphor:

他没有参与工作,却大言不惭地说自己是这项工作的主干。

tā méi yŏu cān yù gōn gzuò, què dà yán bù cán de shuō zì jĭ shì zhè xiàng gong zuò de zhŭ gàn.

He wasn’t involved in this project but he bragged without blushing, and claimed that he was the project leader.



A BRAND NEW LOOK

焕然一新 huàn rán yì xīn

What it means:

完全变新的样子。

wán quán biàn xīn de yang zi.

A brand new look.

How to use the metaphor:

经过装修后,这家店铺焕然一新使人眼睛一亮。

jīng guò zhuāng xiū hòu, zhè jiā diàn pù huàn rán yì xīn shĭ rén yăn jing yì liàng.

Having undergone extensive renovations, the shop has attracted much attention with its brand new look.



Everyday

WHAT IS DONE CANNOT BE UNDONE

覆水难收 fù shuĭ nán shōu

What it means:

倒在地上的水难收回来。 比喻事情已成定局,无法挽回。(多用在夫妻离异)

dào zài dì shàng de shuĭ nán shōu huí lái. bĭ yù shì qing yĭ chéng dìng jú wú fă wăn huí duō yòng zài fū qī lí yì.

What is done cannot be undone.

How to use the metaphor:

当年是你抛弃他们母子, 现在要求复婚,恐怕是覆水难收了。

dāng nián shì nĭ pāo qì tā men mŭ zĭ, xiàn zài yāo qiú fù hūn, kŏng pà shì fù shuĭ nán shōu le.

I’m afraid the harm you caused, when you abandoned the mother and child years ago, cannot be undone, even if you’re asking for reconciliation now.


WASTE EFFORTS ON THE WRONG PEOPLE

对牛弹琴 duì niú tán qín

What it means:

比喻同外行人说内行话,白费唇舌。

bĭ yù tóng wài háng rén shuō nèi háng huà, bái fèi chún shé.

Waste efforts on the wrong people.

How to use the metaphor:

说了半天,你还是不懂我的意思,我简直是在对牛弹琴了。

shuō le bàn tiān, nĭ hái shi bù dŏng wŏ de yìsi, wŏ jiăn zhí shì zài duì niú tán qín le.

We’ve been talking for hours and you still don’t understand what I mean. Clearly, you’re not the person I should be talking to. I am wasting my time.



TO START SOMETHING NEW OR ORIGINAL

别开生面 bié kāi shēng miàn

What it means:

另创一种新风格。

lìng chuàng yì zhŏng xīn fēng gé.

To start something new or original.

How to use the metaphor:

学校为家长举办一个别开生面的家庭竞赛会, 获得许多家长的赞赏。

xué xiào wèi jiā zhăng jŭ bàn yī gè bié kāi shēng miàn de jiā tíng jìng sài huì, huò dé xŭ duō jiā zhăng de zàn shăng.

The school won praise from parents for the very original and unique family telematch that it organized.



TO DO THINGS IN A SYSTEMATIC AND ORDERLY MANNER

按部就班 àn bù jiù bān

What it means:

按照一定的条理、步骤进行。

àn zhào yí dìng de tiáo lĭ, bù zhòu jìn xíng.

To do things in a systematic and orderly manner.

How to use the metaphor:

学习一定要按部就班, 不能走捷径。

xué xí yí dìng yào àn bù jiù bān, bù néng zŏu jié jìng.

There is no short cut to learning. It must be done in a systematic and orderly manner.



TO BE REWARDED DESPITE NOT MAKING ANY EFFORT

不劳而获 bù láo ér huò

What it means:

自己没有付出劳力而占有别人的成果

zì jǐ méi yǒu fù chū láo lì ér zhàn yǒu bié rén de chéng guǒ.

To be rewarded despite not making any effort

How to use the metaphor:

世界上没有不劳而获的事, 凡是都要靠自己的努力。

shì jiè shàng méi yŏu bù láo ér huò de shì, fán shì dōu yào kào zì jĭ de nŭ lì.

Only those who work hard will reap rewards. Nothing comes free in this world.



LOOK FOR NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK

海底捞针 hăi dĭ lāo zhēn

What it means:

在大海中捞起一根针,比喻希望甚微。

zài dà hăi zhōng lāo qĭ yì gēn, zhēn bĭ yù xī wàng shèn wēi.

Look for needle in a haystack.

How to use the metaphor:

在没有线索的情况下去找一个失踪的人,简直是海底捞针。

zài méi yŏu xiàn suŏ de qíng kuàng xià qù zhăo yí gè shī zōng de rén, jiăn zhí shì hăi dĭ lāo zhēn.

Searching for a missing person, without a shred of clue, is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.



INCORRIGIBLE

不可救药 bù kě jiù yào

What it means:

无法挽救的意思。

wú fă wăn jiù de yì si.

Incorrigible.

How to use the metaphor:

他做恶多端, 为钱财杀人, 还不知悔改, 根本是不可救药。

tā zuò è duō duān, wèi qián cái shā rén, hái bù zhī huĭ găi, gēnběn shì bù kě jiù yào.

He is incorrigible. He remains unremorseful despite committing evil deeds like murder in his quest to get rich.



MAKE A QUICK DECISION AT A CRUCIAL MOMENT

当机立断 dāng jī lì duàn

What it means:

在关键时刻立即作出决断。

zài guān jiàn shí kè lì jí zuò chū jué duàn.

Make a quick decision at a crucial moment.

How to use the metaphor:

眼看妹妹呼吸越来越困难, 他当机立断,立刻把她送进医院。

yăn kàn mèi mei hū xī yuè lái yuè kùn nan, tā dāng jī lì duàn, lì kè bă tā sòng jìn yī yuan.

He made a quick decision to send his sister to hospital as soon as he realized that she was having difficulties breathing.



HEAVY TRAFFIC

车水马龙 chē shuĭ mǎ lóng

What it means:

形容车马众多,穿梭不息。

xíng róng chē mă zhòng duō, chuān suō bù xī.

Heavy traffic.

How to use the metaphor:

每逢周末,商业购物区车水马龙,非常热闹。

měi féng zhōu mò, shāng yè gòu wù qū chē shuĭ mă lóng, fēi cháng rè nào.

Roads in the business and shopping districts are usually jam-packed on weekends.



FOUND EVERYWHERE

比比皆是 bĭ bĭ jiē shì

What it means:

到处都是。 形容很常见。

dào chù dōu shì. xíng róng hĕn cháng jiàn.

Found everywhere..

How to use the metaphor:

在我国, 善心人士慷慨解囊的例子比比皆是。

zài wŏ guó, shàn xīn rén shì kāng kăi jiĕ náng de lì zi bĭ bĭ jiē shì.

There are countless examples of kind and generous people here in my country.



EACH HAS ITS OWN MERITS

各有千秋 gè yŏu qiān qiū

What it means:

各有各价值;各有各的长处和特点。

gè yŏu gè de jià zhí; gè yŏu gè de cháng chù hé tè diăn.

Each has its own merits.

How to use the metaphor:

这两件参赛作品,各有千秋,很难定出胜负。

zhè liăng jiàn cān sài zuò pĭn, gè yŏu qiān qiū, hĕn nán dìng chū sheng fù

Both of these entries to the competition have their own merits. It will be a tough call selecting the winner.



Source: 365 Chinese Idioms booklet produced by Panpac Education in conjunction with the Speak Mandarin Campaign.