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Numerical Chinese Idioms

作者: 录入:cl 来源:对外汉语网 2017-03-10 09:42:04 

 In the profundity of Chinese culture, numbers are not just numbers. They can convey many other meanings when used in Chinese idioms. Here are some idioms which include the numbers from one to ten. Let’s check them out.

一穷二白(yī qióng èr bái)
一(yī ) means one and 二(èr)means two. However, when we say “一穷二白”( yī qióng èr bái),it means “poverty and blankness”, or “economically poor and culturally blank”. For example: 
改变这个国家一穷二白的面貌。
gǎi biàn zhè gè guó jiā yī qióng èr bái de miàn mào
Lift this country from the state of “poverty and blankness”.
丢三落四(diū sān là sì) 
三(sān)means three and 四(sì)means four. This idiom means “do things carelessly or have a bad memory”. For example:
他做事老是丢三落四的。
tā zuò shì lǎo shì diū sān là sì de.
He is always careless.
五颜六色(wǔ yán liù sè)
五(wǔ) is five and 六(liù) is six. It is equivalent to “colorful”. For example:
他们将房子漆得五颜六色。
tā men jiāng fáng zi qī de wǔ yán liù sè. 
They paint their house with various colors.
七上八下(qī shàng bā xià)
七(qī) stands for seven and八(bā) for eight. 七上八下(qī shàng bā xià) is often used when “someone is very upset or anxious and feels ill at ease”. For example,
他就感觉心里七上八下。
tā jiù gǎn jué xīn lǐ qī shàng bā xià.
He is very anxious.
十拿九稳(shí ná jiǔ wěn)
十(shí) is ten and 九(jiǔ) is nine. You can use 十拿九稳(shí ná jiǔ wěn)when you are quite certain of something. For example,
他学习很好,考进前三名是十拿九稳的事。
tā xué xí hěn hǎo, kǎo jìn qián sān míng shì shí ná jiǔ wěn de shì.
He studies very well, so it is certain that he will be placed in the first three spots in the exam.

十全十美(shí quán shí měi)
十全十美(shí quán shí měi) means perfection. For example,
新生事物在刚产生时,并不都是十全十美的。
xīn shēng shì wù zài gāng chǎn shēng shí,bìng bù dōu shì shí quán shí měi de.
It is impossible for new things to be perfect.


More Numerical idioms for you:
一目十行(yī mù shí hang): cover ten lines at one glance; quick in reading.
一言九鼎(yī yán jiǔ dǐng):keep one’s promise.
一心一意(yī xīn yī yì): be preoccupied with.
三心二意(sān xīn èr yì):be of two minds
四通八达(sì tōng bā dá):accessible from all directions.
九牛一毛(jiǔ niú yī máo):a dro in the bucket.

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  • 数字成语归类
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