This is a collection of Chinese proverbs (諺語 yànyŭ) and idioms (成語 chéngyŭ), given in and sorted by their pinyin transcription. Chinese proverbs and four-plus character idioms are developed from the formulaic or social dialect/saying/expression (歇後語 in pinyin: xièhòuyŭ) and historical story in Chinese.

Check: Pinyin for help.


  • (dī)(shǔi)(zhī)(ēn)(dāng)(yǐ)(yǒng)(quán)(xiāng)(bào)
    • Literally: A drop of water shall be returned with a burst of spring.
    • Meaning: Even if it was just a little help from others, you should return the favor with all you can when others are in need.

Three Kingdoms famous proverbsEdit

Translation Chinese Interpretation
The relationship between a husband and a wife is like a piece of garment; if the garment is torn, it can be mended. The relationship between two brothers is like a limb; if a limb is broken, it cannot be repaired. 夫妻如衣服, 兄弟如手足

It is much easier for a husband and his wife to reconcile after a quarrel but that is much harder in the case of two siblings.

Liu Bei "borrows" Jingzhou – borrowing without returning. 劉備借荊州——有借無還 There are some people who borrow things from you and do not return them.
Speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives. 說曹操,曹操到


Equivalent to speak of the devil, when someone who is being spoken about appears.
Three reeking tanners (are enough to) overcome one Zhuge Liang.. 三個臭皮匠, 勝過一個諸葛亮

三個臭皮匠, 賽過一個諸葛亮

Three inferior people can overpower a superior person when they combine their strength.
Losing your wife and your army. 賠了夫人又折兵 Making double losses in a deal or losing on both sides of it.
Eastern Wu arranges for a marriage that turns from fake into real. 東吳招親——弄假成真

Putting on a show (to deceive someone) but the events in the "show" become reality unexpectedly.

See AlsoEdit

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