Chinese-English Vocabulary Builder: Chinese Idioms

  1. 叫苦不迭 (jiào kǔ bu dié)-To complain incessantly. 叫: to cry out, to shout. 苦: hardship, suffering. 不: no. 迭: repeatedly, frequently.
    例句: 王太太對購物、血拼的愛好讓皮夾子縮小的王先生叫苦不迭。
    Example: Ms. Wong’s love for shopping has led to many complaints from Mr. Wong, who holds a shrinking wallet.
  2. 匪夷所思 (fěi yí suǒ sī)-Unthinkable or extraordinary actions or ideas. 匪: same. 非 (fēi), not. 夷: ordinary. 思: think.
    例句: 這件謀殺案令人匪夷所思,十年了還是解不出來。
    Example: This is a difficult murder case that has yet to be solved even after ten years.
  3. 唯利是圖 (wéi lì shì tú)- To seek personal profit over everything. 唯: only. 利: gains, profit. 圖: to covet, to seek.
    例句: 此公司的創辦人唯利是圖,不在乎廉價材料和低廉的品質仍以高價出售產品,賺取高盈利。
    Example: The founder of this company seeks profit over everything, selling his products at high prices with high returns despite their cheap materials and  l0w quality.
  4. 得不償失 (dé bù cháng shī)- The gains do not make up for the losses. 得: to gain. 不: not. 償: return, to compensate. 失: to lose.
    例句: 失戀後她連續睡了好幾個星期,課也沒去上,結果影響了成績。真是得不償失。
    Example: After her breakup, she slept for weeks, missing her classes and thus affecting her grades. So not worth it.
  5. 打草驚蛇 (dǎ cǎo jīng shé)- To inadvertently alert an enemy.   打: to hit. 草: grass. 驚: startle, alert. 蛇: snake.
    例句: 玩躲貓貓時千萬不能出聲,打草驚蛇,免得被找著。
    Example: In the game of hide and seek, you must not make any sounds to alert the seeker, in case of getting caught.

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References used:
MDBG Chinese-English Dictionary http://www.mdbg.net
Yahoo 奇摩字典 http://tw.dictionary.yahoo.com
Bai Du 百科 http://baike.baidu.com
國語日報辭典

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